Medication Assisted Treatment
Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is now available for people with substance use disorders (SUD). According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (2019) MAT “combines behavioral therapy and medications to treat SUD and avoid opioid overdose.” Medications are not “substitutes” for drugs or alcohol but work in the receptors in the brain to control cravings and thus prevent relapse. Probably the best known medication used in MAT is Methadone. Methadone clinics arose in the 1970s in an effort to assist people in managing withdrawal from heroin.
Other medications that are used in MAT are Naltrexone and Buprenorphine. Medications are only a part of a treatment program for people with addiction. Additional interventions include counseling and services to address educational/vocational needs. Unlike Methadone, Buprenophine and Naltrexone are available through primary care providers who are licensed by the DEA to prescribe these medications.
Most professionals who work with people with SUD recognize the need for a comprehensive approach to treatment. Clinics who work with clients on MAT require individual therapy, group therapy, and 12 step meetings. Clients are closely monitored for compliance.
AA and NA emphasize total abstinence with the only requirement for membership “a desire to stop using”. Total abstinence may mean that people on Medication Assisted Treatment may not be welcome at 12-step meetings. Narcotics Anonymous published an article for clinicians who work with clients on MAT suggesting that not every 12-step group would oppose welcoming those on MAT. They recommend that clients approach groups and inquire about their philosophy regarding medications. In addition, many recovery programs providing services to clients who have abused opioids and alcohol will not admit clients who are on MAT.
We are fortunate in Fayetteville to have medical providers licensed to provide MAT to people who are in recovery. Community Clinic now offers a Medication Assisted Treatment Program. The program provides MAT to residents who meet eligibility criteria and agree to participate in group and individual therapy as well as seeing a provider each week and attending 12-step meetings at least three times a week. Participants also have regular drug testing done while in the program.
Magdalene Serenity House is a drug/alcohol free program but recognizes that MAT may be appropriate for some residents. The staff at MSH work with the providers at Community Clinic when residents are eligible for MAT. Magdalene supports a comprehensive approach to recovery and will accept residents who are on MAT.
MSH Wish List
This month we welcomed two new residents. Both of our new residents successfully completed the treatment program at Arkansas Community Corrections and decided to continue their healing and recovery at MSH. We are so glad they are here! As you all know, when our residents arrive we provide a welcome basket, groceries, clothing, and other items to get them started on their healing journey. We also provide cleaning and laundry supplies for our residents during their stay at MSH. We would love for each of you to be part of making MSH a safe and welcoming home for our residents. You can do this by purchasing a needed item off our wish list or making a donation to support our work! Questions? Contact email@example.com.
Wish List: Click Here
Since we opened on September 29, 2017 our residents have received 1,357 groups, 397 case management sessions, 2,714 AA meetings, and 392 physical and mental heath services.
We have welcomed two new residents from ACC since our last newsletter. They are settling in well and we are so glad they are here!
We worked with Brittany Phillips to redesign our logo.The new logo is in the shape on an “M” and represents the journey toward healing and recovery. We also redeveloped our website. Check it out here!
This month Magdalene is partnering with community members such as Mayor Jordan to boost awareness of the program and emphasize the need to fill service gaps for women who will be re-entering the community from prison. Magdalene is the only state-licensed facility in NWA that can house parolee’s together. This poses an interesting opportunity for the community to become informed of the need for increased alternatives for housing and to begin having conversations around solutions that could mitigate high rates of recidivism in our local prisons with attention to additional supportive services for re-entry.
Outdoor Classroom Update
Our outdoor classroom construction is in full swing! We have laid concrete, constructed a new walking path, and added gravel and mulch to create an appealing landscape. We will be adding a horizontal fence and patio furniture to complete the outdoor space. Thank you again to all who donated toward this project. We cannot wait to come together and enjoy the outdoors!
“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart”
Kate Baer is a local artist and mother of three who enjoys volunteering at MSH because she believes in the mission of giving women a safe space to heal. Kate has provided countless rides for the residents of Magdalene and even hosted a jewelry making class. Want to get involved? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.