DCCCA provides a diverse range of services that reduce barriers to long term recovery. These services include dedicated support for appropriately prescribed Medication Assisted Treatment. Historically addiction treatment has been viewed through the lens of complete abstinence. We believe the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavior therapies, provides a holistic approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. DCCCA facilities were some of the first treatment programs in Kansas to admit clients who were prescribed medication.
What is Medication Assisted Treatment?
Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) combines medications such as Methadone and Vivitrol with counseling and behavioral therapies to treat substance use disorders and prevent opioid overdose. This form of treatment is primarily used for the treatment of addiction to opioids like heroin and prescription pain relievers that contain opioids. Medication Assisted Treatment has also proven helpful for alcohol abuse and addiction. Research shows that a combination of medication and therapy can successfully treat these disorders and may even help sustain recovery. In fact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration states that when searching for a quality treatment program, ensure the program supports the use of medicine during treatment.
Medication Assisted Treatment is not simply “substituting one drug for another” but rather a medical means to appropriately and safely address the symptoms of withdrawal. More information on myths vs the facts of Medication Assisted Treatment can be found in this publication from The National Council for Behavioral Health. While we do not prescribe these medications at DCCCA, we do take an active role in their medical treatment. Our staff observe and record self-administration of medication while offering support and coaching our clients through the process of learning how to safely and responsibly reintegrate appropriate prescriptions into their lives.
Prescribed Medications and a Holistic Approach to Treatment
A holistic approach to treatment involves treating the whole person, not just their addiction. It is the person that will need to co-manage their life and their addiction to sustain a healthy recovery. If we believe that addiction is a disease, and we treat physical diseases with appropriate medications, we must include appropriate medications in addiction treatments plans. Appropriate medication management also means recognizing that medication alone is not appropriate in treatment because it addresses symptoms of withdrawal and cravings but it does not address the psychosocial issues like trauma or co-existing mental health disorders that perpetuate addiction. From a holistic approach to treatment we ensure that individuals who struggle with dual diagnosis or co-existing mental health disorders obtain the support and medication they need.
We believe that medically assisted treatment, and prescribing medications that address an individual’s mental health disorders is appropriate when carefully prescribed and monitored. DCCCA does not prescribe medications in our facilities. We work closely with prescribers and our Federally Qualified Health Center partners, Heartland Community Health Center, Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, and HealthCore Clinic, to make sure that all types of medication our clients take are not just being prescribed, but that they are working for the individual.