Comments for: After boy’s death, Oxford family pushes for drugged-driver standard

Posted April 10, 2012, at 6:22 a.m.
Last modified April 10, 2012, at 9:36 a.m.

What caused a 1996 black Jeep to veer off the roadway and crash in flames last August, leaving an 8-year-old boy to die from his injuries?

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  • I have a cousin who was (is again) on methadone and he would also “nod off” while driving. He did have a couple accidents no injuries though but i always thought that the clinic should make you wait however long after your does to drive. Probably would also depend on the amount that you take too. Something should be done to help this not happen. And I am not against clinics or anything I know alot of people who need it and have it and others who havent made the choice yet but just by experience with my cousin and now this story something should be done to keep us and them safe.

    • Anonymous

      This is real simple, if you are taking methedone you are not allowed to drive.

      • Anonymous

        Agreed! If you want to take the easy road and do methadone to “quit” using drugs…..give up your right to drive…..although…..this lady didn’t have the right to drive and still drove…..hope she went to jail for that…

        • Anonymous

          nope. no charges filed. unreal.

      • yeah lot shorter than my answer :)  should be treated as OUI

      • Then by that logic people who drink alcohol or prescribed anything that might cause dizziness should not be allowed to drive. Alcohol causes more deaths than any drug yet noones calling for bars to be closed.

  • Anonymous

    This story got to me this morning ….methadone at the rite dose if effective … But I have never scene any one on the correct dose ….because the dose they give you is from what you the patient tells you he has been using on the streets …..so every one who goes to a clinic can get way more messed up then on the streets and it’s free..they start patients of high and just keep going up if you say it’s not working they give you more so people can sell it or get real high and and nod off like every one who is at the clinic ..they all do it unless they are on a correct dossage .under 30-20 mg . And 30 mg of methadone is equal to 80 mg oxy ..and very few people stay at the starting does you can go up 5 mg a day for ever I’ve heard of people at 280 mg of methadone that would kill just about any living creature and equal to about 10 oxy contin 80 mg pills and they up your dose when ever for what ever all you have to say is I dont feel good which means they are broke and want to sell it or they don’t get high any more and any one who says methadone or suboxone dosnt get you high there wrong even if people are doing the rite thing getting clean you are still using just legally by the state so we just leagalize Acadia can have a heroin room … Coke room ..bath salts room .and they can have morgue in the same room just in case

    • Anonymous

      The best part is some how the tax payer got conned into paying the bill so junkies can get high….I’d rather pay for heating assistance then drugs for junkies….

    • They say ignorance is bliss, and obviously you are very ignorant when it comes to this. If you don’t know what you are talking about, than maybe you shouldn’t talk! Every methadone clinic in the state of Maine starts a patient off at 1mg-30mg, depending on use and history. You can go up 1mg-10mg every2-4 days until your dose is adjusted properly. You have to be in the program for at least 90 days with ALL clean urinalysis/blood work from illicit drugs (including marijuana) to take home, 1 dose. Then it gradually goes up (throughout MONTHS) if the patient is compliant. Which also means no other prescriptions, (Yes, every clinic monitors ALL patients prescriptions whether it’s a scheduled drug or antibiotic) No pending legal problems, a stable environment (meaning no use of any drug or alcohol in the home), be at all group sessions and meetings with councilor, not missing any dosing days, has reliable transportation, a working home phone or cell phone, be available at any time to bring in your dose, have it locked up, and many other stipulations! Also the doctor’s now prescribing methadone make you do a blood test (usually once you’ve asked to go past 80mg) to see how your body matabalizes it hours after dosing, in which if there’s to much, your dose is adjusted down, and if it’s not enough, than you can go up. The nurses who give you your dose, can tell if someone is impaired and if they are impaired they will not get dosed, and if the patient is driving they are mandated to call the vehicle into the police department. The methadone clinics in this state have MANY federal & state guidelines they have to follow, in which they do. People don’t walk in there and start off dosing at 250mg and get take homes that day, it is a earned privilege to people who are taking their recovery seriously. Obviously there are people out there who try to “use” the system, but the clinic doesn’t let people continually go there, if they are still using. In every aspect of life someone is out there scamming something, but just because you don’t agree with methadone maintenance doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work for people! There has been a lot of success with it, if there wasn’t, it wouldn’t still be around! 

      • Anonymous

         (usually once you’ve asked to go past 80mg) “exactly” you can just keep going up and up and up …and i think every family in Maine has a direct impact from this crap …. we have all  heard the inside details from all the junkies” 1 per family in Maine” …i think your blinded katie it may say what you think on the brochure but its not how it goes (start at 30 and work your way up for ever) and why would you need any other drugs when you get so much methadone of course you take a clean pee test because what ever is prescribed to you it can be in your urine ….for example if you get prescribed Ritalin , xynax ,and you go to methadone clinic then you can pass your pee test because you are allowed to have that in you urine so every one thinks  your doing so good and have clean pee… i guess by  your definition any way….  clean urine with lots of prescribed drugs  and methadone that we all probably pay for.. so then they get there take homes and there  high does cause there doing so good   ….for all the people that dont abuse this program A++++ guys keep it up and get off that crap……

      • Anonymous

        It WOULD still be around because the state of Maine makes a killing off the clinic!!

      • Anonymous

        There is no reason for these clinics to wean patients from the methadone.  They would lose patients (money).  Oh wait, maybe not, where did these drugs come from in the first place (over medicating anyone who might have a pain).

  • Anonymous

    Sorry 5 mg a week you can go up on dosage no questions asked the junkies words are a trusted thing in rehab or in the clinic I would see methadone more regulated 20 mg should be as high as they can get so I would blame the person who gave her the does and blame her …..one huge thing I want the answer to ……how much methadone was she on if near …..that will answer all kinds of questions …bottom line these methadone patients are on way way way to high of dose

  • Anonymous

    Watch the methadone actions in Calais, I have almost been run off the road by people on the stuff that are running late to get their dose from the clinic. If they use other drugs the clinic ups their dose, nice. Meanwhile we the taxpayer are supplying the stuff and in many cases, the ride to get it!! Do you get paid to drive to work??? HIGH!!!  Even the court system is lenient on drug abusers, it has a program called drug court, and if users can go clean for a set amount of time they get a slap on the wrist for their crimes, graduate and recieve a heros welcome from the liberal judge. No wonder we have the problem we do here in Washington county. Why should the taxpayer suffer from ones own bad choices to start using perscription drugs to get high?

  • Anonymous

    Methadone IS the problem……..if you NEED to be medicated to keep from using drugs it should be in patient…..if they know an hour after the dose they get to tired to function make them stay at the clinic….or better yet….END THIS FAILED PROGRAM that only serves to get junkies high…..

  • Anonymous

    There were
    5500 methadone related deaths in 2007. Methadone represented less than 5% of
    prescribed opiates but was attributed to 1/3 of all opiate related deaths.
    http://www.stopmethadonedeaths.com

    • Anonymous

      So … why are we openingt methadone clinics every 25 miles in Maine?  If a Physcian signs off on a methadone subscritpion …. he should have to notify the Motor Vehicle Department to pull your license.  Simple.  If you’re on methadone you can’t work either.  Try to put an employee on a production line who nods off at 8:45am after having his dose at 6:30am.  Talk about a possible workers comp  accident to himself or others????   Whose responsible then.

      • Anonymous

        because someone is making some serious coin off it….and that’s why local police depts. won’t come out and say that these clinics are causing more problems than they are worth.

      • Anonymous

          So you don’t want methadone patients to work?? I thought the majority of the people on here were opposed to the clinics bc of their taxes being used to pay for their treatment. So if you don’t want these patients working and paying for their own insurance plans to cover the cost of treatment(yes, I know people that do pay for their own treatment, and have full time jobs) are you willing to take that away from them and cover the cost yourself when they have been doing it for years? I understand your safety concerns for others, and that shouldn’t be discounted, however, to take someone’s livelyhood away in this economy simply bc they are trying to beat an addiction seems unfair, especially when they aren’t involving you or your money in any way.

  • Anonymous

    I think that ANY amount of Methadone in your system is enough to make you unable to drive…PERIOD. There are plenty of medical conditions which warrant  this- addiction is another medical condition which to me, says it is too dangerous to let you drive. Judgement & reaction time are affected, as is the fact that you can fall asleep at the wheel . There are too many impaired drivers out there..

  • Anonymous

    Ive said it before. My wife worked at Acadia Hospital. I picked herup for lunch daily when these clowns would be leaving the clinic, behind the wheel after taking their doses. I cant count the number of times i was nearly run into, the amount of accidents i saw from people leaving the clinic…obviously impaired.

    • Anonymous

       Either you’re delusional or you’re lying. Even if it was true that methadone causes impairment for these patients (which it doesn’t) it takes about an hour for methadone to take effect. So by the time the patients leave the clinic it wouldn’t even have taken effect yet and, of course, couldn’t cause accidents.
      I have visited several clinics on countless occasions and not once have I seen anything remotely similar to what you’re describing. Neither have I heard of accidents or near accidents happening at any clinic except for a couple of isolated incidents that didn’t include any patients. Based on these facts I find it highly unlikely that you are telling the truth.

      • Anonymous

        Maybe they were high on something else. I bow to you.

      • Anonymous

        You are sympathetic because it appears you take methadone. You stated youve visited several clinics on countless occasions. Probably all paid for with my hard earned tax dollars. Your welcome. Its my pleasure.

  • Anonymous

    If I’m driving in my car and I have a passenger, I get into an accident and my passenger dies, what  normally happens? Im caught for involuntary manslaughter right? I pay a fine and I do Prison time right? so whats different here? 

    • Anonymous

      ed

    • Guest

      >>>>

  • Get rid of this stuff!  I don’t want to pay for a junkie to get high and the ride to get it.  I know of one guy (second hand) who had his “legal residence” in Machias and would get reimbursement for a “cab ride” from Machias to Bangor and back to get his methadone, but he was actually living in Bangor.  Helluva deal if you ask me! 

  • Anonymous

    People get behind the wheel after taking drugs all the time, and they do so legally. The problem is hardly limited to methadone. I’m willing to bet that the majority of people pulled over for suspected drugged driving have taken either Benadryl or Ambien, not narcotics.

    I think the issue with methadone is allowing a drug addict to take his or her meds at home, where the dose cannot be regulated. If all addicts were required to report to a clinic for a single dose, the drug would be appropriately managed and less likely to be abused. Was that the case with this driver? I have no idea. But it wasn’t that long ago that southern Maine saw a spate of methadone deaths that resulted from people being given take-home doses — doses that they then turned around and sold.

  • This sickens me!  I see this all too often!  Destroying the lives of many while the guilty one lives on getting high everyday on my tax dollars and not having a care in the world.  They get every bit of State Aid they can and sell their food stamps for $.50 on the $ and spend the money on other ways to get high and, DHHS could care less, matter of fact they prefer to have them on welfare as “that is their only means of income”.  I heard this in a child custody case quoted by a DHHS worker in court.  How can they sleep at night knowing that they are putting children in the hands of parents that are going to kill them or worse-commit them to the life they are subjected to daily. Too many parents today are not held responsible for their actions and get away with things like this!  Just HORRIBLE!  RIP Lil Matty!

  • Anonymous

    Her license was suspended indefinitely. She should not have been driving period – methadone or not. Why wasn’t she charged for OAS?

    If your license is suspected indefinitely, then your car should be impounded. Your family and friends should not be lending you their cars either. Period.

    Such a senseless death of such a sweet looking little kid.

  • It seems to me from reading this story that NO LAW would have prevented this accident. There are many laws already in place and apparently this woman broke every one of them previous to the tragedy that left this child dead. Neither is closing down the methadone clinics a viable choice. If an addict does not have the methadone they will simply find some other intoxicant to make it through the day. The problem is the addiction; not the lack of laws nor the equivalency drug therapy.

    We must start treating the addictions instead of just throwing one therapy after another at the symptoms.

    • Anonymous

      thank you-a voice of reason…

  • Anonymous

    9 out of 10 or even 9.9 of 10 methadone patients use other drugs.  THAT is the problem!

  • Anonymous

    Close them all down and let everyone quit cold turkey, like real former addicts did. There were no clinics on cornerss set up years ago so why now? God bless this precious child who had to die because of his own mothers habit. Shame on you and anyone else who doesn’t put their children first.

    • Anonymous

      I beg to differ-back in the ’70s,my brother-in law,who lived in NJ,was a heroin junkie,and worked for the USPS. He was stopped one night for a traffic violation,and was high. When he went to court,the judge offered him jail time or methadone and therapy-and allowing him to keep working.He was on methadone for 2+ years,and was slowly tapered off the meth. He remained clean and sober until his death a few years ago. It was my first introduction to methadone therapy. If it is done right,it can be very effective.Acadia doesn’t do it right,IMHO.

    • Anonymous

      I agree!!! Great Comment!

  • Methadone at the correct dose is effective, and people can live a productive life, in and around the community, if they WANT to. Not every person on prescription drugs are messed up all the time and can’t drive. Every person is a DIFFERENT case! People shouldn’t judge the methadone clinics, when it’s (SOME of) the patients. The chances of the government trying to restrict all people on prescription drugs from driving is probably never going to happen. What happened to this little boy is VERY sad & a tragedy, but everyone should have to take responsibility for there actions when getting behind the wheel. I know if I had my child in a vehicle and I felt tired  I would pull over and rest. Unfortunately, this person didn’t, and will have to live with killing her own child for the rest of her life. If this isn’t a wake up call, then I don’t know what is!

    • Anonymous

      When my tax dollars have to support these people then it becomes my business.

      • Anonymous

        Thank you!! Yes when we are paying for it it does become our business.

        • Ron Fousek

          Yes I would like to know exactly how much of your tax dollars actually go to this?  You would be surprised.

      •  How much are you actually paying?

      • Anonymous

         Fact is that if the clinics did not exist much more of your tax dollars would be spent on dealing with issues surrounding addiction. For every $1 spent on methadone treatment $4-$7 are saved. States don’t allow Medicaid dollars to be used for MMT because they care so much about addicts. They really don’t. They allow the funding and the clinics because they have come to realize that it’s the most cost effective measure out there to deal with opiate addiction. Many other methods have been tried world over and none have shown to be as effective to stop opiate addiction and save society money as methadone and Suboxone maintenance,

        Also, your tax dollars don’t go to support “these people”. Some goes to pay for the treatment for those who qualify for Mainecare but the majority of methadone patients support themselves. That’s a fact.

        • Anonymous

          Not the ones I personally know.  They live in subsidized housing, get great medical coverage, food stamps, taxi money to Acadia, and work under the table.  I work and pay taxes, have no medical insurance, we eat as cheaply as possible, and wake up to a chilly house every morning.

  • Anonymous

    Then you also have these stoners smoking their “medicine” all day.  Do they give up their right to drive?  I find it funny that whenever they show photos of these “patients” buying medicinal marijuana, they all seem to be in their 20’s.  So much pain at such a young age…

    • Anonymous

      I have not see any photos of Maine medical marijuana patients at dispensaries. Please share these photos.

      There are “stoners” and then there are medicinal marijuana patients. Please don’t confuse the two and please hold back your judgment for those whose suffering is relieved through this natural plant.

    • Ron Fousek

      And you are able to make a diagnosis based on what degree?

  • Anonymous

    So sorry for the families loss. Good luck

  • Anonymous

    So sorry for the families loss.. best of luck to you.

  • This is the second article I’ve read on here in the last few days that talked about a motor safety issue in depth on a personal level, and then on a level of policy making, but made no attempt through the whole thing to even start to try and quantify the actual severity of the problem.

    I read the news because I feel the need to be informed. This is really important to me. PLEASE take this job more seriously.

  • We not only need a “drugged driving standard” but a “drugged parenting standard”…It’s absolutely upsetting that pregnant mothers can take drugs during their pregnancy and deliver drug affected children who may or may not become future wards of the state in the foster care system. I have not seen criminal charges against mothers who take drugs during pregnancy but if that same mother administered drugs post delivery, it would be abuse. Where’s the logic! Our tax dollars at work providing continued methadone treatment to drug users while tragedies continue to occur – driving with drugs, children born drug addicted and have to be weaned off the drugs while our tax dollars pay for methadone clinics. And, that’s not counting the foster care system, attorneys for each parent, the child, the Dept. of Human Services, transportation to clinics and for visitation, mileage reimbursements, supervised visitation fees, court time, etc. 

  • A W

    Laws already exist that deal with this issue.  It is illegal to drive under the influence of any substance that inhibits your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.   I am extremely saddened by the loss of such a young life.  

  • Anonymous

    Methadone is never the answer, talk about a cowardly move. If you’re big enough to get on drugs then be big enough to get off them. Makes me sick to think people can get their “dose” and drive their children around.

    •  typical ignorance. Is it possible she was using other narcotics with the methadone? The only the wrong with  methadone is that the clinics don’t do enough to get the patient off the methadone.

    • Anonymous

       Cowardly? What the heck does that have to do with anything? Choosing to start methadone treatment has little if anything to do with being unable to get off drugs. It has to do with the inability to not stay off them due to intense overwhelming cravings and unrelenting depression, etc. Most methadone patients have been “big enough” to get off drugs several times. But in order to remain off drugs and live a normal life some people need medication that stops the cravings and depression. This is why some methadone patients have to remain on methadone for long periods of time, even for life, because without it the cravings and depression comes right back and often leads to relapse. It’s actually very brave, “big” if you will, for those struggling with addiction to admit that their brains are so damaged that they need medication – a very misunderstood, controversial and despised medication at that.

      I’m sorry that you get sick to think about people driving after dosing. If you were educated about the issue you wouldn’t feel sick though. You would understand that addicts on methadone do not become impaired from their medication. Methadone patients on a stable dose who do not abuse other drugs function no differently than anyone else. There are several studies that back this up.

      It’s extremely sad that this little boy died. It should never have happened. But right now there is no evidence, just speculation, that the accident had anything to do with the mother being on methadone. Correlation does not indicate causation. It’s entirely possible that the accident was caused by fatigue – something that is the cause of a lot of accidents.

  • I can’t believe the blatant stupidity and terrible judgements that I have read in most of the comments in the forum. If there is anyone to blame it is the DEA and other branches of the US government that are allowing these terrorists to bring these addictive drugs into our country in the first place. Not to mention the Big Pharma and all the doctors and patients that are willing dole out and sell addictive pain and anxiety meds for profit. Drugs are a form of terrorism and while our government are off fighting pretty much non-existing terrorist orginizations and instilling fear into all of us pure narcotics are pouring in at an alarming rate to some of our busiest ports and over our borders. Drugs are the real terror and they are causing disruption in our families,schools, and so on. Because of this we need to have clinics and more drugs like methadone to help people that have been let down by the DEA and CIA. This is just one big circle of terror that which the US government has caused by not enforcing their own international laws. The state and federal government owes it to the people to help the ones that WANT help. Please do some research before pulling illogical words out of your butts. That is all.

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