Medication-assisted therapy (MAT) for drug addiction — that is, methadone or Suboxone — is a proven way to help addicts stay clean. Narcotics Anonymous programs offer community support that helps addicts stay clean, but turns away people who are using medication to aid their recovery. Why, if their goals are the same?

The misconception stems from the fact that most medications for treating addiction, like Suboxone and methadone, are opioid-based. With the correct prescription, an addict’s compulsive behavior, loss of control, constant cravings, and other hallmarks of addiction will usually vanish. But if you take too much, you will get high. The idea that MAT is just a replacement drug has been debunked countless times by medical organizations, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Nonetheless, Michael has been told that he is still a junkie, not only by people in the 12 Step meetings he used…

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