“This program has allowed me to spend more time with my children and be the parent I want to be. It has given me my life back.” One McKenzie Medical Center (MMC) patient commented.
“This disease should be managed like any other medical diagnosis….treating the person with dignity, respect and compassion. This is the approach we take at MMC, and why we are successful in assisting individuals and families at managing this illness,” states Lauren Fields, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at MMC with over 10 years of experience in the field of addiction and mental health.
Substance abuse is a widespread issue in the United States, with the number of overdose deaths climbing at an alarming rate. Opioids are at the top of the list of abused substances that can lead to death. This may be a national problem, but Tennessee hosts some of the highest overdose numbers and drug-related crime statistics in the country. According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Tennessee has the third-highest prescription drug abuse problem in the United States.
“Addiction is a disease, not a character defect,” continues Fields. “It does not discriminate based on race, gender or socio-economic status. Individuals who suffer from addiction need to be seen as valuable and be given the opportunity to improve their quality of life.”
MMC strives to help these individuals by offering a unified approach, in which a medical provider and mental health provider work closely together to treat the “whole person.” Outside of Memphis, MMC is the only outpatient Medication Assistance Treatment (MAT) program in Tennessee that accepts all insurances (including all forms of Tenncare) and offers this unified approach with a licensed therapist and MD. Presently, patients will receive an appointment the day they call –it may not be a same day appointment but they will not have to be put on a waiting list for this program.
SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) states that research shows a combination of MAT and behavioral therapies is the most successful treatment of opioid addiction.
According to research from SAMHSA, it is important to note that MAT is NOT substituting one addictive drug for another. The medication does not create a new addiction when used appropriately. It helps manage the symptoms of addiction in order to maintain recovery.
MAT offers a way to treat opioid dependence – in a doctor’s office – with privacy, confidentiality and safety. It can decrease cravings and relieve withdrawal symptoms, by allowing the individual to regain a more balanced state of mind, free of drug induced highs and lows. People treated with MAT generally don’t need to be hospitalized or go away from home for residential treatment. As a result, MAT may allow more time for work, family and other activities to rebuild his/her life.
If you are struggling with opiate addiction or have a loved one who is suffering with this illness, give MMC a call to get checked out today: 731-352-7907