AfterParty Answers: What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?
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AfterParty Answers: What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?


AfterPartyOver here at AfterParty, we receive an onslaught of questions from people about addiction and recovery. And well, our new video series AfterParty Answers gives us an opportunity to address them. In this episode, Anna David and Danielle Stewart reach into the AfterParty archives to answer a reader’s question about medication-assisted treatment, also known as opiate replacement therapy, also known as an issue we’ve covered extensively here on AfterParty Magazine.

So what is opiate replacement therapy or medically-assisted treatment or medically-assisted therapy (or MAT if you’re into abbreviations)? In addition to being the current political hot button issue (with Hillary Clinton proposing to put $10 billion to put MAT in most rehabs), it’s a concern that those in the treatment world grapple with every day. The main question is this: should opiate addicts be put on Suboxone or methadone in order to stay off of, say, heroin or Oxycontin?

One side argues that since Suboxone is an opiate, the people taking it are getting high (and, indeed, there are plenty of folks who can attest to the fact that detoxing off Suboxone is harder than getting off heroin). The other side believes that putting junkies on Suboxone as a way of preventing them from going back to heroin can be life-saving. (It’s important to point out here that medically assisted detox—that is, using Suboxone or methadone to help someone get off opiates—is entirely different from staying on Suboxone indefinitely.)

Even more controversy exists when you get into the debate about whether or not Sub-takers are “sober” or “in recovery.” What, in short, is sobriety and is it something a person can decide for him or herself?

While we aren’t in any way medical professions (emphasis on “aren’t in any way medical professionals”), we are sober folks who have not only grappled with some of the issues being asked about but have also written scads of articles for this very site on them. So here we are presenting our answers to you in our video series AfterParty Answers. Tune in every Wednesday to see what you, our faithful readers, want to know.

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AfterParty Magazine is the editorial division of It showcases writers in recovery, some of whom choose to remain anonymous. Other stories by AfterParty Magazine are the collective effort of the AfterParty staff.