Opiate addiction is a unique disorder, that requires specialized care. Among other things, this means that opioid-dependent individuals need an outpatient treatment program just for them, tailored to their needs alone. This may sound ridiculous because chemical-addiction is chemical-addiction, but there’s more to it than that.
Just because nearly every treatment program treats all addictions, doesn’t make that approach the best course of action. Certainly, opioid-addicts achieve recovery in general “addiction treatment”, but statistically their rate of success is far below that of their alcoholic, benzodiazepine, and stimulant-addicted counterparts. This is for a variety of reasons…
Research tells us that abstinence-only treatment, in which addicted persons are made to stop absolutely all potentially mood-altering substances is not effective for those with acute opioid dependence.
The majority of opioid-addicts relapse and frequently die following an attempt at total abstinence, though some do “make it”. This isn’t to say that the solution is to continue recreational drug use or to be on MAT forever. Rather, research has proven that a combination of opioid replacement medications like Suboxone or Naltrexone (for a period of time) plus structured and comprehensive therapy, and peer-support, leads to unmatched success rates. This is the beauty of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT).
The problem with integrating MAT into traditional treatment is more than just the difference in treatment approaches… The problem is stigma. Traditional treatment, which often uses 12-step as the primary intervention, preaches total abstinence. Unfortunately, even if treatment is segregated between those practicing abstinence and those on MAT, the patients on MAT will exist in an unsupportive environment. The patients practicing abstinence routinely stigmatize those on MAT, leading to heightened stress, a feeling of being “different”, and even the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
At Colorado Medication Assisted Recovery, we are completely dedicated to treating individuals suffering from opioid dependence and co-occurring addictions and mental health conditions. This enables us to cultivate a community of supportive individuals, all with a similar story. Whether a patient does a rapid-taper and gets totally off of MAT medications, or they remain on it for a longer period of time, every CMAR patients has “been there” and can relate to one another.
Learn More at www.Colorado-Recovery.com or call (720) 778-2627