Successful Drug and Alcohol Treatment: Medication-Assisted Treatment

The best drug and alcohol treatment in Florida, or anywhere in the country, is being practiced at Florida Springs Wellness and Recovery Center in Panama City, Florida. To help large numbers of patients begin recovery from alcohol and drug addiction, various treatment methods must be employed all in the same place, as different types of patients respond positively to different treatment modalities. What does this mean in practice?

In 2021, if you want to help the patients that walk into rehabs in Florida every day, your staff must be knowledgeable about 12-step treatment programs. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, the Big Book, and the story of Bill W. That barely gets you started. The same patients that respond positively to 12-step modalities and precepts will often need medical detox just to give themselves a shot at staying clean. Detox includes 24-hour medical professional staffing and supervision, and people who are comfortable dealing with patients and family members in crisis. If a patient gets through the first week of detox, how do we know what will work for a patient going forward? Clinicians look at the latest research regarding methods of substance use disorder treatment, and patients have medical histories and stories to tell. Many patients in a rehab facility will have tried various forms of treatment, and may have experienced extended periods of sobriety. Other patients have not had a week of clean living in 15 or more years. All of these people are hopeful for a better future, and the VAST majority will respond positively to some form of treatment and be clean years down the road if dedicated treatment practitioners can match patients with treatment that works for them. The staff at Florida Springs is dedicated to seeking answers and shedding light on this disease for individual patients according to their needs.

Realities of Methadone and Suboxone Treatment

The road can be bumpy, and is beset on all sides by difficult obstacles, including family members who stigmatize the disease of their loved ones, and a justice system that needs little more reason to lock these patients away from all modern treatment methods. If you go to, you will be greeted with many different treatment programs with different names, and that is because the realities of drug and alcohol rehabilitation are complicated. Medication-Assisted-Treatment, or MAT, is one of those treatment methods and MAT is an interesting encapsulation of common problems faced in the addiction treatment and recovery field. Methadone was invented by German scientists in the first half of the 20th century. In the early second half of the 20th century, pioneering doctors and nurses began to see that the very special individual traits of methadone, very distinct from other opioid drugs like hydrocodone, oxycontin, or street drugs like heroin, make methadone an incredible tool for giving some patients a lifeline between active use and sobriety. The long half-life of methadone, combined with other distinct scientific characteristics, enabled even seemingly hopeless addicts to begin to rediscover what normal life feels like, something they thought impossible in the depths of despair from Heroin addiction. Early methadone studies in New York showed astounding results. During the worst of the early years of the crack epidemic, heroin addicts that were admitted to early methadone trials were suddenly kicking heroin and wondering if their close friends, addicted to crack cocaine, would ever be so lucky as to have a miracle drug present itself in their lives. The oxycontin epidemic and the ongoing fentanyl crisis have not caused our society to greatly increase the availability of methadone and methadone clinics. Suboxone, another drug that has shown obvious success for patients where other treatments failed, is used in a similar manner to methadone, but access to suboxone has also lagged well behind the demand and need for the medication during the opioid crisis. Although methadone and suboxone have been more successful than most other forms of substance use disorder treatment, the general public has misgivings about these drugs, especially methadone. Better education of the general public and lawmakers could help increase our countries’ overall capacity for new MAT patients. If less people considered MAT “replacing one drug with another” it would go a long way in reducing stigma about MAT. In 2021, regarding the prescribing of methadone or suboxone under the care of a physician in a similar way to using street drugs like heroin is an incredibly damaging misunderstanding of modern addiction medicine. With powerful and deadly drugs like Fentanyl and Carfentanil quickly making their way into every drug sold on the street, the difference between use of street drugs and being prescribed medicines like methadone has never been larger. Overdoses and overdose deaths from fentanyl and related substances has grown by more than 10,000% in the last decade, and the numbers continue to grow. Family members of opioid users must understand that methadone and suboxone, along with other treatment methods and medications for opioid use disorder, are vital to saving lives in 2021. Methadone is on the World Health Organization’s list of Essential Medicines, which lists the safest and most important medications needed in a modern health system anywhere in the world. It may be most important in the United States right now, as fentanyl replaces heroin as the most common street opioid.

If you are interested in learning more about MAT and treatment for drug addiction, click here, or call Florida Springs today at the number listed above.

By T.A. Cannon (Contact me at


World Health Organization (2019). World Health Organization model list of essential medicines: 21st list 2019. Geneva: World Health Organization. hdl:10665/325771. WHO/MVP/EMP/IAU/2019.06. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.