report from Methadone task force

As reported this week in the Toronto Star (“Doctors exploit addicts to milk OHIP” and “Methadone rules tightened“), and in a news release on the MoH website, the March 2007 “Methadone Maintenance Treatment Practices Task Force” is now publicly available.

report coverIf you want, you can read or print the entire report (146 pages, 2.34 Mb, PDF format), but you cannot electronically copy selected text (eg. to quote sections of the report in an email). Seems like a silly limitation and missue of technology by the MoH.

Corktown was acknowledged in the report for “hosting a local community consultation” (although, to date, CRBA hasn’t been compensated for those meeting expenses, as promised by the task force). The 7 page executive summary opens with a quote from George Smitherman, when he spoke at that Jan 24 meeting. (At that time, George promised to promptly return to Corktown to discuss this completed report – also not done.)

The report’s executive summary included the following, which seem to be the main concerns of Corktown residents:
– “Integrating MMT practices into communities is generally not well done.” (page vi).
– “Some opportunities for improvement [in public accountability by overseeing professionals] ” (page vi)

In its press release, the province has promised some money to:
– develop best practice guidelines for nurses, counsellors and pharmacists
– enhance enforcement of best practice guidelines and quality assurance initiatives
– develop a resource guide to assist in the proper introduction of MMT into local communities
– increase awareness in communities about the value of methadone maintenance treatment

Those are all nice sounding buzzwords, although it remains unclear how the report’s recommendations (or the province’s promises) will reduce the negative impacts that the large volume methadone clinic at 431 King East has on the surrounding Corktown community.

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