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Medically-Assisted Treatment Therapies Show Promising Results


Quit cold turkey – that’s the theory behind some drug rehabilitation programs, but this can be problematic.

Trillium Health Resources is collaborating with The Healing Place on New Hanover County’s first long-term substance abuse facility. According to Trillium, the plan “does incorporate non-medical detoxification as part of their long-term treatment.”

The Healing Place’s website, the mainly non-medical and 12-step peer-run recovery program, says 75% of those who complete the program remain sober one year after. But Dr. William Johnstone of New Hanover Regional Medical Center has a differing opinion of non-medically based treatment:

"We have years of studies that show that medically assisted therapy is the most successful way of a sustained recovery, and that abstinence and 28-day program – while good, and it does stick sometimes – but their quoted failure rates as high as 96%."

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports the science behind using medication for Opioid Use Disorder is strong. Methadone, along with other drug therapies, are more effective in reducing illicit opioid use than no medication in randomized clinical trials.