Tag Archives: MAT

White House Opioid Commission Top Recommendations to President Trump

The United States is facing an opioid overdose epidemic. We look to our government to alleviate this crisis. Michael Botticelli was an American public official who served as the director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) from March 2014 until the end of President Obama's term. Since that time, the Trump administration has had difficulty filling that office. Listen in to this opiate recovery support group as they discuss their opinions of this office and public policy recommendations.

Discussion Guide:

What qualifications do you believe a Drug Czar should possess to be effective in that role?

What government policies could have helped your recovery?

What recommendations would you make to President Trump to alleviate the opioid epidemic?

Supplemental Reading:

Robert O'Harrow, Jr, Meet the 24-year-old Trump Campaign Worker Appointed to Help Lead the Government's Drug Policy Office, http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/meet-the-24-year-old-trump-campaign-worker-appointed-to-help-lead-the-governments-drug-policy-office/2018/01/13/abdada34-f64e-11e7-91af-31ac729add94_story.html?utm_term=.698ba37de7f3

Mary Louise Kelly, White House Opioid Commission Presents Final Recommendations to President Trump, http://www.npr.org/2017/11/01/561427911/white-house-opioid-commission-presents-final-recommendations-to-president-trump

Aly Semigran, New Strategy Protects Police Dogs from Opioid Overdoses, http://www.petmd.com/news/health-science/new-strategy-protects-police-dogs-opioid-overdoses-35946

Counteracting Media Bias and Sensationalism

Sensationalism is a type of editorial bias in the media in which events and topics are over-hyped to catch attention. This misrepresentation often happens in the case of addictions in general and with heroin dependent people in particular. Many news features and photographs are designed to shock. Certainly there are unethical addiction treatment centers but the vast majority of facilities are professional and closely follow federal and state regulations. Photos of the opioid crisis feature IV needles and people passed out or dead. So what can be done to reverse this negative perception of this disease and treatment? Listen in to this opiate recovery support group as they discuss their experiences and opinions.

Discussion Guide:

Have you read negative portrayals of addiction treatment in the news more often than hopeful and inspiring stories?

Would you agree that the majority of photos pertaining to the opioid crisis perpetuate a negative perception of people dependent upon opioids?

Often heroin addiction is depicted in Hollywood movies in a way that sensationalizes and glamorizes an addiction lifestyle. Why do you think this is?

 Do you believe there is a bias against treatment clinics as disreputable?

What are the costs to the recovery community of this bias?

What can be done to counteract this bias?

Supplemental Reading:

Julie Miller, Behavioral Healthcare Executive, http://www.behavioral.net/blogs/julie-miller/ethics/how-counteract-media-bias-against-treatment-centers

Group Member Profiles: What’s Their Story?

Our group received an email this week from Dan. He wrote "I have listened to every one of your podcasts and I really enjoy them. The one thing I have noticed is that we never learn about the stories of how the people in the discussion got addicted in the first place. It would be nice if any of the members would be willing to talk about their histories. Keep up the good work and thank you for what you all do." Dan asked for it, and we delivered. Listen in to hear three group members share their stories.

Discussion Guide:

What is your addiction story?

Describe your life before addiction.

Describe your life during active addiction.

Describe your recovery process.

What is your biggest regret?

What advise would you give others?

What do you hope for in the future?

 

 

It Is Unethical and Inhumane To Withhold Narcan (Naloxone)

A stigma against people who abuse substances exists. Most often it is subtle, but now and then it is loud and ugly. Sheriff Richard Jones in Butler County, Ohio said that he will not equip his deputies with Narcan. "My officers don't carry Narcan, nor will they". He will change his position only if he is court ordered to begin carrying Narcan. Also in Ohio, Dan Picard, Councilman from Middletown, proposed a two strikes and you're out policy. He suggested that the council explore the possibility of denying emergency medical services to people who have sought overdose intervention twice before. Listen in to this group of addicts share their opinions on the matter.

Discussion Guide:

Have you overdosed? If so, were you revived with Narcan? How would you describe the benefits of Narcan to someone who is not familiar with it?

Have you experienced a stigma as a result of having a drug dependency? Please describe it.

If you, a close friend or a family member were denied Narcan and died as a consequence, what steps would you take to seek justice? And what steps would you take to ensure it doesn't happen again?

What are the underlying values of people who would withhold Narcan?

As the costs associated with overdoses increases, how do you think communities or the overdose patients should pay for it?

Some people think that withholding emergency medical response to overdose patients is manslaughter and premeditated murder. Do you agree or disagree?

Supplemental Reading:

Nick Wing, Sheriff In Heart of Ohio's Opioid Epdemic Refuses to Carry Overdose Reversal Drug, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/richard-jones-butler-county_us_595fb129e4b02e9bdb0c3b78

Corky Siemaszko, Ohio Councilman Sparks Fury After Asking If EMS Can Stop Responding to Overdoses, http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/americas-heroin-epidemic/ohio-councilman-sparks-fury-after-asking-if-ems-can-stop-n778711

What You Should Know About Methadone

Opioid addiction and overdose deaths are an epidemic. Methadone treatment for this epidemic is the treatment of choice. And yet, the stigma surrounding this effective medication keeps people from getting the help they need. Listen to this opiate support group discuss their experience of methadone.

Discussion Guide:

1. Methadone has been used to help treat heroin addiction and other opioid use disorders for over 50 years. Where and why was it developed? When was it first used to treat addiction?

2. Methadone is the most successful treatment option for opioid misuse, period. What research and statistics back up this assertion?

3. Methadone is a medical treatment for a medical condition. Why wouldn't you treat it with a medicine?

4. Propaganda and stigma prevent many people from seeking MAT and can contribute to people leaving treatment early. Has the stigma against Methadone caused you to consider tapering your dose for a premature discharge?

5. Relapse is much less likely to result in a fatal overdose because Methadone provides a protective barrier. What is meant by a protective barrier?

6. Methadone, as a controlled substance, is one of the most tightly-regulated medications in the United States. And yet, a stigma persists that it is easily abused. Why?

7. Methadone isn't right for everyone. Who would not be appropriate for Methadone assisted treatment?

Supplemental Reading:

Jeremy Galloway, 7 Things You Need to Know About Methadone Treatment, http://www.thefix.com/7-things-you-need-know-about-methadone-treatment

Should You Stop? Criteria for Ceasing Medication Assisted Treatment

The properties of Medication Assisted Treatment are such that they stop withdrawal symptoms, decrease cravings and block the user from getting high if they use opiates. Because of this, MAT is a godsend to opiate addicts. But many hope to stop MAT at some point. Have you thought about tapering off your medication? What do you hope for and what do you fear about ceasing your medication? Listen to a group of opiate addicts discuss their hopes and fears.

Discussion Guide:

Do you intend to stop utilizing medication assisted treatment for your recovery?

How long do you believe one should engage in treatment before tapering off medication?

What are the pros and cons of stopping your medication?

Do you meet the criteria for ceasing medication assisted treatment?

What are your fears of ceasing MAT?

Supplemental Reading:

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Client Handbook, Chapter 8 How Long Will I Be On Methadone? http://www.camh.ca/en/hospital/health_information/a_z_mental_health_and_addiction_information/methadone/Documents/mmt_client_hndbk.pdf