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Substance Abuse Treatment in the Community

Joe McDonald is President and CEO of Catholic Health Services in Buffalo, NY. They are an outpatient substance abuse treatment facility who recently relocated, and are adding “medication-assisted treatment” to help local people struggling with opioid addiction.

Joe wrote an opinion piece for The Buffalo News, and in it expressed his hope that the local community would broaden their understanding and acceptance of the need for medication-assisted treatments like methadone.

Fear or apprehension seem to be frequent reactions when someone hears that a methadone clinic will be opening nearby. In Joe’s article, he addresses the fear that sometimes hampers the opening of substance abuse treatment programs. Joe explains that the “old stereotypes” people hold of methadone patients are truly outdated, and that many of the people seeking services are from everyday families.

A healthy fear of drugs, and the crime associated with it, is understandable. But it is important to remember that in today’s society many types of people suffer with substance problems. And many of these individuals will find their way into a lasting recovery from addiction. Science now tells us that medication-assisted treatment works. It literally restores lives for those who are sincere in their desire to get back on track.

We appreciate voices like Joe’s. He speaks with a clear conscience and a genuine hope that people in addiction will be saved. Methadone, buprenorphine (suboxone), and naloxone are life-saving medications.

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