Frequently Asked Questions

 

Does methadone treatment impair mental function?
Methadone treatment has no adverse effects on intelligence, mental capability or employability. Methadone treated patients are comparable to non-patients in reaction time, in ability to learn, focus and make complex judgments. Methadone treated patients do well in a wide array of vocational endeavors, including professional positions, service occupations and skilled, technical and support jobs.  (Source: “Regarding Methadone Treatment and Other Pharmacotherapies” by COMPA)

How is success in methadone and other pharmacotherapy treatments defined?
The primary goals are to help addicts cease heroin use and lead more stable, productive lives. But, as knowledge about heroin addiction and effective treatment practices has grown, so too have the objectives of most methadone treatment programs, which also aim to:

  • Decrease criminality and reduce the numbers of substance abusers entering the criminal justice system.
  • Assist patients in addressing multiple substance abuse (including crack/cocaine addiction and alcoholism).
  • Assure treatment for general health matters, especially those related to drug use, such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and hepatitis
  • Promote patient employability and educational development.
  • Identify and treat mental health problems and alleviate homelessness, family substance abuse and child and family dysfunction.

(Source: “Regarding Methadone Treatment and Other Pharmacotherapies” by COMPA)

Why do drug-addicted persons keep using drugs?
Nearly all addicted individuals believe at the outset that they can stop using drugs on their own and most try to stop without treatment. Although some people are successful, many attempts result in failure to achieve long-term abstinence. Research has shown that long-term drug abuse results in changes in the brain that persist long after a person stops using drugs. These drug-induced changes in brain function can have many behavioral consequences. including an inability to exert control over the impulse to use drugs despite adverse consequences-the defining characteristic of addiction. (Source: NIDA, “Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment”)

What is drug addiction treatment?
Drug treatment is intended to help addicted individuals stop compulsive drug seeking and use. Treatment can occur in a variety of settings, in many different forms and for different lengths of time. Because drug addiction is typically a chronic disorder characterized by occasional relapses, a short-term, one-time treatment is usually not sufficient. For many, treatment is a long-term process that involves multiple and regular monitoring.

There are a variety of evidence-based approaches to treating addiction. Drug treatment can include behavioral therapy (such as individual or group counseling, cognitive therapy or contingency management), medications or their combination. The specific type of treatment or combination of treatments will vary depending on the patient’s individual needs and, often, on the types of drugs they use. The severity of addiction and previous efforts to stop using drugs can also influence a treatment approach. Finally, people who are addicted to drugs often suffer from other health (including other mental health), occupational, legal, familial and social problems that should be addressed concurrently.

The best programs provide a combination of therapies and other services to meet an individual patient’s needs. Specific needs may relate to age, race, culture, sexual orientation, gender, pregnancy, other drug use, comorbid conditions (e.g., depression, HIV), parenting, housing and employment, as well as physical and sexual abuse history. (Source: NIDA, “Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment”)

How effective is drug addiction treatment?
In addition to stopping drug abuse, the goal of treatment is to return people to productive functioning in the family workplace and community. According to research that tracks individuals in treatment over extended periods, most people who get into and remain in treatment stop using drugs, decrease their criminal activity and improve their occupational, social and psychological functioning. For example, methadone treatment has been shown to increase participation in behavioral therapy and decrease both drug use and criminal behavior. However, individual treatment outcomes depend on the extent and nature of the patient’s problems, the appropriateness of treatment and related services used to address those problems and the quality of interaction between the patient and his or her treatment providers. (Source: NIDA, “Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment”)

Is drug addiction treatment worth its cost?
Substance abuse costs our Nation over one half-trillion dollars annually, and treatment can help reduce these costs. Drug addiction treatment has been shown to reduce associated health and social costs by far more than the cost of treatment itself. Treatment is also much less expensive than its alternatives, such as incarcerating addicted persons. For example, the average cost for 1 full year of methadone maintenance treatment is approximately $4,700 per patient, whereas 1 full year of imprisonment costs approximately $24,000 per person. (Source: NIDA, “Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment”)

How long does drug addiction treatment usually last?
Individuals progress through drug addiction treatment at various rates, so there is no predetermined length of treatment. However, research has shown unequivocally that good outcomes are contingent on adequate treatment length. Generally, for residential or outpatient treatment, participation for less than 90 days is of limited effectiveness, and treatment lasting significantly longer is recommended for maintaining positive outcomes. For methadone maintenance, 12 months is considered the minimum and some opioid addicted individuals continue to benefit from methadone maintenance for many years. (Source: NIDA, “Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment”)

What role can the criminal justice system?
Research has demonstrated that treatment for drug-addicted offenders during and after incarceration can have a significant effect on future drug use, criminal behavior and social functioning. The case for integrating drug addiction treatment approaches with the criminal justice system is compelling. Combining prison- and community-based treatment for addicted offenders reduces the risk of both recidivism to drug-related criminal behavior and relapse to drug use, which, in turn, nets huge savings in societal costs. (Source: NIDA, “Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment”)

Is there a difference between physical dependence and addiction?
Yes, according to the DSM, the clinical criteria for “drug dependence” (or what we refer to as addiction) include compulsive drug use despite harmful consequences; inability to stop using a drug, failure to meet work, social or family obligations; and, sometimes (depending on the drug), tolerance and withdrawal. The latter reflect physical dependence in which the body adapts to the drug, requiring more of it to achieve a certain effect (tolerance) and eliciting drug-specific physical or mental symptoms if drug use is abruptly ceased (withdrawal). Physical dependence can happen with the chronic use of many drugs – including even appropriate, medically instructed use. Thus, physical dependence in and of itself does not constitute addiction, but often accompanies addiction. This distinction can be difficult to discern, particularly with prescribed pain medications, where the need for increasing dosages can represent tolerance or a worsening underlying problem, as opposed to the beginning of abuse or addiction. (Source: NIDA, “Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment”)

How do other mental disorders coexisting with drug addiction affect drug addiction treatment?
Drug addiction is a disease of the brain that frequently occurs with other mental disorders. In fact, as many as 6 in 10 people with an illicit substance use disorder also suffer from another mental illness; and rates are similar for users of licit drugs-i.e., tobacco and alcohol. For these individuals, one condition becomes more difficult to treat successfully as an additional condition is intertwined.  (Source: NIDA, “Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment”)

Is the use of medications like methadone and buprenorphine simply replacing one drug addiction with another?
No – as used in maintenance treatment, buprenorphine and methadone are not heroin/opioid substitutes. They are prescribed or administered under monitored, controlled conditions and are safe and effective for treatment opioid addiction when used as directed.

In contrast, methadone and buprenorphine have gradual onsets of action and produce stable levels of the drug in the brain; as a result, patients maintained on these medications do not experience a rush, while they also markedly reduce their desire to use opioids. If an individual treated with these medications tries to take an opioid such as heroin, the euphoric effects are usually dampened or suppressed. Patients undergoing maintenance treatment do not experience the physiological or behavioral abnormalities from rapid fluctuations in drug levels associated with heroin use. Maintenance treatments save lives – they help to stabilize individuals, allowing treatment of their medical, psychological and other problems so they can contribute effectively as members of families and of society.
(Source: NIDA, “Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment”)

@aatod1984
  • TREATING OPIOID USE DISORDER: SO MUCH MORE THAN MEDICATION #aatod2024

TODAY is the last day to take advantage of the discounted registration rate. #aatod2024 is the world’s premier training conference event for the treatment of #OUD.

For registration and hotel information ➡️ bit.ly/3Ue57Q6.

We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas!
  • #aatod2024 Conference Update. Comprehensive Listing/Descriptions of Workshops, Posters, and Hot Topic Roundtable Conference Sessions are now available ➡️ http://bit.ly/3Ue57Q6.

The workshop committee is pleased to present a dynamic workshop lineup that includes extremely rich and diverse educational content for all disciplines. You will hear from experts who will share the latest research and developments relating to opioid use disorders and treatment. The workshop lineup will include state of the art information on diverse areas of focus such as patient care and best practices, building community partnerships and collaborations, public policy and regulatory changes, workforce development, quality assurance, and financial reimbursement. There will be workshops that focus on emerging treatment trends and developments such as the fentanyl epidemic, mobile opioid treatment programs, regulatory changes, expansion of treatment services in rural areas, integrating treatment with the corrections systems, and integrating harm reduction initiatives. For those newer to the field or those who want a refresher on the basics, we have once again included a “Foundations” track which will include selections on the fundamentals of medication assisted treatment.

The conference will continue to be the world’s premier training and education event for the treatment of opioid use disorders.  We hope to see you in Las Vegas!
  • Patient access to OTPs saves lives every day.

AATOD has been working with policymakers and regulatory authorities to increase access to opioid treatment programs (OTPs) though the expansion of mobile vans and Medication Assisted Treatment in correctional facilities in the United States. 

Please support AATOD's mission by making an online donation ➡️ https://bit.ly/3uDOeDC #givingtuesday
  • Lev Facher represented a fair reporting of the current #methadone policy debate that took place at last week’s #STATSummit. 

“Mark Parrino, AATOD’s founder and president, cautioned during the panel that achieving sweeping change might not be so easy. The health system, he argued, is unprepared and even unwilling to make methadone a part of primary care. Potential obstacles, he said, include doctors’ lack of enthusiasm about prescribing methadone; pharmacists’ unwillingness to stock and dispense it; and drug manufacturers’ reluctance to manufacture and distribute it more widely, especially following the lawsuits and criticism many have experienced in the wake of the opioid crisis and the prescription opioid oversupply that accelerated it.” #morethanmedicine #opioidusedisorder #OpposetheMOTAA 

Read More ➡️ bit.ly/3tKb1gy
  • Earn up to 6 LADC & LPC CEU’s at 9th Annual OKATOD Conference, which is convening this Thursday, Oct 12th in Oklahoma City. 

This year, the focus turns to the paramount theme of #harmreduction and its profound role in ushering transformative pathways to #recovery.

Registration is now officially open, and you can secure your tickets promptly ➡️ bit.ly/45l3mm1

For more information, please visit www.okatod.org or send an email to a_rios@oktreatment.com.
  • Join OKATOD, one of AATOD’s state chapters, in Oklahoma City on Oct 12 as they convene their ninth annual OKATOD Conference. This year’s theme is HARM REDUCTION: A TRANSFORMATIVE APPROACH. 

Speakers include Mark Parrino (AATOD President), Maia Szalavitz, Teresa Stephensen, Dr. Larry Lovelace, Angela Harnden, Shajine Blake, and Jason Hall. 

Register ➡️ bit.ly/461CkkG
  • Final Opportunity to Submit Proposals for the #aatod2024 Conference. The submission window will close tonight at 12am ET.

To submit a proposal, please follow the on-screen instructions, bit.ly/3KxQSzU. For questions or additional information regarding the Call for Presentations, please send an email to meetings@aatod.org or call 856-423-3091.

We look forward to receiving your submissions and hope to see you at the conference for what will be the premier conference on the treatment of opioid use disorders in 2024! #morethanmedicine #programnotapill #opioids #OUD #OpioidUseDisorder #submitproposal
  • Today is the Final Day to Submit Proposals for the #aatod2024 conference, 9/21 ➡️ bit.ly/3KxQSzU

The Workshop Committee encourages you to submit proposals on innovative initiatives to enhance patient outcomes, improve program development and administration, promote integration across the continuum of care, and the development of collaborations with organizations outside of the traditional opioid treatment system.

Conference Objectives:
1️⃣Conduct a comprehensive review of the latest evidence addressing the opioid epidemic and its implications for patients, clinicians, administrators, and policy makers by identifying the most effective interventions.
2️⃣Discuss peer to peer approaches in treating opioid use disorder in an effort to improve patient outcomes in health systems, organizations, and communities.
3️⃣Evaluate the gaps in current services for opioid use disorder and develop recommendations to improve the delivery of multidisciplinary care in various populations based upon evidence-based practices.
4️⃣Disseminate a comprehensive plan of innovative services designed to treat emerging needs of patients with opioid use disorder and improve patient outcomes by providing examples of effective methods and how to implement them.
5️⃣Identify effective referral pathways to other health services offering treatment for conditions associated with opioid use disorder addiction and/or recovery by developing partnerships within the community.
  • We are pleased to announce that the deadline for submitting presentations for the #aatod2024 Conference has been extended to Thursday, September 21, 2023.

We encourage all interested parties to take advantage of this opportunity and submit their proposals as soon as possible. We look forward to receiving your proposals and to seeing you in Las Vegas in 2024. 

https://conta.cc/3PiV5ck
  • August 31st is International Overdose Awareness Day 
💜 #IOAD2023 
💜 #NaloxoneSavesLives 
💜 #EndOverdoseNow

Please contact your State Opioid Treatment Authority for locations in your community that distribute naloxone kits —> bit.ly/3qVPOPz. 

 Full Video 🎥 bit.ly/3ElzdYD
TREATING OPIOID USE DISORDER: SO MUCH MORE THAN MEDICATION #aatod2024

TODAY is the last day to take advantage of the discounted registration rate. #aatod2024 is the world’s premier training conference event for the treatment of #OUD.

For registration and hotel information ➡️ bit.ly/3Ue57Q6.

We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas!
TREATING OPIOID USE DISORDER: SO MUCH MORE THAN MEDICATION #aatod2024 TODAY is the last day to take advantage of the discounted registration rate. #aatod2024 is the world’s premier training conference event for the treatment of #OUD. For registration and hotel information ➡️ bit.ly/3Ue57Q6. We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas!
3 weeks ago
View on Instagram |
1/10
#aatod2024 Conference Update. Comprehensive Listing/Descriptions of Workshops, Posters, and Hot Topic Roundtable Conference Sessions are now available ➡️ http://bit.ly/3Ue57Q6.

The workshop committee is pleased to present a dynamic workshop lineup that includes extremely rich and diverse educational content for all disciplines. You will hear from experts who will share the latest research and developments relating to opioid use disorders and treatment. The workshop lineup will include state of the art information on diverse areas of focus such as patient care and best practices, building community partnerships and collaborations, public policy and regulatory changes, workforce development, quality assurance, and financial reimbursement. There will be workshops that focus on emerging treatment trends and developments such as the fentanyl epidemic, mobile opioid treatment programs, regulatory changes, expansion of treatment services in rural areas, integrating treatment with the corrections systems, and integrating harm reduction initiatives. For those newer to the field or those who want a refresher on the basics, we have once again included a “Foundations” track which will include selections on the fundamentals of medication assisted treatment.

The conference will continue to be the world’s premier training and education event for the treatment of opioid use disorders.  We hope to see you in Las Vegas!
#aatod2024 Conference Update. Comprehensive Listing/Descriptions of Workshops, Posters, and Hot Topic Roundtable Conference Sessions are now available ➡️ http://bit.ly/3Ue57Q6. The workshop committee is pleased to present a dynamic workshop lineup that includes extremely rich and diverse educational content for all disciplines. You will hear from experts who will share the latest research and developments relating to opioid use disorders and treatment. The workshop lineup will include state of the art information on diverse areas of focus such as patient care and best practices, building community partnerships and collaborations, public policy and regulatory changes, workforce development, quality assurance, and financial reimbursement. There will be workshops that focus on emerging treatment trends and developments such as the fentanyl epidemic, mobile opioid treatment programs, regulatory changes, expansion of treatment services in rural areas, integrating treatment with the corrections systems, and integrating harm reduction initiatives. For those newer to the field or those who want a refresher on the basics, we have once again included a “Foundations” track which will include selections on the fundamentals of medication assisted treatment. The conference will continue to be the world’s premier training and education event for the treatment of opioid use disorders. We hope to see you in Las Vegas!
4 weeks ago
View on Instagram |
2/10
Patient access to OTPs saves lives every day.

AATOD has been working with policymakers and regulatory authorities to increase access to opioid treatment programs (OTPs) though the expansion of mobile vans and Medication Assisted Treatment in correctional facilities in the United States. 

Please support AATOD's mission by making an online donation ➡️ https://bit.ly/3uDOeDC #givingtuesday
Patient access to OTPs saves lives every day. AATOD has been working with policymakers and regulatory authorities to increase access to opioid treatment programs (OTPs) though the expansion of mobile vans and Medication Assisted Treatment in correctional facilities in the United States. Please support AATOD's mission by making an online donation ➡️ https://bit.ly/3uDOeDC #givingtuesday
3 months ago
View on Instagram |
3/10
Lev Facher represented a fair reporting of the current #methadone policy debate that took place at last week’s #STATSummit. 

“Mark Parrino, AATOD’s founder and president, cautioned during the panel that achieving sweeping change might not be so easy. The health system, he argued, is unprepared and even unwilling to make methadone a part of primary care. Potential obstacles, he said, include doctors’ lack of enthusiasm about prescribing methadone; pharmacists’ unwillingness to stock and dispense it; and drug manufacturers’ reluctance to manufacture and distribute it more widely, especially following the lawsuits and criticism many have experienced in the wake of the opioid crisis and the prescription opioid oversupply that accelerated it.” #morethanmedicine #opioidusedisorder #OpposetheMOTAA 

Read More ➡️ bit.ly/3tKb1gy
Lev Facher represented a fair reporting of the current #methadone policy debate that took place at last week’s #STATSummit. “Mark Parrino, AATOD’s founder and president, cautioned during the panel that achieving sweeping change might not be so easy. The health system, he argued, is unprepared and even unwilling to make methadone a part of primary care. Potential obstacles, he said, include doctors’ lack of enthusiasm about prescribing methadone; pharmacists’ unwillingness to stock and dispense it; and drug manufacturers’ reluctance to manufacture and distribute it more widely, especially following the lawsuits and criticism many have experienced in the wake of the opioid crisis and the prescription opioid oversupply that accelerated it.” #morethanmedicine #opioidusedisorder #OpposetheMOTAA Read More ➡️ bit.ly/3tKb1gy
4 months ago
View on Instagram |
4/10
Earn up to 6 LADC & LPC CEU’s at 9th Annual OKATOD Conference, which is convening this Thursday, Oct 12th in Oklahoma City. 

This year, the focus turns to the paramount theme of #harmreduction and its profound role in ushering transformative pathways to #recovery.

Registration is now officially open, and you can secure your tickets promptly ➡️ bit.ly/45l3mm1

For more information, please visit www.okatod.org or send an email to a_rios@oktreatment.com.
Earn up to 6 LADC & LPC CEU’s at 9th Annual OKATOD Conference, which is convening this Thursday, Oct 12th in Oklahoma City. 

This year, the focus turns to the paramount theme of #harmreduction and its profound role in ushering transformative pathways to #recovery.

Registration is now officially open, and you can secure your tickets promptly ➡️ bit.ly/45l3mm1

For more information, please visit www.okatod.org or send an email to a_rios@oktreatment.com.
Earn up to 6 LADC & LPC CEU’s at 9th Annual OKATOD Conference, which is convening this Thursday, Oct 12th in Oklahoma City. This year, the focus turns to the paramount theme of #harmreduction and its profound role in ushering transformative pathways to #recovery. Registration is now officially open, and you can secure your tickets promptly ➡️ bit.ly/45l3mm1 For more information, please visit www.okatod.org or send an email to a_rios@oktreatment.com.
4 months ago
View on Instagram |
5/10
Join OKATOD, one of AATOD’s state chapters, in Oklahoma City on Oct 12 as they convene their ninth annual OKATOD Conference. This year’s theme is HARM REDUCTION: A TRANSFORMATIVE APPROACH. 

Speakers include Mark Parrino (AATOD President), Maia Szalavitz, Teresa Stephensen, Dr. Larry Lovelace, Angela Harnden, Shajine Blake, and Jason Hall. 

Register ➡️ bit.ly/461CkkG
Join OKATOD, one of AATOD’s state chapters, in Oklahoma City on Oct 12 as they convene their ninth annual OKATOD Conference. This year’s theme is HARM REDUCTION: A TRANSFORMATIVE APPROACH. Speakers include Mark Parrino (AATOD President), Maia Szalavitz, Teresa Stephensen, Dr. Larry Lovelace, Angela Harnden, Shajine Blake, and Jason Hall. Register ➡️ bit.ly/461CkkG
5 months ago
View on Instagram |
6/10
Final Opportunity to Submit Proposals for the #aatod2024 Conference. The submission window will close tonight at 12am ET. To submit a proposal, please follow the on-screen instructions, bit.ly/3KxQSzU. For questions or additional information regarding the Call for Presentations, please send an email to meetings@aatod.org or call 856-423-3091. We look forward to receiving your submissions and hope to see you at the conference for what will be the premier conference on the treatment of opioid use disorders in 2024! #morethanmedicine #programnotapill #opioids #OUD #OpioidUseDisorder #submitproposal
5 months ago
View on Instagram |
7/10
Today is the Final Day to Submit Proposals for the #aatod2024 conference, 9/21 ➡️ bit.ly/3KxQSzU The Workshop Committee encourages you to submit proposals on innovative initiatives to enhance patient outcomes, improve program development and administration, promote integration across the continuum of care, and the development of collaborations with organizations outside of the traditional opioid treatment system. Conference Objectives: 1️⃣Conduct a comprehensive review of the latest evidence addressing the opioid epidemic and its implications for patients, clinicians, administrators, and policy makers by identifying the most effective interventions. 2️⃣Discuss peer to peer approaches in treating opioid use disorder in an effort to improve patient outcomes in health systems, organizations, and communities. 3️⃣Evaluate the gaps in current services for opioid use disorder and develop recommendations to improve the delivery of multidisciplinary care in various populations based upon evidence-based practices. 4️⃣Disseminate a comprehensive plan of innovative services designed to treat emerging needs of patients with opioid use disorder and improve patient outcomes by providing examples of effective methods and how to implement them. 5️⃣Identify effective referral pathways to other health services offering treatment for conditions associated with opioid use disorder addiction and/or recovery by developing partnerships within the community.
5 months ago
View on Instagram |
8/10
We are pleased to announce that the deadline for submitting presentations for the #aatod2024 Conference has been extended to Thursday, September 21, 2023. We encourage all interested parties to take advantage of this opportunity and submit their proposals as soon as possible. We look forward to receiving your proposals and to seeing you in Las Vegas in 2024. https://conta.cc/3PiV5ck
5 months ago
View on Instagram |
9/10
August 31st is International Overdose Awareness Day 💜 #IOAD2023 💜 #NaloxoneSavesLives 💜 #EndOverdoseNow Please contact your State Opioid Treatment Authority for locations in your community that distribute naloxone kits —> bit.ly/3qVPOPz. Full Video 🎥 bit.ly/3ElzdYD
6 months ago
View on Instagram |
10/10

Announcing groundbreaking updates: HHS/SAMHSA's new regulations mark a significant step forward for opioid treatment programs. Fostering enhanced accessibility, flexibility and patient dignity. Gratitude to @@AATOD1984 for their pivotal role in this progress. #OpioidTreatment

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2024 Conference Las Vegas

2024 Conference

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