There is no longer any debate about the fact that America is in the midst of an opioid crisis. There are now more Americans addicted to these potent drugs – both nationally and in our own region – than at any time in history. But exactly how to address the crisis is still a topic of considerable debate.
Despite research suggesting that one in ten people will relapse after a combination of detoxification and psychosocial treatment, therapy and abstinence-based programs are still the most common approaches. But one treatment protocol is emerging as the gold standard for lasting freedom from opioid addiction: medication assisted treatment or MAT.
“MAT is basically utilizing FDA approved medications to allow a patient to not have the physical symptoms of their addiction while they go through counseling,” explains Regional Health family medicine physician Stephen Tamang, MD. Multiple studies of MAT have found that over 80 percent of patients maintain sobriety as long as they are on their medication.
Inspired by these success stories, and with Regional’s support, Tamang underwent the DEA-mandated training to become certified to prescribe Suboxone, the most common drug used for MAT, to his opioid-addicted patients at Regional Health Medical Clinic.
Read the full story at MED Magazine