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Review some myths about Medication Assisted Treatment Identify medications used to treat opiate dependence Identify medications used to treat alcohol dependence Discuss the mechanisms of action Evaluate pros and cons of each
3. Medications are a crutch ◦ We do what is more rewarding than the alternative Medications can make sobriety “feel better” by addressing underlying neurochemical imbalances Medications can remove the rewards from use by Making it unpleasant (Antabuse) Removing the “high” (Buprenorphine, Naltrexone) Both (Suboxone) Remember recovery is more than just NOT using. Medications can help ease the transition until the brain has rebalanced and the new lifestyle is in full swing
4. Using medication goes against 12-Step Philosophy ◦ Alcoholics Anonymous does not encourage AA participants to not use prescribed medications or to discontinue taking prescribed medications The Big Book states, “God has abundantly supplied this world with fine doctors, psychologists, and practitioners of various kinds. Do not hesitate to take your health problems to such person …Try to remember that though God has wrought miracles among us, we should never belittle a good doctor or psychiatrist. Their services are often indispensable in treating a newcomer and in following his case afterward.”
5. Medications Can… ◦ Increase energy and motivation (dopamine and norepinephrine) while the person’s brain and body are recovering ◦ Remove some of the reinforcing effects of the drugs ◦ Prevent relapse by making relapse very unpleasant ◦ Reduce the intensity of co-occurring disorders ◦ Reduce conflict/improve social support ◦ Reduce absenteeism from work