On April 18th the Maine Primary Care Association hosted a combined in-person and webinar-based presentation tilted “Substance Abuse Perspectives and Treatment." The talk addressed the topic of addiction as a disease and featured the philosophy and structure of Harbor Health Service’s Wellness program, an FQHC that offer Medication-assisted Treatment of Substance Use Disorders as an integral aspect of wellness care.
Some key takeaways were:
- Changing the language and culture associated with substance abuse treatment. For example – eliminating “addict” and “dirty” as labels because these words sort patients into a specific box, when we should focus more on norming.
- Medication assisted treatment is both challenging and rewarding. Providers and nurses have the opportunity to change lives for generations.
- Addiction should be viewed as an “infection” rather than as the whole “disease” in the same way a diabetic foot ulcer in an infection resulting from a larger set of unaddressed issues. Addiction is an infection that is impacted by housing, environment, social and familial support, etc.
Program manager, Michelle Aceto, a Certified Addiction RN, addressed common barrier to establishing medication-assisted treatment programs and shared a compassionate and hopeful perspective on the treatment of patients with substance use disorders. The recorded webinar is available by clicking here. For further information about Substance Abuse Perspectives and Treatment, email Jeff Brown.