Monthly Archives: April 2016

Not Everyone Is Appropriate for Medication Assisted Treatment

As much as we would like to help every opiate addict, not everyone is appropriate for medication assisted treatment . Some people are not allowed admission and others are administratively discharged.  Who do you think is not appropriate for MMT? Listen to a recovery group discuss who is not suitable for treatment.

Discussion Guide:

Who should not be in a medication assisted treatment program?

What is the criteria for admission to MMT?

Are there some medical conditions that would preclude someone from admission? Examples?

Are there some mental health issues that would keep someone from treatment? Examples?

Are there certain behaviors that are not allowed in MMT?

Supplemental Reading:

Who Should NOT Be in Medication-Assisted Therapy with either Methadone or Buprenorphine?

Is Total Abstinence Really Necessary in Recovery?

Complete and total abstinence from all mood altering substances allows a period of healing. The brain needs time to rest, habits are extinguished over time, and time transforms a person psychologically and physically. But not everyone in recovery from opiates believes that you have to be free from all substances. They may think it is sufficient to be free from their drug of choice, such as heroin or pain pills, while continuing to use alcohol or other drugs. Is total abstinence really necessary in recovery? Listen to people in this recovery group discuss their opinions on abstinence.

Discussion Guide:

Have you found that the use of other drugs, including alcohol, put you at risk of relapsing to opiates?

Do you choose to be free from all substances, or just opiates?  Which substances are you hanging on to? Why?

Do you still rely on drugs or alcohol to get through life’s hardships?

Do you have sufficient recovery tools to get through difficulties?

Supplemental Reading:

The University of New Mexico, Center on Alcoholism, Substance Abuse, and Addictions (CASAA) Readiness Ruler,


Credit and appreciation is given to author, Jason M. S. for his article “Complete Abstinence”. However, his identification is withheld for purposes of confidentiality.


Communities Can Be Helpful or Hurtful

Drug use does not exist in a vacuum. Drug abuse occurs within a community. That community can be hurtful in some ways, but can also become a source of renewal. Author Jason M. S. wrote that addicts are vulnerable people in certain communities of people. It is wise for the recovering addict to seek out a community of other individuals in recovery with common intent. One must ‘find their tribe’ in a sense. Listen to a group of people in recovery talk about their struggles and their successes.

Discussion Guide:

Prior to your recovery, did you use substances with others, or alone?

Did you change your circle of friends and social activities in order to refrain from drug use?

How did you cope with the judgment of community members who knew of your addiction?

Now that you are in recovery, have you established healthy friendships and activities?

If not, how do you cope with loneliness and boredom?

Have you found your tribe, so to speak, in your recovery community?


Credit and appreciation is given to author, Jason M. S. for his article “The Importance of Community in Recovery”. However, his identification is withheld for purposes of confidentiality.



Narcan Administration Training

We recently learned of the deaths of two people whom we knew and loved, from heroin overdoses. Opioid overdose happens too often. Narcan, also known as Naloxone, can reverse the effects of an overdose of heroin or some types of painkillers. Paramedics and emergency room doctors have used it for years to save lives. We recommend that you have it available in the case of an overdose emergency for yourself, your family member or a friend who takes opiates. Speak to your doctor to access Narcan.  A kit that contains an injectable form of Naloxone or a nasal spray version is available for use. This podcast features a training session on how to respond to an overdose. Before listening to the podcast, please download and complete the Overdose Awareness and Use of Naloxone Test. Then download SCARE ME. Use these forms to follow the discussion.

Today’s podcast is dedicated to these two people and their families.


Supplemental Materials:



Overdose Awareness and Use of Naloxone Test
SAMHSA Opioid Overdose Toolkit 

Setting Goals and Achieving Milestones Can Prevent Relapse

Each day of sobriety is an important victory. Early in recovery, you count the days that you’ve been drug free. But in middle stages of recovery, the excitement wears off.  Achieving drug abstinence is only the first step in recovery. The next step is to rebuild a stable and fully functioning life. Setting goals and achieving milestones can keep you motivated.

Discussion Guide:

Do you count your days of sobriety?

Did you become stagnated in your recovery process?

Do you mark sobriety milestones with a symbol of celebration such as a medallion, chip or pin?

Once you reached a period of sobriety, did you have difficulty attaining the next level of functioning in your life, such as rebuilding a stable life?

What are your talents, passions and skills? Do you know your personality traits and core values? These form the basis of your life goals.

Supplemental Reading:

The World Needs You To Do What You Love, by Arina Nikitina

Credit and appreciation is given to author, Jason M. S. for his article “The Importance of Setting Goals and Milestones”. However, his identification is withheld for purposes of confidentiality.