In light of the Methadone Accountability Package proposed earlier this month, members of the Allegheny County Overdose Initiative held a meeting in Oakland to discuss overdose prevention strategies. They heard from speakers Robert Newman and Holly Catania, who do overdose prevention work in New York and have collaborated with members of the initiative here.
The Methadone Accountability Package includes bills that would keep track of methadone deaths and prohibit driving while on methadone. It also includes controversial bills that would require drug-users be users for a certain length of time to be eligible and would require two failed non-methadone attempts to get off of drugs before becoming eligible for a prescription.
Methadone deaths have been rising for the last ten years but Newman said that was due to doctors prescribing methadone for pain.