It is accepted that medications for opioid use disorder save lives.
In the midst of the ongoing opioid epidemic, exacerbated by the pandemic and inflation, many people are feeling economically pinched. Some people with opioid and other substance use disorders are struggling to maintain housing.
When people find recovery-oriented housing, they are excited because they feel they will get the support they need.
But it is very challenging when they then sometimes find that they are not allowed to stay at the supportive living environment if they are taking medications for their medical illness.
The idea of taking medications for substance use disorders being equivalent to not being in recovery is flawed. If we define recovery as taking medications as prescribed, we can shift the discussion to providing an environment that will set a person up for success that is more inclusive and supportive of the idea that there is no one-size-fits-all for recovery. The Department of Health Services has recently taken steps to encourage recovery housing to allow medications for substance use disorders on site.
Is the recovery community ready to support people who are taking medications?
Dr. Ritu Bhatnagar, president, Wisconsin Society of Addiction Medicine
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