Opinion: Recovery from opiate addiction requires support

In reference to the article “State launches treatment program for opiate addicts” in the Dec. 3 edition of the Independent:
I wholeheartedly applaud the treatment of incarcerated people (and all people) suffering from the disease of addiction. This an outstanding program for many reasons. In my view, the chief benefit is that this treatment gives people the ability to recover their lives and become solid citizens of Vermont.
Medication to blunt the effect of opiates (heroin, Oxycontin, codeine and other opiate-based pain meds) are a significant first step. Similar to alcoholics, an addicted person is addicted for life. Therefore, they need ongoing, life-long support to lead a “sober,” productive life.
Recovering addicts need counseling and peer support to help them stay clean. There are specialized Licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselors around the state. There are also peer support groups all around the state. For example, there are 12 Turning Point/Recovery Centers in Vermont that specialize in recovery support: Recovery Coaches, Making Recovery Easier, and many other programs. They also provide space for Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, and other 12 step support programs.
For more information on treatment and recovery from drug addiction, go to www.addictionhelpvt.com. The Treatment & Recovery page have resources listed for Medication Assisted Treatment, Counseling, and Peer Support right here in Addison County, but also statewide.
The website also includes pages on Education/Prevention, The Warning Signs of Addiction, Long Term Supports such as housing, jobs, and more.
Again, I think the announcement of medication assisted treatment for incarcerated people suffering from the disease of addiction is an excellent step forward, and with supports mentioned above, can make a huge difference in the lives of so many people.
Thank you.
Bob Donnis

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