In order to increase the effectiveness of the ongoing war on AIDS/HIV being waged in Bali, the Commission for the Control and Prevention of AIDS (KPA) is preparing to open a methadone clinic.
According to a leader in AIDS/HIV prevention in Bali, Professor Dr. Dewa Nyoman Wirawan, quoted on Tempo Interaktif,, the clinic will greatly facilitate methadone treatment on the island.
What is Methadone?
A proven safe and effective treatment for those undergoing narcotic withdrawal and dependence, methadone is a synthetic narcotic that has been used for treating opioid addiction for more than 30 years. Methadone's ability to "occupy" dopamine receptors allows addicts to eliminate their need for heroin as a step in escaping their drug-dependent behavior.
Taken orally twice a day, methadone helps heroin addicts avoid painful withdrawal symptoms. Cravings for heroine and related drugs are reduced, while patients learn to live without the euphoric rush provided by their earlier drug habit as they adopt new behavior less disruptive than that common among heroin users.
While methadone users trade one opioid dependency for another, methadone patients are able to slowly, sometimes over a period of years, reduce their dependency on methadone and affect a complete recovery.
The Bali Methadone Clinic
The total estimated cost of the Bali Methadone Clinic is Rp. 900 million (approximately US$100,000), including the cost of methadone pills for the first two years. 45% of this total cost will be covered by the Government of Bali with the remainder by Global Fund - an international assistance agency.
Currently methadone treatment in Bali is limited to the Sanglah General Hospital (RSUP) and a program for drug users at Bali's Kerobokan Prison.
Because of the ever-present danger that those in a methadone treatment program will try to dissolve their daily dosage into a liquid form for injection into their bloodstreams, methadone is always ingested in the presence of a Doctor or other medical personnel.
AIDS/HIV in Bali
Medical authorities in Bali estimate that there are 3,000 HIV sufferers in Bali, 1,900 of which were infected while using intravenous illicit drugs.
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