CleanSlate Blog

“We’re In This Together;” Addiction Patients in Emerging Medication-Assisted Treatment Support Groups Discover a Community They Didn’t Think Existed

by Heather Burke | Mar 28, 2019

The phone has been ringing off the hook.

We recently posted a blog about the nascent movement to develop support groups for patients in medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Our piece focused on our own experience with a MAT Group that I help manage in CleanSlate’s outpatient center in Worcester, Mass. Ever since this was published, the Worcester office has been flooded with patient inquiries and requests to join our MAT Group.

Clearly, this blog touched a nerve. And a patient story from today explains why.

For most patients suffering from Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), medication is an essential component of their recovery. But the challenge for so many people is this: once you remove yourself from your old life - the friends, situations, and hobbies that helped perpetuate your addiction - what do you have left? Medication may remove the cravings and symptoms of withdrawal, but it can’t give you friends.

It is HARD WORK to build a support network. How do you go out and find a positive, accepting community, especially when you're at your most vulnerable? Where do you find new friends?

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If you or someone you know suffers from the disease of addiction, please call 833-505-HOPE to speak with a professional.

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