A group of us were opposed to the idea of safe injection sites as a partial answer to the ever growing opioid crisis in 2016 here in Boston. We are not opposed to harm reductions, we support it, but not at the cost of limiting treatment and recovery options. We have grown from the bottom up and continue to speak with and for those who challenge the medicalization of addiction treatment
Are you doing something amazing? Amidst the devastation and heartbreak we hear on the news, there are many people who are doing inspiring things in the world on a daily basis. Do you volunteer somewhere? Do you give back in any way or help out your family? The little things go a long way.
Howie Marlin on Addiciton: Got a Minute?
Hello all - I have personally interacted with and met most of you in the past, but please allow me to introduce myself to those of you with who I have not. My name is Jake Nichols and I am a pharmacist in long term recovery who has been working in the field of substance use disorders for the past 8 years. I am also one of the founding members of Recovery Matters - a community-focused advocacy group with goals that we feel have been misinterpreted by others within the treatment community. We would like review who we are, clarify our goals and invite you to join us in our efforts.
The leadership team at Recovery Matters has a combined experience of being on both sides of this crisis since 1982. We have worked in or received medication assisted treatments, we have been founding members of clinics to provide HIV testing and early harm reduction services, to dispense buprenorphine from Massachusetts to Florida, we have started 12 step meetings, run drug free programs in Roxbury in the late 80’s where people were treated for a minimum of 28 days and it has been reported that a cohort of 85% in one groups remain drug free today 30 years later as well as donating our time, monies and energies toward Recovery Matters since 2016. The number of combined years of service to the communities at risk by the leadership alone is more than 200 years.
Recovery Matters is NOT against any type of therapy/treatment/intervention that can enhance the outcomes of those struggling with substance use disorder. This includes harm reduction strategies. There are many clinicians that are a part of our team and we ALL believe in evidence-based treatments, including the use of pharmacotherapy. I myself am a former buprenorphine patient and many of you know that I regularly share how much it truly facilitated my entry into long-term recovery.
We do feel however that the focus on recovery as an attainable goal has fallen by the wayside. Many of us have observed that discussions about the concept of recovery are no longer happening in general practice and our goal is simple: to ensure that patients are given the opportunity to attain the gift that so many of us have been blessed to receive. We acknowledge that there are many paths to recovery and we do not support any single approach.
Recovery Matters wishes to be an additional voice for services and education in this crisis, where we can join with other concerned individuals and groups and come up with holistic and innovative approaches to saving lives and demonstrating a healthy way of life.
We truly hope that this clarifies any confusion as to what our goals are as an organization. More importantly, we pray that you will join us and share your perspectives - you are all key respected members of the treatment community and we could use your support, experience, and opinions. We are sure you would all agree that we will accomplish more collectively then trying to attack this in small isolated groups.
Recovery Matters started as a diverse group of Massachusetts based clinical professionals, nurses, nurse practitioners, social workers, mental health professionals and pharmacists. It quickly expanded to include members of law enforcement, EMT first responders, journalists, individuals, family members, and concerned citizens who are alarmed with the continued and unabated acceleration of the opioid crisis in our state.
A community forum to discuss the critical issues facing those suffering from addiction. Our programs focus on a solution-oriented dialogue from addiction professionals, community leaders, those in long recovery as well as first respondors, community, family and pharmacists who believe that recovery is both possible and sustainable. In Massachusetts, there are 4-5 fatal overdoses daily and another 8-10 non-fatal OD’s. The lifespan in the 25-45-year group is decreasing. We are 5% of the world’s population and we use 50% of the world’s illegal drugs. In 2016 The Kaiser Family Foundation noted that there were so many prescriptions written in the U.S that every man woman and child could have had 13 separate prescriptions not including OTC medication. The opioid crisis impacts everyone, our workforce, our friends, family and communities
To educate alcoholic and substance dependent people, their families and the community about the disorder and to provide motivation and hope that they can do something about their addictions. There are important personal skills necessary to avert relapse. We focus on resentment, anger, depression, fear of failure and the usual day to day stressors and suggest opportunities/interventions to grow in self-management. The vital importance of work and the importance of love and intimate relationships are competencies that are nurtured and supported in what we like to call “slow medicine”.
Are we medicalizing addiction treatment?.
Are we losing the perspective of recovery and wellness?
Has harm reduction become the new money making treatment option?
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