Medication-Assisted Treatment for Drug and/or Alcohol Addiction and Recovery

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Drug and/or Alcohol Addiction and Recovery

Medication-assisted treatment for drug or alcohol recovery — isn’t it just replacing one addiction with another?

Medication-assisted treatment for drug or alcohol addiction — is it “real” recovery or just another addition?

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) has an excellent resource, “NCADD’s Consumer Guide to Medication-Assisted Recovery.” Quoting from NCADD:

There are many pathways to addiction recovery. One pathway can be Medication-Assisted Recovery—the use of medication, as prescribed and overseen by a physician knowledgeable about addiction care, to support recovery from a substance use disorder. The purpose of NCADD’s Consumer Guide to Medication-Assisted Recovery is to educate the “consumer”—anyone considering medications to aid their own addiction recovery or that of a family member, and anyone who has reservations or questions about this option. A well-informed person can make wise decisions about their recovery.

We know that people who suffer from the disease of addiction generally need each other to recover. Ironically and tragically, the one place individuals in Medication-Assisted Recovery might expect to find support, tolerance and empathy—within the addiction treatment and the recovery communities—is where they are all too often viewed as not being abstinent, criticized, and denied their legitimate status as a person in recovery. This Guide is designed to dispel some of the myths, misconceptions, misinformation and the stigma that surround this often lifesaving pathway to recovery.

Some wrongly view the use of a medication to abstain from a drug as “just substituting one drug for another.” However, decades of research and treatment experience show that it is not. To understand why and how these medications work, please keep reading.

NCADD’s Consumer Guide to Medication-Assisted Recovery offers general information about leading medications used in the treatment of addiction. We do not support or reject any particular medication. You must consult with your doctor or other treatment provider to find out if a particular medication could help you.

Examples of Medication-Assisted Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Coincidentally, I was listening to KQED’s California Report this morning and heard this story, which talks about the use of Vivitrol (the injection form of Naltrexone) to curb the cravings for those wanting to stop their drinking.

Additionally, I ran a post last fall of an interview I did with Tim Cheney, Co-Founder of Chooper’s Guide, titled: Methadone Treatment: Isn’t It Just an Alternative Addiction?

Bottom line:  there is no “right” way to treat one’s brain disease of addiction. The best thing we all can do is to be respectful of an individual’s choices for what they wish to try. It’s hard enough to stop. They don’t need society’s, nor a friend’s, nor a group’s, nor a __________’s judgement of the option(s) they’ve chosen. They need our respect and our support.

Lisa Frederiksen

Lisa Frederiksen

Author | Speaker | Consultant | Founder at
Lisa is the author of hundreds of articles and 11 books, including "If You Loved Me, You'd Stop!," "Addiction Recovery: What Helps, What Doesn't," and "Secondhand Drinking: the Phenomenon That Affects Millions." She is a national keynote speaker with over 25 years speaking experience, consultant, and founder of She has spent more than 14 years studying 21st century brain research in order to write, speak, and consult on substance use disorders prevention, intervention and treatment; mental disorders; addiction (aka substance use disorders) as a brain disease; adolescent addiction treatment vs adult addiction treatment; effective treatment for co-occurring disorders (having both a substance use and mental disorder); secondhand drinking | drugging; help for the family; and related subjects. In 2015, she founded SHD Prevention, providing training and consulting to companies, public agencies, unions, nonprofits and other entities to address the workplace impacts of employee secondhand drinking and alcohol misuse.
Lisa Frederiksen

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