Keli McLoyd, an associate at the Treatment Research Institute (TRI), uses research and science to help build and improve public policies, programs, and practices. As an associate with the Center for Policy Research and Analysis, she has made connections between research and its impact on society. Her roles include finding the best medication-assisted treatment for patients in recovery, helping them get into services, and figuring out why some don’t get the proper treatment they need.  

It costs the federal government billions of dollars of insurance and healthcare money to pay for people with alcohol and drug addiction. McLoyd believes that if addiction is treated as a chronic disease, drug and alcohol users won’t need to return to the ER as often. The number of “super utilizers,” people who overuse emergency departments and hospital inpatient services than the average user, would decrease, and essentially lessen the huge and costly burden on the medical system.

“They work, period. They save people’s lives, period,” said McLoyd on medication-assisted treatment. McLoyd encourages the prescription of medications to treat opioid use disorder. One of the many medicines people should have take-home access to is Methadone, a pain reliever and drug addiction detoxifier. If supplemented with psycho-social treatment (e.g. 12-step meetings), Methadone would help reduce withdrawal symptoms, and aid in the recovery process.

If science backs up McLoyd’s claims, then I think that it is worth trying. The more access persons in recovery have to different services and treatments, the better possibilities they have in a successful recovery process.