The problem with the methadone community is we have too many people who think methadone is a magic bullet for that disease—that recovery involves nothing more than taking methadone.
This view is reinforced by people who, with the best of intentions, proclaim, “Methadone is recovery.” Methadone is not recovery. Recovery is recovery. Methadone is a pathway, a road, a tool. Recovery is a life and a particular way of living your life. Saying that methadone is recovery let’s people think that, “Hey, you go up to the counter there, and you drink a cup of medication, and that’s it. You’re in recovery.” And of course, that’s nonsense. Too many people in the methadone field learn that opiate dependence is a brain disorder, and they think that that’s all there is to it. But just like any other chronic medical condition, it has a behavioral component that involves how you live your life and the daily decisions you make.
He bemoans the lack of recovery-oriented providers:
Bill: Do you see the methadone clinics in the United States developing more recovery-oriented philosophies in their service practices?
Walter: I wish I could say I did, but it’s a yes and no. I’ve been to all the AATOD conferences since 2001 and there are clearly people who are developing more recovery-oriented programs, but there are 1200 methadone programs in the U.S. How many are represented at the AATOD? 40? So yes, some of the programs are developing more recovery-oriented services, but many are not.
This will be a very interesting movement to watch. Read the rest here.