Welcome to the tenth installment of our multi-part blog series that is providing our readers an inside look into the New Season organization, specifically how we provide top-notch treatment to our patients by administering medication-assisted treatment and professional counseling services across the 72 methadone clinics throughout the nation.
This blog post follows suit with the previous posts — “three questions in three minutes” with key and essential personnel in the New Season organization.
In this post, we’ll talk with one of our treatment services coordinators at New Season, Drew Lafontant, from the Pensacola Metro Treatment Center, and he’ll address the personal and life goals our patients are expected and likely to achieve while overcoming opioid use disorder.
Q & A with Drew Lafontant, a New Season Treatment Services Coordinator
Question: What percentage of your patients report positive outcomes?
Answer: In addition to stopping illegal opioid abuse, the goal of treatment is to return people to being productive members of the family, workplace and community. Our organization’s statistics show the following positive outcomes after a patient’s been in a year of treatment:
— 90% of patients tested negative for opioids, and
— 73% of patients were employed or enrolled in school.
According to broader research that tracks individuals in treatment over an extended period of time, most people who remain in medication-assisted treatment stop using drugs, cease any criminal activity, and improve their occupational, social, and psychological functioning.
Question: How important is restoring patients to sobriety, like the treatment method of complete abstinence that can achieve this goal?
Answer: The individual patient’s health and wellbeing is our number one objective. Complete abstinence is a great outcome, but it is not the only goal we strive to achieve. There are other marks that indicate successful progress for patients in recovery including:
- Improving physical and mental health,
- Improving social functioning including the ability to gain employment, return to school and contribute at home,
- Improving overall quality of life,
- Improving pregnancy outcomes,
- Achieving a more stable lifestyle,
- Reducing use of illegal opioids and other drugs,
- Reducing risk behaviors such as intravenous drug use thereby preventing the transmission of HIV and other infectious diseases,
- Reducing incarceration rates,
- Reducing criminal activity, and
- Reducing the chance of overdose and death.
At New Season, our goal is to ensure that we minimize relapse and provide support to patients if they see positive benefits from staying engaged in treatment. Our ultimate goal is to see patients through to where they are leading drug-free lives and no longer require treatment, but every patient’s needs and experiences are different.
Question: What’s the proper length of medication-assisted treatment?
Answer: We follow the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) guidelines, which state that individuals progress through drug addiction treatment at various rates, so there is no predetermined length of treatment. Research has shown, however, that good outcomes are contingent on adequate treatment length. Generally, participation for less than 90 days is of limited effectiveness and treatment lasting significantly longer is recommended for maintaining positive outcomes. For methadone maintenance, 12 months is considered the minimum, and some opioid-addicted individuals continue to benefit from methadone maintenance for many years.
Thank you for taking an inside look into the nation’s leading methadone clinic, New Season.
If you are a member of the news media or general public requesting further information, please contact our marketing team at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in learning more about our treatment options for opioid use disorder, speak with one of our trained professionals 24/7 at 1-877-284-7074.