Monthly Archives: August 2017

What I Learned From a Police Officer Ride-a-long

Group facilitator, Gail, was given the opportunity to witness first-hand what it is like to be a police officer in Duluth, MN. It was an exciting ride as she witnessed a drug bust and got a glimpse of the opiate scene in that community. Listen in to this opiate recovery support group as they share their experiences with the law.

Discussion Guide:

Has your clinic been under scrutiny by the police and licensing bodies for poor behavior?

Are you aware of improper, unsafe, or illegal activity within your clinic that puts the clinic or other patients at risk? If so, have you intervened and informed the clinic staff?

If you saw such behavior, would you know who to report it to?

As a person who purchased illegal substances from drug dealers, do you have bad feelings toward them?

Did anyone suffer injury, overdose or death from a substance that you provided? Do you regret it?

If so, how do you cope with other's suffering because of something that you had a hand in?

Should the police set up stings to get drug dealers off the street?

What are your thoughts about the criminalization of drugs? What are the pros and cons for each class of drugs?

If you were aware of a drug dealer who mixed fentanyl and carfentanil with heroin to unsuspecting buyers, would you intervene?


What’s the Purpose of Support Groups?

Should you talk about your addiction war stories? Some people believe that telling your addiction history is not helpful. They fear that it could cause cravings and relapse to themselves and others. On the other hand, isn't your support group the appropriate place to talk out your trauma? It can be healing. Listen in to this opiate recovery support group as they discuss the rationale and goals of support groups.

Discussion Guide:

Have you felt that some of your group members have glorified their drug related behavior in the past?

If so, has that triggered a craving or relapse for you?

What are the pros and cons of telling your story to other group members?

What do you think the rationale and goals of support groups are?

What is the most helpful thing that you have experienced from your support group?

Supplemental Reading:

Group Interventions for Treatment of Psychological Trauma,, see page 32-33.

Is It OK to Stay on Maintenance Medication for Life?

A podcast listener asked the group a question. Do any of them want to stay on a maintenance medication indefinitely? He feels a subtle pressure to wean off his medication by his treatment clinic and wonders if this is true for others. Is it OK to stay on Medication Assisted Treatment forever? Listen in to this opiate support group talk about their progress, intentions and hopes for the future.


Discussion Guide:

If you are on a maintenance medication for opiate recovery, have you thought about whether you want to wean off your medication?

Have you experienced pressure from your clinic, or others, to either stay in Medication Assisted Treatment, or pressure to wean off?

What is your personal preference for how long you should stay on MAT?

How do you handle the stigma against MAT?

Do you believe there is any long term harm from staying on MAT indefinitely?

Are you familiar with the Tapering Inventory tool? If not, see Tapering From Methadone (below)


Supplemental OpiateSupportGroup.Com Podcast Listening on When or Whether You Should Stop MAT:

Ask The Expert: Dr. Mary Wenzel 

Should You Stop? Criteria for Ceasing Medication Assisted Treatment

What You Should Know About Methadone

Tapering From Methadone