What is Dawn Farm’s position on the debate between abstinence and Medication Assisted Treatment?

A reporter recently asked, “What is Dawn Farm’s position on the debate between abstinence and Medication Assisted Treatment?”

The article reduced our response to, “In a nutshell, we believe the benefits of maintenance medications are frequently overstated”.

Several people have asked about it, so here’s our complete response (lightly edited for clarity):

We are not a medical program–our highest levels of care are residential rather than inpatient. So, we do not prescribe drugs for treatment but we will coordinate medical care. For detox, we work with UM hospital to phenobarb tapers for people detoxing from benzos and alcohol. We will also coordinate buprenorphine-assisted detox for people seeing admission.

All admissions receive an informed consent document that reviews the pros and cons of opioid addiction treatment options (offered and not offered by Dawn Farm).

We do not use maintenance medications, but routinely refer clients with a preference for ORT to a local provider and our recovery support specialists work with patients in those programs. Clients seeking ORT are encouraged to continue in our outpatient and recovery support services.

We do coordinate Vivitrol for a lot of opioid addicted clients to help protect them from OD and reduce relapse.

In a nutshell, we believe the benefits of maintenance medications are frequently overstated and that programs like physician health programs and the HIMS program for pilots should be viewed as the gold standard treatment.

We believe reasonable people can disagree on the best treatment and that people with opioid addiction should get good informed consent and have access to the treatment of their choosing–MAT or gold standard.

2 Comments

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2 responses to “What is Dawn Farm’s position on the debate between abstinence and Medication Assisted Treatment?

  1. chuck

    Very nicely stated. Couldn’t be more clear. Kudos to Dawn Farm’s willingness to work with someone independent of their choice.

  2. dor

    I know Obama will politicize the recent death of Jessica Grub to promote MAT, but unfortunately Jessica had been on MAT before unsuccessfully. My son is sober for 2.5 half years now without MAT. He tried with medication but kept relapsing. Medication can help with withdrawal, but very few continue sober with it.