Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), represented typically by Suboxone and methadone, is used to treat opiate addiction and appears to be useful in reducing overdoses and decreasing transmission rates of HIV and hepatitis C.
The short term benefits of MAT begs the question, as to what the long-term perspectives are.
What happens when the addict needs to come totally clean and face what life without any drugs feel like?
That is where the card house could all too easily fall after a seemingly "successful" MAT program. Considering that most people admit to feeling numb on any amount of drugs. Being numb, will eventually itself lead to depression, thus MAT is only temporary.
Proponents of MAT claim it’s a great way to help addicts get away from the harmful activities surrounding their addiction and return to the trappings of a normal life.
Opponents of MAT state that addicts will eventually have to face their addiction completely clean, and that coming off of long-term MAT will require assistance that the field of Addiction Treatment and Addiction Medicine are not ready to handle because of a lack of resources.
To only look at addiction as a disease is to neglect the spiritual hunger aspect that is addiction.
That all addiction is tied to a misdirected learning based on the self-medication of underlying core issues.
And unless we feel that hunger, and fill that hunger... we will forever be hungry and addicted, regardless of that be prescribed medication or not. No pill can save us. Assist us? Perhaps. However, it seems critical that we realize that these drugs to mask our real emotional health and thus there comes a point where we still need to face where we are to not feel numb forever.