In modern America you would be hard pressed to find anyone who has never been affected in some way by substance abuse addiction. Most of us have had at least one relative or close friend struggle with substance abuse. Addiction can ruin lives and often leads a person to have an interaction with the legal system. Because Hurst & Hurst often handles the legal problems that result from addiction we try to keep abreast of the available treatment options. One newer treatment option is suboxone treatment.
One of the methods used by healthcare providers to attempt to treat addiction to controlled substances is called Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). In an effort to learn more about MAT, Attorneys Rebecca Hurst and Daniel Hurst attended a seminar February 2016, called “Legal Advocacy and Suboxone” put on by the 50th Judicial Circuit Model Court which took place in Danville, Kentucky. The seminar was attended by Judges, prosecutors, lawyers, social workers and counselors wanting to learn more about the uses and effects of Suboxone; and better determine how Suboxone treatment will be treated in the legal system.
At the seminar consisted of a panel of physicians, legal experts and social workers; and explained that for many people drugs, like Suboxone, provide enough relief from the symptoms of withdrawal to be helpful in treating addiction. These drugs, which are legally prescribed by a physician, are to be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment, specifically counseling, to help the person deal with the issues that led them to substance abuse in the first place.
This form of treatment can be very useful, but it isn’t a silver bullet. People can become dependent upon the drugs used for MAT, and it is not unheard of for patients to trade their legally acquired MAT drugs for illegal street drugs like heroin. Healthcare providers who use MAT therapy are required by law to have mechanisms in place designed prevent the trading of MAT drugs for street drugs. While this does help to prevent putting Suboxone on the street, it also results in the person being removed from the program and not getting treatment they may benefit them.
While Suboxone and other drugs used in MAT programs are not the absolute answer to end all addiction in America, it does seem to be a valid treatment that can be helpful for many people in their fight against addiction.