Training on Drug Dependency and Community Based Methadone Maintenance Therapy



Dr Thein Han

“. . . . I think it is very easy to quit using heroin, but to stop using methadone is more difficult; people say methadone is also addictive . . . . ” . . . . .(a client from Hpakant)
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Providing correct educational messages to people considering or seeking methadone maintenance drug treatment (MMT) is critically important. There are many aspects that clients starting MMT need to know on the use and the challenges such as for example adherence to drug treatment, myths do not help.
Staff working with people who inject and/or use drugs and providing the care and support of users in drug treatment are facing challenging and demanding circumstances.
Understanding drug dependency which typically include a strong desire to take the drug, difficulties in controlling its use, persisting in its use despite harmful consequences, a higher priority given to drug use than to other activities and obligations, increased tolerance, and sometimes a physical withdrawal is therefore critical for our staff.
Dealing with drug use as social phenomena and drug dependency as a cluster of behavioural, psycho-social, cognitive, disconnection and neuro-physiological factors, aggravated by repeated substance use, needs constant staff and clients capacity building.
By approaching dependency in an holistic way AHRN is able to support our clients who are facing drug dependency and their daily struggles to deal with controlling its drug use.
AHRN is actively participating methadone maintenance therapy program of Ministry of Health & Sports in a multidisciplinary way where the whole team from medical staff to psychosocial counselors and (peer) treatment supporters and the clients work together to find a way to stability, respect and positive change.
“Training on Drug Dependency and Community Based Methadone Maintenance Therapy” was conducted on 13 and 14 May, 2017 at Hpakant Township. The two-days training was attended actively by 38 AHRN staffs from Hpakant, Seng Taung, Lone Khinn and Waimaw projects. The training was disseminated by Dr. Thein Han (Program Coordinator-Drug Treatment) and Dr. Thuya Tun (Medical Supervisor-MMT).