National media attention on the Obama administration's interest in lifting barriers to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorders has prompted the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) to highlight the importance of holistic treatment strategies that include MAT.
NAATP issued a rare Sunday evening news release to emphasize that the organization and its members do not reject MAT, stating that a continuum of care for addiction “includes bio-psycho-social care and MAT used as part of a combined holistic treatment approach.”
NAATP executive director Marvin Ventrell tells Addiction Professional that he was struck particularly by Huffington Post coverage that reported statements from President Obama last week as urging addiction treatment programs to no longer reject medication. “And since we don't reject it, I was motivated to take the opportunity to comment on the value of MAT in conjunction with other components of care,” Ventrell tells us.
In the news release, Ventrell emphasized the importance of the recent national focus on addiction treatment, stating, “We have been waiting for this momentum for a long time. It is essential, now, that we get it right, that we integrate rather than isolate systems of care, including MAT and bio-psycho-social care.”
The release cites Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation's publication Integrating the Twelve Steps with Medically Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder as an example of a useful reference for comprehensive care.
The release also mentions NAATP's values statement, adopted in 2013, in which the association states that it values abstinence as an optimal component of long-term recovery but acknowledges that some patients may require extended and perhaps indefinite medication-assisted treatment for their addiction.