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.
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 ?
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.