In many addiction treatment organizations, direct care staff are also people in recovery from a substance use disorder. The ATTC Network’s Vital Signs: Taking the Pulse of the Addiction Treatment Profession1(2012) estimates that approximately one-third of clinical directors and direct care staff are also people in recovery from a substance use disorder. Many of them may have achieved recovery using an abstinence-only approach may be opposed to the use of medication to treat addiction.
Acknowledge resistance to MAT
To secure staff buy-in, begin by acknowledging that most people would prefer not to manage any chronic illness with medication.
Just as some people with diabetes or hypertension can manage their symptoms through lifestyle and behavioral changes alone, some with substance use disorders can achieve successful recovery without mediations. People who have achieved recovery using an abstinence-only approach may oppose the use of medication to treat addiction.
Make it clear to staff that your organization recognizes MAT as an important tool in a comprehensive treatment plan that includes counseling and social support.
Affirm other aspects of treatment
Assure staff that psychosocial support, peer recovery services, and participation in mutual aid groups will continue to be vitally important components of a comprehensive treatment plan.
Providing education and training about buprenorphine and its effectiveness will help to secure buy-in from staff, clients, prescribers, the community, and the criminal justice system.
From the ATTC/NIATx Service Improvement Blog:
Page Updated: 09/28/2020
1Ryan, O., Murphy, D., Krom, L. (2012). Vital Signs: Taking the Pulse of the Addiction Treatment Workforce, A National Report, Version 1. Kansas City, MO: Addiction Technology Transfer Center National Office in residence at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.