I appreciate the reflections in Dr. Jana Burson’s most recent blog post.
In particular, the following caught my attention:
“I hear abstinence-only proponents criticize medications for opioid use disorder, and I think to myself, ‘If you only knew how much some people benefit from methadone/buprenorphine, you would change your mind.’ When I hear people who support medications for opioid use disorder talk badly about 12-step recovery, I think the same thing. ‘If you could only see the great benefits some people get from these recovery meetings, you wouldn’t be so harsh.'”
The above excerpt reminds me of those early members of Alcoholics Anonymous who were referred to as ‘bridge members.’ These individuals had experience with addiction to alcohol and addiction to other drugs. As a result, they were able to serve as a bridge between the “straight alcoholic” and “straight addict,” despite the differences that tended to separate them (cultural, legal/illegal status of their conditions, lived experiences, and relationship to society).
I appreciate Dr. Burson’s reflections on navigating the tensions between her professional training, personal recovery, and professional practice. And of serving as a bridge between different recovery experiences.