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Marijuana Vs. Methadone: Methadone Kills - Marijuana SavesDr. Phillip Leveque Salem-News.com
[NOTE: I was a Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology for 25 years.]
(PORTLAND, OR) - My recent article on this subject, July 24th 2012, brought in the most curious comment, inferring that I didn’t know what I was talking about regarding Methadone.
First of all, I will confess that I don’t know all about it but I know plenty. It was first synthesized in 1939 at the I.G. Farben Laboratories in Germany. Farben in German means ‘Dyes’ and it was their custom to test ALL compounds for medical use. Sulfa drugs and several pain killers were early discoveries! They needed a new pain killer for the war in case Opium for Morphine would not be available. They also needed Anti-Spasmodics, like Atropine for the same reason. The first name for Methadone was Va10820, which means it had that number when studied first in 1942. It was found to be good for pain and spasms.
Some reports say that it was used by the German Military but it had a long half life and injured patients were sedated for up to 15 hours and did not want to go back to war. Medical remarks at the time said it caused “lethargy, apathy and decreased willingness to engage in combat.”
One of the main uses was to get patients off Morphine, etc. because it did work well for that. It can be given orally and it was much cheaper.
It was introduced by Eli Litly Company in 1947 and my boss, Professor Dr. Norman David at U of Oregon Medical School, was one of the first to prescribe it for a pain killer but also to get Opiate addicts off their drugs.
Now to get to Ms. Heather Grace, who complained of my ignorance about Methadone. Methadone is cheaper and has a longer action than Opiates or Opioids but may be used just as them with NO special training. I wrote my article based upon a story in The New York Times and if she has trouble with their statistics; write a letter to the Editor.
Marijuana gives better relief than almost all Opiates and Opioids with the possible exception of Heroin, Oxycodone and maybe Dilaudid but those are highly addicting. Marijuana is NOT.
I may have inadvertently stated that Vietnam wounded were the first to use it for pain. I should have said “in the modern era”. It was used like crazy in the 1960’s but as an euphoriant and hallucinogen. Before 1900 Cannabis drugs were used for many medical conditions, including pain, as it is today.
It is best for all of us to remember that the very potent Opiates and Opioids are also the most lethal drugs of the whole caboodle.
Thank you, Ms. Grace, for your comments. You do know a lot about it.
________________________________________Dr. Phillip Leveque has degrees in chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, toxicology and minors in physiology and biochemistry. He was a Professor of Pharmacology, employed by the University of London for 2 years, during which time he trained the first doctors in Tanzania. After training doctors, he became an Osteopathic Physician, as well as a Forensic Toxicologist. Before any of that, Phil Leveque was a Combat Infantryman in the U.S. Army in WWII. He suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 60 years after the war, and specialized in treating Veterans with PTSD during his years as a doctor in Molalla, Oregon. Do you have a question, comment or story to share with Dr. Leveque?
Email him: ASK DR. LEVEQUE<
More information on the history of Dr. Leveque can be found in his book, General Patton's Dogface Soldier of WWII about his own experiences "from a foxhole". Order the book by mail by following this link: DOGFACE SOLDIER OF WWII If you are a World War II history buff, you don't want to miss it.
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