This Week in the ASAM Weekly
It’s time to embrace reduced use in the language of abstinence, sobriety, and recovery. This change has been developing for some time, but a recent NIH-supported study involving stimulant use disorders really adds to the evidence that reduced use is a meaningful and desirable outcome within recovery (Addiction).
This added understanding doesn’t distract us from the significance of abstinence, but it helps acknowledge and support different paths toward a shared goal, which could simply be one of “feeling better.” A recent study explores this and the influence of various AA participation dimensions (independent of abstinence) with different types of positive affect (Alcohol and Alcoholism). Essentially, relationships do help build recovery.
Pregnant individuals living with opioid use disorder need particular support in their paths toward recovery, because of the unique obstacles they face -- from urine drug tests to parental shaming. A new study might add to this complexity by comparing the risks of congenital malformations from buprenorphine vs. methadone treatment, but two invited commentaries reenforce the study’s most fundamental points -- MOUD in pregnancy is essential and a part of shared-decision making (JAMA Internal Medicine).
As shown above, even if our research outcomes, treatments, or language don’t always or completely address an individual’s experience with addiction, we’ll continue to improve because scientific knowledge over time embraces the human experience.
Hopefully, that’s all Oregon needs to figure out decriminalization -- more time. It makes sense if you think about it, given how long it took us to accept reduced use. Unfortunately, we need Oregon to hurry it up with this one (MedPage Today).
Thanks for reading,
Nicholas Athanasiou, MD, MBA, DFASAM
Editor in Chief
with Co-Editors: Brandon Aden, MD, MPH, FASAM, Jack Woodside, MD, John A. Fromson, MD