Keli McLoyd, a policy analyst for the Research and Evaluation Group at PHMC, spoke to our class about Narcan, Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) and data we should use when reporting and covering addiction. McLoyd presented us with three forms of MAT for opioid use disorder. All three forms of medication are different which fit people depending on their situation. MAT can be useful for those looking to be in recovery, however, all three have their limitations making MAT difficult to access. The most common or most known form, Methadone, is only distributed in its assigned clinics. McLoyd said that there is still a stigma around these clinics and can be highly inaccessible and inconvenient. Methadone can only be prescribed and taken at the clinics and is only allowed to be taken home in rare cases.
Buprenorphine, commonly known as Suboxone, is easier to use and some people prefer it over Methadone. Suboxone can be prescribed by a doctor or a nurse who has taken the training and is self-administered. If the patient administers a higher dose than needed, they can experience a “high.” It is important patients are prescribed with the right dose and not all doctors/nurses are certified. The third MAT discussed was Naltrexone, known as Vivitrol. This comes in the form of an injection that can last 30-90 days. Vivitrol blocks the opioid receptors in the brain, but it is highly expensive which make it the least stigmatized of three but perhaps the most inaccessible.