The death of Jeffrey Payne is an alarm that the methadone program needs a re-examination to keep it off the street, says St. John’s musician Crash Jones, who takes the addiction therapy drug.
“Methadone is a very good drug for people who need it,” said Jones, who is on the program for the third time.
“Now is the time to make sure we fix it. When there are more people (on the program), it’s harder to fix.”
Jones was moved by the story of Mary Payne this week in The Telegram. Payne has been speaking out about the death of her 17-year-old son in March. She believes his death was caused by him obtaining methadone on the street.
Jeffrey was not in the opiate addiction drug therapy program.
Some longstanding patients who use methadone are allowed to take their “carries” home rather than drink them in front of a pharmacist, and the drug is reportedly being sold for as much as $120 each on the street.
“How could this get in the hands of people?” Jones asked, becoming emotional over the teen’s death and the realization of what his own mother went through with Jones’ drug use.
“Seeing that story hurt me. … It should be stopped now.
“We need to reign it in a bit or something. (Methadone) shouldn’t be on the street.”
Jones said he was initially on methadone for OxyContin addiction around 2004, travelling to Grand Falls-Windsor for treatment.
He said he was kicked off because he used marijuana to quell the effects of the methadone, as he didn’t think his dose was right.
Jones’ second fall off the methadone program occurred as he tried to quit it too quickly, against his doctor’s advice. He wanted to taper off so he could work without having to go to the pharmacy daily.
Jones started using OxyContin again habitually in February 2011.
Now Jones wants to give methadone the full try that eluded him the first two times. He’d been a recreational drug user prior to trying OxyContin.
“I need to be on methadone three or four years to stabilize myself from the chaos of the last
15-20 years,” said Jones, who’s recording with his new group Crash Jones Band.
He’ll turn 38 in July.
“By the time I am 40, I want to be coming off methadone or done with it. But I’m not rushing it,” he said.
Near Jones as he spoke was a ball cap with the Major League Baseball logo of the Oakland As, his favourite team.
“That hat there is the first thing I bought myself in a while,” said Jones.
“All my money I had would go on drugs. The simple things like that hat in life, it’s real life. Little things like that you don’t experience when you are in the depths of addiction.”