When people start treatment for a drug or alcohol addiction, they begin to regain control of themselves and their lives. Their newfound mental clarity is an important development in recovery, but it comes with a catch. With a clear view of the wreckage their disease has caused all around them, patients can feel a debilitating sense of shame and guilt.
We see this every day in our work with patients. At CleanSlate, physicians and staff practice medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to help patients suffering from opioid or alcohol addiction. Patients make appointments at one of our outpatient centers, and their experience is similar to a routine visit to any doctor’s office. After beginning treatment with medications such as buprenorphine (Suboxone) or naltrexone (Vivitrol) to ward off cravings and prevent relapse, many of our patients report feeling “normal,” like their former selves, sometimes in a remarkably short amount of time.
But for most patients, medication is only one component of recovery.
After beginning MAT, many people soon have the coherence and capability to begin fixing the damage left in the wake of their addiction, and they need counseling and other types of support through this repair work. Our care coordinators, licensed drug and alcohol counselors, physicians, nurse practitioners, center managers, and other staff help patients through the process of building a more stable future, whether through direct counseling and support or connecting patients to additional specialists and services.
While each patient is unique, there are common experiences along the recovery journey that many patients share. We have collected expert perspectives on some of these experiences into a downloadable Pocket Guide, titled "Recovering Trust: Managing the Emotional Challenges of Recovery During Medication-Assisted Treatment for Addiction."
Download our free Pocket Guide to learn more about the emotional challenges that many patients face on their road to recovery.