National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery
Since its beginning over 40 years ago medication assisted treatment (MAT, i.e. methadone maintenance) has been the preferred treatment for opiate dependence and has set the "gold standard" for other addiction treatment. Many times it has been demonstrated to be the most effective treatment for opiate addiction, resulting in the termination both of opiate drug use and of criminal behavior. In spite of its success, medication assisted treatment is often disparaged as a "substitute drug" by those who ignore the science that has validated it and the positive benefits that it has clearly brought to society.
Such attitudes negatively impact on MAT in a variety of ways, but it is the patients themselves who are particularly stigmatized and harmed. Patients are mistreated and misinformed and considered as social outcasts. They are victims of discrimination in health care, the job market, education, insurance and housing. Even treatment professionals are often ashamed to admit that they work in this field. This atmosphere will not change as long as there is no organization or formal mechanism for MAT patients to voice their own needs and to form a strong, unified public presence on their behalf.
The primary objective of NAMA Recovery is to advocate for the patient in treatment by destigmatizing and empowering patients. First and foremost, it can confront the negative stereotypes that impact on the self esteem and worth of many MAT patients with a powerful affirmation of pride and unity.
Formerly: National Alliance of Methadone Advocates