For reasons related largely to stigma and lack of understanding about addiction, the mainstream medical industry has long been reluctant to integrate addiction treatment into the traditional healthcare system.
But as the opioid epidemic grinds on, experts and policymakers are recognizing that the old solutions aren’t working. More people are suggesting that medication-assisted treatment (MAT) should play a significant role in how we help people with addiction, and that this treatment should be approached as part of the standard patient-doctor experience.
Some leaders around the country are acknowledging that one of the best times to engage people in addiction treatment is during a visit to the emergency room, especially during withdrawal or after an overdose. Massachusetts, for example, has now enacted legislation to mandate that all ERs in the state treat addiction patients with medication.
If more widely adopted, this shift could help people who suffer from addiction immediately begin medical treatment and stem withdrawals, thus minimizing or avoiding relapses that might find them back in the ER.Read More