Medications have been shown in numerous studies to help people in treatment transition through withdrawal to recovery, reduce their risk of relapse and potential overdose, and progress to live healthy, fulfilling lives. In fact, a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association — a peer-reviewed journal — supported the plan to use cannabis as a weapon in the fight against self-harming drug use.
Perhaps the most notable endorsement of MAT was the American Medical Association’s recent commendation of the Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and his plan to tackle the opioid epidemic. Azar unambiguously embraced MAT, saying, “Medication-assisted treatment works. The evidence on this is voluminous and ever-growing.”
This comment was further endorsed by Patrice Harris, chair of the American Medical Association Opioid Task Force. “Secretary Azar addressed not only the importance of MAT, but also the importance of dealing with stigma attached to addiction and addiction therapy,” said Harris.
The current structure of the vast majority of rehabs is to follow a 12-step model. The debate about such programs rages on, but their efficacy is clear. While striving for a spiritual shift is valuable, and while millions of people have found aid, comfort, and success in 12-step life, it’s not for everyone. Not everybody responds to it.
The issue isn’t so much that 12-step philosophy is “wrong,” but that the culture around 12-step programs doesn’t allow for medication. Many who use medication feel marginalized, shamed, and disconnected for using such assistance.
Remedy Recovery will always support the pursuit of faith or spiritual development, but will also support the decision to not seek either. Our skilled staff will always collaborate with individuals. With that said, we know that MAT is a tremendous help for many people and that the decision to use it should never be made based on lack of knowledge about medication or shame for taking it.
As an example, people living with diabetes have work to do. They have a tough road to manage the disease with diet, exercise and lifestyle choices. But they also need medication and compliance with it. For many people living with a substance use disorder, it’s the same thing. There is work to be done, there are changes and commitments to be made, and medication is also a part of that plan. The truth is that people who use medication have found great success meeting their recovery goals. Medication-assistance is first and foremost a medical issue.
Remedy Recovery lives by the code of letting our doctors practice medicine. Medication may be used only in detox, continue post-detox, or be used as an ongoing protocol. You are an individual and your recovery will be individual and self-directed too.
Most people who present with a substance use disorder have secondary issues that may or may not be treated effectively with the use of medication. Remedy Recovery is a true dual-diagnostic program, ever-vigilant that impaired drug use is a complex issue and is very likely fueled by many components.
When people ask, “Isn’t medication just switching addictions?” Our view is: Absolutely not. Drug use and drug abuse are very different issues. For example, most people find relief from over-the-counter pain medications. But taken inappropriately, they can be lethal.
The solution to drug misuse may be abstinence, or it may be appropriate use of medications. We believe the key is eliminating self-harm.