One reason the Task Force encourages increased education and training for medication assisted treatment (MAT) is so that drug addicts can be treated in the same realm as others suffering from any other disease. MAT is defined by using conventional therapies in conjunction with medications that have proven successful at helping people struggling with substance abuse stay clean. It is most often used for those trying to stay off of opioid medications.
There is a difference between an individual who is drug dependent and an individual who is a drug addict. For example, substance dependency is when a doctor prescribes pain medication for legitimate reasons and the individual continues to take them as prescribed. When the doctor terminates the prescription, the person is able to slowly taper off of the medication. A drug addict on the other hand, has crossed that ‘invisible line’ and is unable to follow the doctor’s order and stop a medication. The addict will run out of medication and resort to other means, often illegal, to obtain more and more drugs.
If someone you care about was once addicted to drugs or alcohol, you may be concerned about relapse, and often wonder what will happen if he or she suffers a relapse after rehab. You may find yourself having difficulty understanding why people relapse on drugs or alcohol after finally getting sober. After all the time and effort spent to recover why do people relapse?