Keli McLoyd, who works for the Treatment Research Institute of Philadelphia, discussed the many avenues of medication-assisted treatment, and gave us a new perspective on the arguably controversial form of treatment.
It was interesting to hear how different drug treatments affect the body differently. For example, she discussed how methadone does make you sleepy, but also stops withdrawal. But with naloxone — which has gained media attention recently in Pennsylvania as more and more police officers begin to carry it — the person will immediately go into withdrawal.
“No one tells you that,” McLoyd said. “You wake up in the emergency room, you’re sick and want to leave.”
McLoyd also talked about the locations of methadone and other treatment clinics and how they are severely affected by NIMBY or “Not in my Backyard.” People understand that recovery is important, but she added that people don’t want it near them or near their children’s schools. They see the people receiving treatment as “disgusting,” she said.
TRI is currently doing research on what the next steps are after emergency room visits and how to help people stay in recovery.
“We need to figure it out, if and how the interventions can work, will we have counselors, peer recovery specialists, helping people get on medication and what the next steps are,” she said. “People go into detox and then leave and go out and use.”
McLoyd also mentioned research being done that looks into the public and private policies of addiction treatment. A lot of times Medicare or Medicaid, or other insurance providers, require people in recovery to go to counseling along with receiving the medication, but they don’t pay for it, which leaves people from poorer communities in the dark. If the government or medical insurance providers were more comprehensive in their coverage, people from these communities may have the ability to receive the counseling they need.