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
In our interview with Dr. Amerling he expressed concerns about the pharmaceutical industry's dominance over medicine, the limitations of evidence-based medicine, and the use of medication-assisted treatment in addiction medicine. He also criticizes medical schools for compressing basic sciences and promoting arbitrary guidelines over critical thinking. Dr. Amerling advocates for physicians to take back their authority, prioritize patients' lifestyle choices and abstinence in addiction medicine, and to avoid over-reliance on pharmaceuticals.
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.
Despite critics, is AA effective?
In March 2020, Stanford Medicine News Center released a report addressing that question. A Stanford researcher and two collaborators conducted an extensive review of AA studies. Their findings stated that the AA fellowship helps more people achieve sobriety than therapy does.