Are people just using MOUD to get high?
When someone is treated for an opioid addiction the dosage of medication used does not get them high, it helps to reduce opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms. These medications restore balance to the brain circuits affected by addiction, allowing the patient’s brain to heal while they work towards recovery.1
Doesn’t MOUD just replace one addiction with another one?
MOUD is evidence-based and is the recommended course of treatment for opioid addiction by the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, American Medical Association, The National Institute on Drug Abuse, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
MOUD bridges the biological and behavioral components of addiction. Research indicates that a combination of medication and behavioral therapies can successfully treat Substance Use Disorders and help sustain recovery. MOUD has been shown to assist patients in recovery by improving quality of life, level of functioning and the ability to handle stress. Above all, MOUD helps reduce mortality while in recovery. So no, you are not replacing one addiction with another.
How long should people be on MOUD?
There is currently no evidence to support benefits from stopping MOUD. Treatment programs should be individualized to fit each person’s needs. Generally, the longer one is on MOUD, the greater their chances of ultimate success.
Is MOUD safe?
The United States Food and Drug Administration have deemed three medications (methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone) safe and effective for treating opioid use disorder. According to the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, methadone is “a rigorously well-tested medication that is safe and effective for the treatment of narcotic withdrawal and dependence.”2
Which medication is the most effective?
The medication that is most effective is the one that someone will take. The FDA approved MOUDs are effective at treating and reducing mortality for individuals with opioid use disorder. The medication decision should result from conversation with the individual and the provider. Each person’s body and needs are different and it is important that the individual with OUD receives the medication that best suits theirs.
How affordable is MOUD?
The funding structures of correctional MOUD programs vary and funding needs correspond to the type of model a facility implements, the types of medications offered and the size of the patient population. This webinar from SAMHSA outlines the benefits and cost savings of implementing MOUD in correctional settings. The National Council for Behavioral Health’s MAT Toolkit provides an overview of key considerations, resources and existing finance structures related to supporting and sustaining correctional MAT programs on page 84 of Component 7.
Is it illegal for jails and prisons to deny access to MOUD?
It can be illegal to deny MOUD. Federal courts in Maine and Massachusetts have ruled that jails likely violated the Americans with Disabilities Act when they denied MOUD. One of the courts ruled that denial of MOUD also likely violated the Constitution’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.3
- SAMHSA. Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website. Updated January 4, 2021. Accessed June 11, 2021. https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment ←
- Prescription Monitoring Program. OPIOIDS: What You Need to Know. Hartford, CT. Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection. Published 2006. Accessed June 11, 2021. https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/DCP/drug_control/PMP/pdf/opioidspdf.pdf ←
- Source needed. ←