Re: “LePage says dropping methadone coverage is sound, but doctors disagree” (Feb. 5):

I have been following Gov. LePage’s proposals for dealing with the opioid addiction epidemic that we’re in the grip of here in Maine.

I am a counselor who works in the trenches of opioid addiction treatment and am very confused about the information I am seeing in the media that is quoted as fact.

There was a time when if a public figure were going to make a claim, it was a given that he would also provide data, statistics or research that supported his claims. Most of what I hear from the governor about the Suboxone-versus-methadone debate just does not fit into the day-to-day experiences I see in my work.

I’ve worked in both Suboxone and methadone programs, and I see them as different programs for people with different treatment needs. Saying that Suboxone is the preferred modality of treatment by the medical field is not supported by any of the addiction medicine research.

I also would like to see the numbers that show how the state would save $800,000 by doing away with methadone clinics and treating everyone with Suboxone.

Suboxone is more expensive than methadone, and many doctors who are licensed to prescribe it have chosen not to because people who need to take Suboxone are a difficult population to work with and do not mix well in doctors’ general practices.

Law enforcement in many cities and towns reports that Suboxone is the most abused prescription drug on the streets. Look at the recent incident with Suboxone at the state prison in Warren.

The path the governor is taking just flat out is not supported by research, and it’s going to force people into the most expensive and ineffective form of treatment: programs behind prison walls.

Timothy Goding

Old Orchard Beach