Opiate Addiction Recovery: What Role do Medications Have in the Face of a Growing Epidemic?

Opiate Addiction Recovery: What Role do Medications Have in the Face of a Growing Epidemic was a speaker panel session at the 2015 Recovery Capital Conference. Panelists:

  • Mark K., Eliza S. and Kenny J.
  • Dr. Sam MacMasters
Program Description: The nationwide opiate epidemic has taken root in Texas, and you likely know someone who has overdosed. Between 1999 and 2007, overdose-related deaths in Texas increased by more than two and a half times. Texas youth and military veterans have been hit the hardest. In response, there is growing advocacy for greater access to Medication Assisted Treatment.  Medications ranging from opiate antagonists to stop the effects of an overdose (e.g. Naloxone), to opiate agonists (e.g. Methadone), to agonist-antagonist combinations (e.g Suboxone) have been increasingly used to address opiate addiction. Some advocate for these medications rightful place as part of a harm-reduction strategy and pathway to recovery. In contrast, there are those who raise concerns around abuse, diversion and dosage, while others caution that recovery does not come in a pill. Regardless of your beliefs, opiate recovery is one of most important substance use topics of our generation. This session’s speaker panel will represent the full range of perspectives to better understand the issues, each other, and our choices. Objectives: At the close of this session, participants will be able to:
  1. Contrast medication assisted treatments (MAT) and how they are being used in response to the opiate epidemic
  2. Describe the reasons why individuals personally chosen to use, discontinue or avoid MAT along a pathway to recovery
  3. Identify the role of peer recovery support to clear a path from medication assisted treatment to recovery