The written comments we received last month, for a poll in which about 58% of respondents equated methadone or buprenorphine maintenance with recovery, show how elusive a consensus definition of recovery can be for this field.
Here are some of the comments we received, starting with three answering in the affirmative:
“If the individual’s quality of life has improved as a result of the treatment, there is no question about recovery.”
“Where does it say recovery is abstinence? Those who do not understand what benefits medication-assisted treatment provides really need to educate themselves!”
“More so for buprenorphine, but the statistics are irrefutable even for an old-school, abstinence-only addict like me.”
Here are three from the opposite point of view:
“The pharmaceutical management of addiction is not the same thing as recovery from addiction, no matter how you slice it.”
“Harm reduction is a good thing, but I think they are avoiding the inevitable, which is going through withdrawals and getting it over with.”