Adding medication-assisted treatment to 12-step programs

those who sought professional outpatient addiction treatment — but the outcomes were similar for both groups.

According to the study, another element of medical care that can be greatly improved in addiction treatment is the stigma seen among physicians. Galanter stated that they need to “overcome the stigma of their own treatment of OUDs” and that the U.S. should be looking at countries like France where increased MAT use has promoted a decrease in opioid overdoses of more than 50 percent.     

Galanter concluded that health care providers who practice MAT and 12-step treatment specialists need to start communicating better and that criteria for the development of evidence-based approaches for combined treatment should be created.

Galanter’s positions follow statements made by a group of ASAM physicians, who have said they are concerned that the benefits of 12-step programs are not taught to professionals entering the addiction treatment field. Yet, ASAM’s medical director supports the conclusions of the new research and has stated that the combination of MATs with 12-step programs “has shown to be invaluable in appropriate cases.”

Adding medication-assisted treatment to 12-step programs
Article Name
Adding medication-assisted treatment to 12-step programs
Traditional 12-step programs and medication-assisted treatments (MATs) have proven to be effective for people with substance use disorders (SUDs), but new research suggests that addiction treatment could be improved if these two unique approaches are used in combination.
Livia Areas-Holmblad
Publisher Name
Addiction Now