As part of a discussion on Addiction in America, hosted by Washington Post Live, former Congressman from Rhode Island, Patrick Kennedy, spoke about the opioid epidemic and of treatment methods that are being offered today. As a former Congressman and also a recovering addict, Patrick was able to speak both candidly and eloquently about the crisis.
When discussing the current approach to the opioid epidemic he stated that it is like, “rearranging deck chairs on the titanic.” He claims that 2/3 of rehab centers don’t even offer medication assisted treatment. Patrick believes that if treatment centers are not offering MAT, medication assisted treatment, that they are not doing what scientists tell you works. In Patrick’s case, it was a combination of MAT and 12 Step that has kept him from relapsing.
Not everyone may agree with Patrick’s views on MAT, but no one should deny the benefit of a discussion like the one held by The Washington Post today. In fact, we need so much more of this. We need to continue the discussion of this disease in order to break the stigma; to educate and disseminate the facts; to reach out to those struggling with addiction that need answers, a voice and most of all, hope.
Thank you to The Washington Post for hosting this event, thank you to Battelle for sponsoring the event and thank you to Patrick Kennedy for sharing his heartfelt story and beliefs.