Give drugs to drug-addicted clients?!?!

This week’s article focuses on a topic that is at the forefront of many minds in America: opioid addiction. I imagine most of us know or have come into contact with another who has struggled with this addiction (click HERE to learn more about opiate addiction) This week’s ARTICLE focuses on one of the more challenging aspects facing treatment providers and opiate addicts: medication-assisted treatment. I’ll let you read over the article. There are two sides to every story and this one is no exception. What are your thoughts regarding medication-assisted treatment for opiate addicts and why?

12 responses to “Give drugs to drug-addicted clients?!?!”

  1. Heejung Moon says:

    I honestly do not think that medication assisted treatment is the best way for opiate addicts. However, I do think that is should be considered valid as any other treatments. As mentioned in the article, it is one of the way to rapid recovery, and reduced risk while drug use. Some people are opposed to it because they think it is just a substitution of drug, not an effective and valid treatment. Others are worried about the people on medication treatment’s misuse or overuse of prescribed drugs. I personally have thought of the risks of medication assisted treatment before. It is true that it is essentially different from other types of treatments like therapies. However, that still does not mean that it should be cut-off. Policy makers just have to pay more attention to laws regarding medication prescriptions and recovery pills should be accessible as much as other drugs on street. Since opiate addiction is a severe from in U.S, we need more options as treatments as well. It should not be looked as dependence on another drug, but as a valid treatment option.

  2. Gina Gorman says:

    I have crossed paths with quite a few opiate addicts and within the past year three have them from passed away from heroin overdoses. As much as this should convince me that whatever treatment is going to keep opiate addicts alive is the best route, it hasn’t yet. I also have known individuals that are prescribed Suboxone and can’t get off of it. I have always viewed methadone and suboxone as “training wheels” but they really aren’t because they are training wheels that never get removed. What’s next here, take one of the above mentioned drugs to get off opiates and then take something else to get off that drug? It seems like an endless vicious cycle. However, even though my views on this are strong, the fact that heroin being laced with other drugs such as fentanyl makes me question my stance on this. Fentanyl is deadly even to the first responders that come in contact with it while helping overdose victims.
    It’s really is a tough call.

  3. Trish Sorenson says:

    Opiates have been the premise of many media circles and family tragedies in the past few decades. People are searching for the answers, but nobody has come up with anything concrete. When looking at medicated assisted treatment, this seems like it is the fake way to solve the problem. This allows for opiate addicts to become dependent on something different. It may be healthier, than being addicted to opiates. Although it is still not solving the real problem- how can addicts live their lives without any type of substance help? Having them using a medication as treatment is not solving this question.

  4. Kazmarae Tyson says:

    I strongly do not think medication-assisted treatment is good for opiate addicts. It could possibly be used in other circumstances in recovery and lower risk of drug use. What I would worry most about is people using this treatment for misuse or abuse. This treatment can also make addicts become dependent on the treatment and does not solve the real problem. They could easily continue to use opiates and then the treatment repeatedly. It is not an easy decision to make but there definitely should be more ways of treating and solving the opiate problem and drug problems in general.

  5. Jonathan MacMartin says:

    Opioid addiction is one of the biggest health issues we face as a nation. Heroin and other drugs like it are interesting because they seem so innocuous the first couple times you use. Opioids don’t make you trip out, act crazy, or become violent. You may act a bit moodier on them and maybe a little out of it, but in small doses opioid use is barely even detectable. When people begin using it in large doses and build a tolerance is when the horror show begins. Opioids can become so addictive that nothing else matters. Nothing will ever make you feel as good as when you are using.
    I have known quite a few whose lives have been taken over by this addiction. This is what leads me to believe every option possible should be explored when treating this addiction. The belief that being dependent on a medication is equal to being dependent on opioids is a complete fallacy. We need to use every tool at our disposal when dealing with a problem as insidious as opioid addiction. Many doctors and treatment programs do not seem to understand that concept. They view use of medications like methadone as a half measure that should not be used. This belief can have dangerous effects. For many, taking these medications is the first step on the long road to recovery. The hope is that someday they will no longer need these medications, but until that day arrives it is wrong to deny them the one thing that could eventually end their addiction.

  6. Gracie Blechl says:

    If the patients become addicted to these opioid medications instead of opioid drugs themselves then like the article said it would be getting rid of one addiction just to replace it for another. Are they equally as bad? Maybe not, because it’s not just the drug abuses might be addicted to, it could be the people they associate that drug use with. If the abuser stops taking the illegal opioid drug and starts with the buprenorphine then they might cut off their relationships with the friends they associate with the addiction. Surrounding an abuser with non abusers means a better chance at becoming clean in the long run. I think treatment options need to take it slow using one step at a time and since treating opioid addictions is such a difficult task, until someone discovers a better solution (which won’t be too far along in our 21st century technology world) then what else could be done to correct the addictors behavior?

  7. Hali Nichols says:

    I think these medications can be useful to help break the original addiction, but I still question the use of it since it can be addictive itself. I think it is a good first step but should be used in conjunction with other treatments such as counseling. It shouldn’t be a life long solution otherwise it is an addiction itself. The people using it as treatment should be weened off of it over time. It just doesn’t seem healthy to replace one addiction with another addiction.

  8. Kaleigh Cleaveland says:

    Especially with the increase in heroin and other opiate use in the news, I find myself torn between helping the addiction and letting the person be responsible for their decisions. It is often found to be “too late,” which was the case here for Joe. One of the positives that was highlighted in the article is that medication to help the addiction more often results in patients remaining in treatment. I see this as a good thing because they appear to be motivated to change. Difficulty arises when realizing that these medications can both harm and stabilize the addicted.

  9. Maddie Vavrik says:

    I had a high school acquaintance recently pass away because he overdosed and it was tough for me to grasp even though I did not know him very well. Opiate addiction is a very big problem and takes the lives of many people, both young and old. Although medication-assisted treatment does not seem like a very good treatment plan because it is putting them through a vicious cycle,I feel like if it is reducing the possibility of death then it is something that is obviously helping these people who are struggling. There are two extremes, either the help from other medications or abstinence and most of the time abstinence does not help. I think the difference is putting them on maintenance doses, like the article talked about. Although opiate addiction is a much larger problem, I feel like the same can go for any medication, if you’re on a maintenance dose, then it is at the least getting you through the day and you have the ability to do normal things. So, although putting people on medications for opiate addiction can cause more addiction, I feel like if it lowers the death rate and can at least give people a chance to actually remain in treatment and be able to function in their daily life that it is an alternative that can be used to aid in their recovery as long as it is taken at a maintenance dose and until there is something better to use in treatment.

  10. Rachel Ellis says:

    I think the the medication could be helpful but the process that the person will go through will be devastating. Also the fear of the person abusing the medication that it meant to treat for one addiction. It would be liking treating one bad thing just to add another. Since opiate addictions is something that is a huge problem finding solutions and treatments may be necessary. I think there shouldn’t be a medication for it more so as actual help like rehab something to break the person from drugs overall.

  11. Zachary Jahnke says:

    I agree that these addicts being on assisted medication is just one step closer to recovery, but I can also see on how it is opposed to helping since these medications can still be very addictive to take. I believe that these clinics should allow addicts who are on assisted medication be welcomed into their treatment since they are trying to help fight their addiction. Having assisted medication is also a lot more safer than taking heroin and individuals wont have that high of a risk of dying from tainted needles. Eventually there will be other medications to take that are not as addictive and can help these addicts get off the needle, and have them get into treatment sooner.

  12. Cherish Haynes says:

    This was an excellent article to read, I just came back from a convention with my Father who is a recovering drug addict. I actually sat and read the article to him, and we both agreed that medication assistance is not helpful at all. If a person becomes addicted to opiate medications just to not be addicted to opiate drugs then they are more than likely becoming addicted to the medication. Then it would be consider being a harmful drug all over again. Its like getting rid of one bad thing just to become addicted to another bad thing all over again.

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