I love MAT, and I love MAT clinics. Basically, methadone and Suboxone/Subutex are it right now for what we use in America as opioid replacement drugs. It would be totally wonderful if there were more medicines, albeit they are certainly investigating some; plus they have replacement medicines for other substances that enable other addictions, like alcohol, believe it or not. And not to really get into it though, but those drugs are very strong on the brain’s mental state, especially if for folks getting enrolled in medication-assisted treatment programs.
Anyways, today I wanted to shine light on the fact that, well, we’ve seen the coronavirus change or even remove so many of the restaurants, stores, shops, malls. People have actually move across the country, literally to escape the wrath of the virus and settle in a safer state. People are earning less money at work, or they don’t even have work to go to. And then, the face masks. I mean, seriously, COVID-19 has been the true change of century. Well, COVID has actually dramatically changed what goes on at the MAT/methadone clinics, and what initially appeared to be a temporary, precautionary practice is to staring to look like a permanent one. You must read this article, it explains everything about the process around the country especially, so well.
Patients are actually being given take-home supplies of methadone for, on-average, up-to two weeks. DAMN! Right? Sounded absolutely wild and crazy to me at first too. But they’ve been doing it since March, all over over the country now, and it is STILL going on strong. I’ve actually asked clinic nurses and counselors why this practice is still going on and apart from being told that they’re simply following state and federal mandates, they also say that it is in fact due to the precautionary measures brought on by the coronavirus.
The clinics, in general, in my area of southern Maine, have done exceedingly well with this new treatment model. After speaking with two counselors from two of the three major clinics in the greater Portland area (southern Maine), I was told there have no been NO overdoses, and therefore no deaths results from this new regimen. The rate of diversion (patients abusing their medication) is also low. You’re always going to have it, though, unfortunately.
Food for thought.