Letter: Many are unaware of Methadone risks

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 29, 2007

On Feb. 4, it will be five months since I lost my only child, Jamie Pethel, age 23, to acute Metha-done toxicity, with Xanax as a contributing factor.There are many deaths occurring from this drug, as I have done much research and have learned more than I ever wanted to. Methadone deaths are on the rise, and North Carolina is one of the top states to see this, along with West Virginia.

I and several others are trying desperately to get the powers that be to make some changes. The FDA has added new warnings. That is not enough. Methadone clinics have popped up everywhere, along with pain doctors giving out this script for every little pain imaginable. Diversion has become a major issue. Diversion is what caused my son’s death. Someone thought it was OK to sell the Methadone they’d gotten at a clinic, or someone who had a script decided to sell theirs. My son was very much wrong in the buying of this drug, but when do two wrongs make a right?

My son paid the ultimate price. His young life.

The criminal justice system is not doing enough to those that sell these drugs. They give them a slap on the hand and before nightfall, they are back to selling. I say, build more prisons. Yes, I know we have added three in this state in the last few years. Apparently, it’s not enough. I am seeking input to begin a group for tougher sentencing for any type of drug dealing or to begin a group to push for tighter restrictions on Methadone dispensing. A petition was started on the Internet by Melissa Zuppardi, who lost her fiance to a Methadone overdose while he was in a inpatient drug treatment center. Look at all these unnecessary deaths. Any input would be appreciated. (The petition is at www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/472711451?ltl=1169820659).

— Mary Haynes