Opioid and alcohol addiction are serious problems that affect millions of Americans from all walks of life. While many addiction rehab programs believe that total abstinence is critical to recovery, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is becoming more widely accepted, especially for treating opioid and alcohol addictions. Current research shows numerous benefits to incorporating MAT into comprehensive addiction treatment plans. However, MAT is not for everyone. Contact Next Wind Recovery at 201.331.6569 if you would like to learn more about medication-assisted treatment in New Jersey and whether or not it is right for you.
At Next Wind Recovery in Englewood, NJ, we specialize in medication-assisted opioid and alcohol addiction treatment. We understand that, though MAT is an evidence-based treatment, there remains a lot of misinformation about it. Our expert staff is available to answer all of your questions.
Can You Maintain Employment While Utilizing MAT?
One of the most common questions people ask about MAT is whether or not they can lose their current job or otherwise be denied employment if they are participating in a medication-assisted treatment program. For the most part, the answer is no.
Signed into law in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, is a federal law that applies to most employers in the country and prohibits discrimination against employees and job applicants based on their disabilities. The ADA protection also covers individuals who are taking medications as prescribed. Therefore, for the most part, individuals using MAT cannot be denied employment, demoted, or fired as long as they are taking their medications as prescribed.
Some exceptions to this ADA protection are as follows:
- Current illegal drug use – Individuals who relapse on illegal drugs while utilizing MAT are not protected under the ADA. The term current is defined differently in different places and can often mean several months.
- Businesses with less than 15 employees – Private employers with less than 15 employees may not be bound by ADA regulations, though they may have to adhere to state discrimination laws.
- Certain federal government jobs – The ADA does not cover employees within the federal government’s executive branch.
- Undue hardship and direct threat – If accommodating an individual’s disability would be very expensive or disruptive or create a direct threat to safety, employers are exempt from ADA guidelines.
While the ADA protects most individuals utilizing MAT, disclosing your treatment to your current or prospective employer is always best. If an employer is unaware of prescribed medications, they can assume that a positive drug test result is from illegal drug use.
The Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment
One of the biggest misconceptions about medication-assisted treatment is that it is used independently. However, MAT is only one part of comprehensive addiction treatment that typically includes all or some of the following, depending on a person’s unique needs and circumstances:
- Group therapy
- Individual therapy
- Family therapy
- Education about addiction
- Life skills training
- Behavioral therapy
- Treatment for co-occurring disorders
The medications used in MAT are approved by the Federal Drug Association (FDA), and their use in addiction treatment is strongly promoted by the American Medical Association (AMA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other public health organizations. These medications work by blocking the euphoric effects of opioids and alcohol, reducing physical and psychological cravings, and normalizing the body’s chemistry over time.
Other significant benefits of medication-assisted treatment include:
- Reduces the risk of overdose and overdose-related death
- Facilitates safer detox by relieving symptoms and reducing cravings
- Increases retention in addiction treatment
- Decreases illegal drug use its potential dangers and legal consequences
- Reduces or prevents relapses when used as part of comprehensive treatment
MAT does utilize powerful medications that can have undesirable side effects. MAT should only be administered under strict supervision at a qualified addiction treatment facility.
Learn More About Medication-Assisted Treatment at Next WInd Recovery
Often, the most challenging step in addiction recovery is acknowledging the need for professional addiction treatment. When you have reached that point, reach out to Next Wind Recovery to learn about your treatment options, like medication-assisted treatment. Our expert, compassionate team understands the challenges of overcoming addiction, especially opioids or alcohol. Use our online form or call 201.331.6569 to begin your recovery journey today.