Monday, May 30, 2016

Congratulations Brenda Davis 2016 Recipient of the Lane/Holden Patient Advocacy Award


National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery
Press Release

Contacts Persons: 
Joycelyn Woods, Executive Director/Acting President, edirector@methadone.org
Phone/Fax: 1.212.595.NAMA  (1-212-595-62620

For Release
May 31, 2016

NAMA-R extends well-earned congratulations to Brenda Davis this year’s recipient of the Lane/Holden Patient Advocacy Award.

Brenda Davis has been a model patient in the Methadone Maintenance Program at the Mount Sinai /Beth Israel Program for approximately three decades.  For approximately 20 years she has been employed as a patient advocate for the thousands of patients treated in the various clinics.  During this period Ms. Davis has acquired a comprehensive background to accomplish her job duties. She has also assumed duties as treasurer of NAMA Recovery and was instrumental in establishing the MARS Project in the Mount Sinai/ Beth Israel Methadone program.

She is known for her knowledge of the intricate regulations and procedures of the clinics. She has mastered the medical and social aspects of methadone maintenance including: stabilization, side effects, and drug interactions; the major health concerns of patients including pregnancy, pain, infectious diseases; and the personal and social issues including the pervasive stigma which patients encounter in the course of their treatment and lives.

Brenda Davis is articulate and is capable of communicating intelligently with patients, physicians, counselors and administrative personnel in the program. She has attended conferences and participated in policy meetings with various governmental agencies including OASAS. The administration of the Mount Sinai/ Beth Israel Methadone program has also been impressed with the breath of her knowledge and her capacity to help settle problems which arise in the clinics between patients and the staff, issues that arise in the patients’ family, and criminal justice matters. Ms. Davis is a strong willed woman and takes her responsibility to speak for MAT patients as a sense of duty.

Requirements

·        Only one “consensus” nominee can be submitted to the Conference Awards Committee to receive this honor.   

·        The nominee must have been involved in the field of methadone advocacy for a period of five years.

·        The nominee must have made meaningful and consistent contributions, which have had a significant impact on opioid treatment within a state or region of the United States. 

This Award will be bestowed upon the recipient during the Awards Banquet Ceremony on November 1, 2016 during AATOD’s next National Conference which will convene at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront.   

History of the Award

This award was established in 1995 and recognizes extraordinary achievements in patient advocacy.   

Richard Lane was a long-term heroin user who, upon release from prison in 1967, was instrumental in establishing one of the Nation’s first methadone treatment programs. In 1974, he became the Executive Director of Man Alive and later served as Vice President of the American Methadone Treatment Association (now AATOD) and as Vice Chairman of the Governor’s Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse in Maryland.  Mr. Lane was a passionate advocate for methadone treatment and, by disclosing his own treatment experiences, provided inspiration to patients and colleagues alike.   

Robert Holden was also a recovering heroin user, who later became the Director of PIDARC, an outpatient methadone treatment program in the District of Columbia.  He was a friend of Richard Lane and succeeded Richard Lane’s term of office as the Vice President of the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence. 

    Previous Winners of the Award

1995, Arizona                 Richard Lane                                
2001, St. Louis               Joycelyn Woods                                
2007, San Diego             Anthony Scro                                
2009, New York             Walter Ginter                                
2010, Chicago                 Lisa Mojer Torres                                
2012, Las Vegas              Roxanne Baker   
2013, Philadelphia          Ira Marion
2015, Atlanta                  Claude Hopkins

Download PDF
 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Proposed Rule - 42 CFR Part 2 - Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records Regulations

  

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Attn: SAMHSA 4162-20
5600 Fishers Lane
Room 13N02B
Rockville, MD 20857

 RE:      Proposed Rule - 42 CFR Part 2 - Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records Regulations (SAMHSA-4162-20) (Published Federal Register 2-9-2016: p 6987 -7024)

To Whom It May Concern:

Since its beginning methadone treatment has been demonstrated to be the most effective treatment for narcotic addiction, resulting in the termination of heroin use and of criminal behavior. In spite of this success, methadone treatment is often disparaged as a “substitute drug” by those who ignore the positive benefits that it has clearly brought to society. These attitudes negatively impact on opiate treatment programs in a variety of ways, but it is the methadone patients themselves who are particularly stigmatized and harmed. With the introduction of buprenorphine it was hoped that the public would gain a greater understanding of opiate addiction and treatment. However, this has not occurred and rather than improving the situation buprenorphine patients experience the same discrimination and stigma as patients receiving methadone.  The atmosphere will not change as long as there is no organization or formal mechanism for patients receiving Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT i.e. methadone and buprenorphine) to voice their own needs and to form a strong unified public presence on their own behalf. The National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery (NAMA Recovery) is an organization of methadone and buprenorphine patients, healthcare professionals, friends, and associates working together for greater public understanding and acceptance of MAT. NAMA Recovery has 25 chapters across the United States and 15 international affiliate chapters from England to Denmark and India to Australia, providing information, education and advocacy support to patients receiving MAT. As the premier national advocacy organization for MAT patients NAMA Recovery will actively respond to the issues that affect the daily lives of MAT patients and work towards the day when they can take pride in their accomplishments.

The NPRM for 42 CFR Part 2 recognizes that the regulation was enacted out of great concern about the potential abuse that disclosure of substance use information can create for persons in treatment and that the release of substance use information can cause individuals with substance use disorders to not seek needed treatment. When confidentiality is not maintained, the trust of the patients will be lost and many will not remain in treatment while those who do continue in treatment will have lost the trust in the clinic and the staff which is indispensable to successful patient treatment.

While NAMA-R recognizes that SAMHSA is attempting to create an appropriate balance between preserving the confidentiality rights of substance use disorder patients and the sharing of electronic health information we believe that currently there are not enough technologic safe guards in place.  In addition the fines for any violation of the NPRM like the current rule are very low and would be meaningless to many institutions.

Health information technology offers a greater opportunity to promote the health of individuals and the health of community.  However, sacrificing the wellbeing of a person seeking help for a substance use disorder in the name of convenience or administrative efficiency is not a constructive way to achieve it for either the person or their community when individuals avoid treatment for fear of retribution and discrimination.

NAMA-R recommends that changes in 42 CFR Part 2 be temporarily set aside until the technology is available to protect persons with a substance use disorder.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Joycelyn Woods, M.A., CMA
Executive Director

Download PDF
 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Nominations Open for the Richard Lane/Robert Holden Patient Advocacy


National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery
Press Release

Contact Persons: 
Joycelyn Woods, Executive Director, Acting President edirector@methadone.org
Phone/Fax: 1.212.595.NAMA  (1-212-595-62620)

For Release
January 29, 2016

 
Nominations Open for the
Richard Lane/Robert Holden Patient Advocacy Award

Richard Lane was a long-term heroin user who, upon release from prison in 1967, was  instrumental in establishing one of the Nation’s first methadone treatment programs. In  1974, he became the Executive Director of Man Alive and later served as Vice President  of the American Methadone Treatment Association (now AATOD) and as Vice  Chairman of the Governor’s Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse in Maryland.  Mr. Lane  was a passionate advocate for methadone treatment and, by disclosing his own treatment  experiences, provided inspiration to patients and colleagues alike.   

Robert Holden was also a recovering heroin user, who later became the Director of  PIDARC, an outpatient methadone treatment program in the District of Columbia.  He  was a friend of Richard Lane and succeeded Richard Lane’s term of office as the Vice  President of the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence.  This  award was established in 1995 and recognizes extraordinary achievements in patient  advocacy.   

The following criteria should be applied in making your selection:             

·        Only one (1) nominee can be submitted to the Conference Awards Committee. There may be a number of nominees however only one (1) “consensus” nominee may receive this honor.             

·        The nominee must have been involved in the field of methadone advocacy for a period of five (5) years.

·        The nominee must have made meaningful and consistent contributions, which have had a significant impact on opioid treatment within a state or region of the United States. 

·        For each nominee a Nomination Form must be completed and submitted with two (2) Letters of Support. The Nomination Form is attached to this announcement and can also be downloaded from the NAMA Recovery website            http://www.methadone.org.   

NAMA Recovery will be responsible for collecting all the submissions for nomination and selecting a committee of advocates that will decide on the final candidate.  The  Candidate’s Name, Nomination Form and at least two (2) Letters of Support describing  the nominee’s achievements will be submitted to the AATOD Conference Awards  Committee for the final approval. 

The deadline for Submissions is February 26, 2016.  The completed Nomination Form along with at least two (2) Letters of Support should be sent to Joycelyn Woods at  edirector@methadone.org.                                          
 
        Previous Winners of the Award

   1995, Arizona              Richard Lane                                
   2001, St. Louis            Joycelyn Woods                                
   2007, San Diego          Anthony Scro                                
   2009, New York          Walter Ginter                                
   2010, Chicago              Lisa Mojer Torres                                
   2012, Las Vegas          Roxanne Baker   
   2013, Philadelphia       Ira Marion
   2015, Atlanta               Claude Hopkins

This Award will be bestowed upon the recipient during the Awards Banquet Ceremony  on November 1, 2016 during AATOD’s next National Conference which will convene  at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront.   

The recipient will be provided with a roundtrip Coach Class airfare, up to  two (2) nights in the hotel and Conference Registration.   
      
Deadline:           February 26, 2016

Email Nominations To: 
Joycelyn Woods    edirector@methadone.org

If you have any questions about the award contact Joycelyn Woods at  edirector@methadone.org or by telephone at 917-846-9983

           
Download Press Release
Download Forms in Word
Download Form in PDF

Friday, August 08, 2014

Nominations Open for the Richard Lane/Robert Holden Patient Advocacy Award


National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery
Press Release
 
Contacts Persons: 
Joycelyn Woods, Executive Director, edirector@methadone.org
Roxanne Baker, President, president@methadone.org
Phone/Fax: 1.212.595.NAMA  (1-212-595-6262)


Richard Lane was a long-term heroin user who, upon release from prison in 1967, was  instrumental in establishing one of the Nation’s first methadone treatment programs. In  1974, he became the Executive Director of Man Alive and later served as Vice President  of the American Methadone Treatment Association (now AATOD) and as Vice  Chairman of the Governor’s Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse in Maryland.  Mr. Lane  was a passionate advocate for methadone treatment and, by disclosing his own treatment  experiences, provided inspiration to patients and colleagues alike.   

Robert Holden was also a recovering heroin user, who later became the Director of  PIDARC, an outpatient methadone treatment program in the District of Columbia.  He  was a friend of Richard Lane and succeeded Richard Lane’s term of office as the Vice  President of the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence. 

This award was established in 1995 and recognizes extraordinary achievements in patient advocacy.   

The following criteria should be applied in making your selection:             

·        Only one (1) nominee can be submitted to the Conference Awards Committee. There may be a number of nominees however only one (1) “consensus” nominee may receive this honor.             

·        The nominee must have been involved in the field of methadone advocacy for a period of five (5) years.
 
·        The nominee must have made meaningful and consistent contributions, which have had a significant impact on opioid treatment within a state or region of the United States. 

·        For each nominee a Nomination Form must be completed and submitted with two (2) Letters of Support. The Nomination Form is attached to this announcement and can also be downloaded from the NAMA Recovery website            http://www.methadone.org.   

NAMA Recovery will be responsible for collecting all the submissions for nomination and selecting a committee of advocates that will decide on the final candidate.  The  Candidate’s Name, Nomination Form and at least two (2) Letters of Support describing  the nominee’s achievements will be submitted to the AATOD Conference Awards  Committee for the final approval. 

The deadline for Submissions is September 12, 2014.  The completed Nomination Form along with at least two (2) Letters of Support should be sent to Joycelyn Woods at  edirector@methadone.org.                                          

Previous Winners of the Award
 
1995, Arizona                   Richard Lane                                
2001, St. Louis                 Joycelyn Woods                                
2007, San Diego               Anthony Scro                                
2009, New York               Walter Ginter                                
2010, Chicago                   Lisa Mojer Torres                                
2012, Las Vegas               Roxanne Baker   
2013, Philadelphia            Ira Marion

This Award will be bestowed upon the recipient during the Awards Banquet Ceremony  on March 31, 2015 during AATOD’s next National Conference which will convene  at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.   

The recipient will be provided with the following: a roundtrip Coach Class airfare, up to  two (2) nights in the hotel and Conference Registation.   

Deadline:           September 12, 2014

Email Nominations To:       
Joycelyn Woods    edirector@methadone.org

For questions about the award contact Joycelyn Woods at edirector@methadone.org or by telephone at 718-742-7804           

Download Nomination Forms
 
 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Tell SAMHSA Not To Violate Your Civil Right to Confidentiality


National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery
Press Release
 
Contact Persons: 
Joycelyn Woods, Executive Director, edirector@methadone.org
Roxanne Baker, President, president@methadone.org
Phone/Fax: 212.595.NAMA  (212-595-62620)

Most hospitals and medical centers now have in operation what is called electronic health records or Health Information Technology (HIT).  Basically this means that doctors in their private offices, medical centers, pharmacies and state prescription monitoring programs all have access to your health records.   Records in methadone programs are excluded because of the Confidentiality Regulations (42 CFR Part 2).  For any information to leave the program a patient must sign a release that requires the request to be exact.

It is proposed that methadone programs be connected to the health information system theat would give any medical professional access to your drug treatment information. In fact medical professionals are not the only ones that could access your information either legally or illegally.

IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT?

Do you want the right to develop a relationship with a medical professional and then if they are objective tell them you are enrolled in a methadone program?  Do you want the right to protect your treatment from insurance companies, employers, criminal justice systems – actually everyone?

Professionals and Policy Makers do not understand the stigma and prejudice that especially methadone patients experience in their daily lives.  Very often if you tell a doctor you are a methadone patient you get a lecture to get off methadone because it is bad for you with no medical care or treatment for what you came there for.  This is what they need to hear.  Your experiences when you try to get medical care outside of the program and how you feel that Confidentiality is Your Civil Right..

For information about 42 CFR Part 2 go to:                     http://www.methadone.org
                                                                                    http://www.samhsa.gov/healthprivacy

 

Mail Comments to: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration SAMHSA, 1 Choke Cherry Road, Rockville, MD 20857, Room 5-1011.

Send By:  June 25, 2014 (if you mail after they should still accept it)
 
Downloads
 
Read how the special confidentiality regulations came about The Case of People vs Newman
 
From Dr. Robert Newman's book about the New York City program this chapter is how the confidentiality regulations were created and put into effect.
 
Newman, Robert G. In:The Case of People vs Newman. (Chapter 6) Methadone Treatment in Narcotic Addiction: Program Management, Findings, and Prospects for the Future. New York: Academic Press; 1977: pp. 62.
 
 
Press Release Tell SAMHSA Not To Violate Your Civil Right Confidentiality.


TIPS
What to Write to SAMHSA

1. Don't write a long letter. A simple paragraph to say that it is important that the confidentiality remain as they currently are.
 
2. You can tell them about an incident or situation like what usually happens when a doctor finds out you are a methadone patient.

3. It does not have to be typed. A hand written letter on legal pad paper is fine and often better because it means that the/a average patient has taken the time to say how important the confidentiality regulations.

4. You do not have to sign your name.  You can sign the letter as "A Patient" and below it enter a P.S. and say "I am afraid to sign my name because of the discrimination against methadone patients."

Example

Dear SAMHSA:

I understand that you are considering changing the confidentiality regulations for methadone treatment. It is important that the confidentiality regulations remain as they are and not be changed.

I am a methadone patient and I am concerned what could happen if my status as a methadone patient were known.  I know that I would have trouble getting medical care because doctors always blame any medical problem on the methadone. Doctors and nurses don't understand methadone and they tell me to get off.

I am also concerned that employers and schools will be able to find out that I am a methadone patient if changes to the confidentiality regulations happen.

Please don't change the confidentiality regulations that has protected me and all patients from the discrimination against us.

Thank you.
 
 A Patient*

*  I am afraid to sign my name because of the discrimination against methadone patients.
 

What is important is that you write.

 

Monday, June 02, 2014

Notice of SAMHSA Listening Session Confidentiality Regulations 42 CFR part 2

National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery
 
Press Release

Contact Persons:
Joycelyn Woods, Executive Director, edirector@methadone.org
Roxanne Baker, President, president@methadone.org
Phone/Fax: 212-595-NAMA

SAMHSA the federal agency in charge of methadone treatment is scheduling a Listening Session.  They want to hear from professionals and especially patients about Confidentiality and your treatment.

Most hospitals and medical centers now have in operation what is called electronic health records or Health Information Technology (HIT).  Basically this means that doctors in their private offices and medical centers all have access to your health records.   Records in methadone programs are excluded because of the Confidentiality Regulations (42 CFR part 2).  For any information to leave the program a patient must sign a release.

However if methadone programs were connected to the health information system then any medical professional would have access to your drug treatment information.

IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT?

Or do you want the right to develop a relationship with a medical professional and then if they are objective tell them you are enrolled in a methadone program.

Professionals and Policy Makers do not understand the stigma and prejudice that especially methadone patients experience when trying to access health care.  Very often if you tell a doctor you are a methadone patient you get a lecture to get off methadone because it is bad for you and no medical care or treatment for what you came for.  This is what they need to hear.  Your experiences when you try to get medical care outside of the program and you tell them you are a methadone patient.  The session is open to the public and you can join it on the internet.

   Date:                         June 11, 2014
   Time:                         9:30am – 4:30 pm

For information about 42 CFR part 2 and the Listening Session go to:
http://www.samhsa.gov/healthprivacy


Send Comments to: PrivacyRegulations@SAMHSA.hhs.gov  
 
Read the story of how the confidentiality regulations came about.

From Dr. Robert Newman's book about the New York City program and how the confidentiality regulations were created and put into effect.
 
From Newman, Robert G. In: Chapter 6. Methadone Treatment in Narcotic Addiction: Program Management, Findings, and Prospects for the Future. New York: Academic Press; 1977: pp. 62.




 
 

 
 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Download the SAMHSA Disaster App

National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery

Press Release

Contact Persons:
Joycelyn Woods, Executive Director, edirector@methadone.org
Roxanne Baker, President, president@methadone.org
Phone/Fax: 212-595-NAMA


Your SAMHSA Disaster App
Is Ready To Download!

The SAMHSA Disaster App is now available for download on your iPhone, Android, or BlackBerry device. Be among the first to try out this essential behavioral health disaster response app. Let the SAMHSA Disaster App assist you in responding to survivors' behavioral health needs. Access critical, disaster-related resources directly from your phone.

  • Be focused. Spend less time worrying about logistics so you can focus on what really matters—the people in need.
  • Be prepared. Rely on and access predownloaded resources on your phone in case of limited Internet connectivity.
  • Be confident. Review key preparedness materials so you're confident about providing the best support possible.
  • Share resources easily. Send information to colleagues and survivors via text message or email, or transfer the information to a computer for printing.

Download the SAMHSA Disaster App and give it a test run. Help SAMHSA improve future versions by sending feedback.

Download SAMHSA Disaster App via iTunes Store for iPhone
Download SAMHSA Disaster App via Google Play for Android
Download SAMHSA Disaster App via BlackBerry App World for BlackBerry

 
Download Press Release
 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Nominations Open for the Richard Lane/Robert Holden Patient Advocacy Award

National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery

Press Release

Contact Persons:
Joycelyn Woods, Executive Director, edirector@methadone.org
Roxanne Baker, President, president@methadone.org
Phone/Fax: 212-595-NAMA


Richard Lane was a long-term heroin user who, upon release from prison in 1967, was instrumental in establishing one of the Nation’s first methadone treatment programs. In 1974, he became the Executive Director of Man Alive and later served as Vice President of the American Methadone Treatment Association (now AATOD) and as Vice Chairman of the Governor’s Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse in Maryland. Mr. Lane was a passionate advocate for methadone treatment and, by disclosing his own treatment experiences, provided inspiration to patients and colleagues alike.


Robert Holden was also a recovering heroin user, who later became the Director of PIDARC, an outpatient methadone treatment program in the District of Columbia. He was a friend of Richard Lane and succeeded Richard Lane’s term of office as the Vice President of the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence. This award was established in 1995 and recognizes extraordinary achievements in patient advocacy.

The following criteria should be applied in making your selection:

  • Only one (1) nominee can be submitted to the Conference Awards Committee. There may be a number of nominees however only one (1) “consensus” nominee may receive this honor.

  • The nominee must have been involved in the field of methadone advocacy for a period of five (5) years.
  • The nominee must have made meaningful and consistent contributions, which have had a significant impact on opioid treatment within a state or region of the United States.
  • For each nominee a Nomination Form must be completed and submitted with two (2) Letters of Support. The Nomination Form is attached to this announcement and can also be downloaded from the NAMA Recovery website http://www.methadone.org.

NAMA Recovery will be responsible for collecting all the submissions for nomination, selecting a committee of advocates that will decide on the final candidate. The Candidate’s Name, Nomination Form and at least two (2) Letters of Support describing the nominee’s achievements will be submitted to the AATOD Conference Awards Committee for the final approval.

The deadline for Submissions is March 5, 2013. The completed Nomination Form along with at least two (2) Letters of Support should be sent to Joycelyn Woods at edirector@methadone.org.

Previous Winners of the Award

1995, Arizona Richard Lane 2001, St. Louis Joycelyn Woods 2007, Atlanta Anthony Scro 2009, New York Walter Ginter 2010, Chicago Lisa Mojer Torres 2012, Las Vegas Roxanne Baker

This Award will be bestowed upon the recipient during the Awards Banquet Ceremony on November 12, 2013 during AATOD’s next National Conference which will convene at the Philadelphia Downtown Marriot.

The individual will be provided with a roundtrip Coach Class airfare in addition to up to two (2) nights in the hotel. The individual will also be able to attend the Conference.


Deadline: March 5, 2013

Email Nominations To: edirector@methadone.org
Joycelyn Woods

If you have any questions about the award contact Joycelyn Woods at edirector@methadone.org or by telephone at 718-742-7804

Download Press Release

Download Nomination Forms Nomination Form



Monday, January 14, 2013

Ira Marion 1945-2013

National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery
 
Press Release

Contact Persons:
Joycelyn Woods, Executive Director, edirector@methadone.org
Roxanne Baker, President, president@methadone.org
Phone/Fax: 212-595-NAMA


It is with sincere sadness and deep regret to have to report on the passing of a NAMA-Recovery Board of Directors member Ira Marion. Ira passed on Monday evening, January 7, 2013 at Beth Israel Medical Center after a struggle with cancer. He was a constant and prolific supporter of Methadone Maintenance Treatment and will be sadly missed by both patients and professional colleagues alike.

Ira's contributions to the advancement of this life-saving treatment for opioid addiction are numerous and legendary, and he was an untiring champion of both patients' rights and patient centered care. His vision of quality treatment was reflected in the Albert Einstein College of Medicine Program which he administered for many years. He was courageous in expressing that he was a "product of the system" and that medication assisted treatment is effective and saves numerous lives on a daily basis. Ira was a member of the founding committee of NAMA over 25 years ago. He was proud of assisting in the development of The MARS Project, a collaboration between Einstein and NAMA-Recovery.

We ask that you keep Suzanne Hall-Westcott, his children and grandchildren, and everyone dear to him in your thoughts and prayers. The family has planned a private service is being planned and we ask that you refrain from reaching out to the family.

A memorial service will be planned that will give all of us the opportunity to pay our respects and honor Ira. You can contact NAMA Recovery if you wish to be notified about the service or wish to share your thoughts and we will forward the messages to the family.

Ira will be missed by all who knew him personally and professionally and we send his family and loved ones our sincere sympathy and condolences. His is a universal loss to the field of addiction treatment which will be felt for years to come.

Rest in peace, Ira you will not be soon forgotten by both patients and professional associates.


Download Press Release  

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Dear Colleague Letter 12-6-2012 Final Rule Modifying Buprenorphine Dispensing Restrictions in OTPs

National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery

Press Release

Contact Persons:
Joycelyn Woods, Executive Director, edirector@methadone.org
Roxanne Baker, President, president@methadone.org
Phone/Fax: 212-595-NAMA


The National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery ‘s (NAMA Recovery) purpose is to represent the interests and rights of patients receiving Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). While NAMA Recovery commends the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment for attempting to equalize Buprenorphine in Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs) with Office-Based Opioid Treatment (OBOT) prescribing physicians our concern is it will have a negative effect on OTP patients creating a two tier system. We suggest that this is an opportunity to normalize medications within the OTP.


Both methadone and buprenorphine should have an induction period so that dose adjustments can be made and to insure that patients are taking their medication daily. At the end of thirty (30) days if patients have negative toxicology and are showing progress that take home medication be started for responsible patients prescribed methadone and buprenorphine. Without these adjustments patients prescribed methadone will be impelled to switch to buprenorphine with often disastrous results (i.e. inadequate dosing, opioid pain medications are difficult to prescribe).

Including buprenorphine as a medication prescribed in OTPs will most certainly increase diversion of buprenorphine and this in turn results in increased stigma which is already occurring and more restrictive policy.

Unfortunately it is very probable that those receiving methadone at OTPs will pay the price for any diversion from OTPs whether buprenorphine or methadone.

We recognize that the services offered in OTPs make them uniquely qualified to treat addictive disorders. NAMA Recovery urges caution to insure that the goals of this Dear Colleague letter are met in making MAT more available and to adjust the policy to make a fairer OTP system.

Since its beginning methadone treatment has been demonstrated to be the most effective treatment for opioid addiction, resulting in the termination of opioid use and of criminal behavior. In spite of this success, methadone treatment is often disparaged as a “substitute drug” by those who ignore the positive benefits that it has clearly brought to society. These attitudes negatively impact on opiate treatment programs in a variety of ways, but it is the methadone patients themselves who are particularly stigmatized and harmed. With the advances of science and introduction of buprenorphine it was hoped that the stigma and prejudice directed at patients and programs would change. As the premier international advocacy organization for Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) the National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery* (NAMA Recovery) will actively respond to the issues that affect the daily lives of MAT patients and work towards the day when they can take pride in their accomplishments.


Download Dear Colleague Letter

Download NAMAR Press Release

Monday, June 04, 2012

Walter Ginter to Receive Vernon Johnson Award





Faces and Voices of Recovery and Hazelden's Center for Public Advocacy invite you to join us at an evening reception recognizing the outstanding contributions of Walter Ginter, Project Director of the Medication-Assisted Recovery Services (MARS) Project. He is the leading face and voice of medication-assisted treatment and recovery in the US.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012, 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Carnegie Institute for Science
1530 P Street NW
Washington, DC 20005

Emmy-award winning reporter and anchor Pat O’Brien, who will be one of the hosts of the 2012 Olympic Games, will be joining us as we salute the extraordinary contributions of the country's most influential recovery community leaders to the growing movement to promote the reality of recovery from addiction.

Host Committee Co-Chairs*
Fmr Congressman Patrick Kennedy
Co-Chair One Mind for Research
Carol McDaid
Capitol Decisions
Host Committee Members
Johnny Allem
DC Recovery Community Alliance
Franni Frankin
Aquila Recovery
Ann Barnum
The Health Foundation of
Greater Cincinnati
Christopher Kennedy Lawford
Author
Tim Cheney
Chooper's Guide
Former Congressman
Jim Ramstad
Tom Coderre
Rhode Island State Senate
Mike Sime
Hazelden Foundation
Laurie Dhue
Veteran Broadcast Journalist
Founder of Laurie Dhue Media, NYC
Stuart Smith
Foundation for Recovery RICAREs
* Organizations listed for identification purposes



Faces and Voices of Recovery and Hazelden’s Center for Public Advocacy have joined together to host America Honors Recovery honoring the legacies of Joel Hernandez, Vernon Johnson and Lisa Mojer-Torres. All contributions to the America Honors Recovery awards event will go to Faces & Voices. To find out more about this year’s honorees, please click here.

NAMA-R Announcement 6/4/2012




National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery
435 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10010


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Stop Stigma Now: Small Organization Rises to Raise Funds for Methadone Treatment PR Campaign


ATForum, Spring


Stop Stigma Now, a small group of retired opioid treatment program (OTP) providers has a big—and honorable—goal: eradicating stigma against the methadone treatment field. It began about five years ago with the closure of the Mount Sinai Narcotics Rehabilitation Center in New York City, recalls Joycelyn Woods, project coordinator with the National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery (NAMA Recovery).

The physician and administrator who led that program got together and started talking about the fact that the stigma situation isn’t any better than it was in 2007. “It’s worse,” said Ms. Woods. “Nobody is going to do anything about it unless we do something about it ourselves. I had hoped for a long time that the federal government would do it—they have the money and the resources.”

Sy Demsky, the former administrator at Mount Sinai (he retired shortly before the closure), and Philip Paris, MD, the physician, helped organize the Stop Stigma Now group. “Their idea is to raise money from new sources and create a huge PR campaign,” said Ms. Woods. One suggested way of raising money was to ask OTP patients—each of whom would contribute one dollar. “The programs have to decide whether to cooperate. This could be impossible to manage,” she said.

This leaves Stop Stigma Now in a difficult position—doing something very important, without adequate funding to make it happen. With prescription opioid abuse rampant, OTPs and state substance abuse agencies seeking to address this are faced with new zoning restrictions or outright prohibition based on prejudice or unfounded fears.

“We wish to let the public see our patients as the successes so many of them are,” Dr. Paris told AT Forum in an e-mail. “Our patients are dependent on their medication, not addicted,” he said. “They are not substituting methadone for their street drug. Instead, methadone helps to correct the illness induced by years of using heroin or abusing pain medications.”

Stop Stigma Now attended the AATOD conference in Las Vegas, prominently passing out buttons and letting the addiction treatment field know about their work. “We were received warmly with a show of support by many of the leaders in the field,” said Dr. Paris. “We received many pledges for future financial support. That is very important if we are to be able to widen our anti-stigma message.”

To find out more about Stop Stigma Now, and to make a donation, go to Go to www.stopstigmanow.org

Posted ATForum May 29, 2012
Download