“For the first time, the federal agency responsible for most public funding of drug addiction treatment has added language to its grant applications designed to push the treatment industry away from the abstinence model.
Treatment for substance abuse disorders in the United States widely follows this model, which rests on the belief that abstaining from all drugs, including medications prescribed specifically for addiction, is the only acceptable route to recovery.
The new grant language from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration encourages states to reject the status quo and to require the option of medication-assisted treatment in clinical settings.
The new language appears in SAMHSA’s block grant application for fiscal years 2016-2017. The money available through these block grants is substantial; in fiscal year 2015, the agency had $1.8 billion to award. So while some treatment providers vehemently disagree with the federal recommendation, the suggestion will carry weight.
Among the medical establishment, medication-assisted treatment — such as providing methadone or buprenorphine (which goes by the brand name Suboxone) — is widely viewed as the standard of care for treating heroin and other opioid addicts. But the vast majority of rehabilitation facilities in the U.S. do not offer such care.”
Source: HuffingtonPost.com – August 13, 2015