Topic: CSDAP Original Content
Articles and content authored by the Center for the Study of Drug Addiction Policy.
MAT: Overdose Prevention or Treatment Leading to Real Recovery?
Medication-assisted treatment is America's primary offering for those who are addicted. But implicit in the word “treatment” is recovery from an illness or other condition—as in "not suffering from that condition any longer." Is medication-assisted treatment really a recovery-oriented therapy? Or is its primary role preventing a person from relapse and overdose? These are questions those involved in addiction recovery should be asking.
Will the White House’s “X waiver” elimination have unintended consequences?
According to an article in Politico, the White House held a ceremony on January 24, 2023 to sign the Mainstreaming Addiction Treatment (MAT) Act. This Act eliminated the special training requirement for doctors and other health practitioners who wanted to prescribe medication-assisted treatment to the opioid-addicted. While making medication-assisted treatment more broadly available could be a positive move, does it take into account the care that the opioid-addicted really need ?
INTERVIEW: Dr. Richard Amerling on the Use of Evidence-Based Medicine in Addiction Recovery
Dr. Amerling was recently featured on EpochTV discussing how the medical profession has been destroyed. In that feature, he said, "The model that we have adopted now is to not reverse the disease, but to rather treat those diseases with pharmaceutical products. Evidence-based medicine…says there is only one way to treat something, based on ‘guidelines’ that authorities turned into enforceable standards. If you don’t follow these guidelines, you’re not practicing standard of care anymore and you are an outlier and you are subject to censorship, deplatforming and delicensing. That’s one size fits all. Which everyone used to agree was the antithesis of good care.” CSDAP interviewed to Dr. Amerling to get his viewpoint on the use of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in the field of addiction medicine. Regarding this topic, he commented, "Sole reliance on MAT drugs is a fig leaf. It doesn’t really solve a problem, it just creates a different problem."
The Redefinition of Addiction Recovery Terms: Good or Bad?
One of the ways a subject can be altered—slowly, imperceptibly—is through a gradual redefinition of the terms used in that field. This shift may be glacially slow and can seem to be for all the right reasons. But over time, it can change the way people talk about and even understand the subject. Is this "redefinition creep" that is ongoing today in the field of addiction and recovery broadening our understanding or making it narrower? Is it positive or negative?
Can the scope of addiction treatment be changed with a single word?
Government agencies like the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) are continuously involved in setting the standards for treatment of addiction. They publish guidelines for both drug rehab facilities and those seeking rehab. Therefore, the exact wording of their guidelines is of utmost importance. A subtle shift could result in unintended and undesirable changes in treatment.
International Recovery Day is September 30th!
CSDAP supports Recovery Month and International Recovery Day, September 30th. These are annual observances dedicated to globally promoting all pathways to recovery from addiction and to educate the public about the value of recovery. We commend groups like Faces & Voices of Recovery (FAVOR) that put a lot of effort into promoting and celebrating these events.
BOOK REVIEW: American Cartel: Inside the Battle to Bring Down the Opioid Industry
Writer Karen Hadley contributed a review this book by Scott Higham and Sari Horwitz. The first half of American Cartel tells the story of how the DEA was forced to change by The Alliance, a cartel of drug manufacturers who had no intention of letting the DEA change anything about their business model. And Joe Rannazzisi stood in the way of their being able to do business exactly as they chose. So he had to go. And the only way to accomplish that goal was through changing the law in America that enabled him to do his job. So that’s exactly what they did.
Making the Case for Multiple Pathways to Recovery
The typical coverage of addiction treatment and recovery tends to obscure the fact that many people recover from addiction. While the pain and anguish experienced by the families and friends of those who do not recover is undeniable, it is likewise undeniable that many do recover. To the casual observer, who only follows popular depictions, this might not be apparent.