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I'm a strong advocate for the use of methadone, suboxone, and other opioid replacement medications in the treatment of addiction. I think that medication assisted treatment/maintenance treatment is a viable option for both short and long term treatment of addiction. I'm also an advocate for the use of opioid replacement medications in harm reduction programs that focus on the reduction of harm to the individual with a substance use disorder instead of focusing on abstinence from "illicit" drugs.
This includes harm reduction methods that do not involve replacement medications. Needle Exchange programs and Safe Injection Sites protect both the individual with a substance use disorder and the community from many of the negative consequences associated with substance use.
Along the same lines, I believe communities would be better served if we ended the “war on drugs” and decriminalized substance use. We’ve been at war with drugs for 44 years and it’s about time that we admit it’s a losing battle. If there is a demand for mind altering drugs and a profit to be made, there will always be someone willing to supply the drugs needed to meet the demand. It’s about time that we stopped focusing on supply and started focusing on demand. My journey to recovery started through 12 Step fellowships and did not include medication assisted treatment. I don’t think my recovery, or my path to recovery, is superior to anyone else’s recovery or path to recovery. I think it’s unfortunate that 12 Step fellowships, and other abstinence based recovery programs, have dogmatically held onto their definition of recovery as the only definition of recovery. Everyone choosing to treat their substance use disorder has something to share with others who are treating their substance use disorder, regardless of their chosen path.