Thilo Beck at WEF Roundtable - A Roadmap to Sustainable Health and Better Well-being in the Workforce and Society

Goals House Roundtable, World Economic Forum, Davos – Thilo Beck

A Roadmap to Sustainable Health and Better Well-being in the Workforce and Society: Elaborating on Key Points.   We are living through a historical period defined by uncertainty, which is having a profound impact on our mental health. Research shows that – on average, 15% of working-age adults live with a mental health condition globally,…

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Affluent Neglect

Society expresses great concern for poor, underserved children and the increased likelihood they may lack access to health care and education, or that they may turn to drugs or crime in adulthood. Less attention is paid to children of affluent parents who have their own set of problems. Emotional neglect often goes unnoticed or unreported, which may…

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What is Dialectical Behavior Therapy?

Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), developed by Marsha Linehan, Ph. in the 1980s, is a type of talk therapy originally designed for high-risk, suicidal people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Today, DBT is used to treat people struggling with a range of complex and intense emotions, including substance abuse and addiction, PTSD, bipolar disorder, eating disorders,…

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The Pandemic-Push: Why are so Many People Suddenly Buying Prescription Drugs Online?

Prescription-med sales skyrocket due to the pandemic, but when does use become abuse? Paracelsus Recovery’s experts weigh in. More and more people are illegally purchasing prescription medication such as anxiety or sleeping pills online as the pandemic takes its toll on our wellbeing. The pandemic has left a mental health crisis in its wake. Rates…

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Methadone and Suboxone: Treatment for Opioid Addictions

Suboxone and methadone are medications prescribed to help minimize painful withdrawal symptoms and cravings associated with addiction to heroin, morphine, hydrocodone and other opioids. The medications, which are thought to be safer than heroin, aren’t intended to be long-term solutions. Ideally, the purpose is for users to gradually reduce use of suboxone or methadone until medically assisted recovery is no longer needed.

Although medically assisted recovery using suboxone, methadone and other medications can be helpful, some addiction professionals are adamantly opposed to their use. Because methadone and suboxone are narcotics, there is concern that addicts are simply trading one addictive substance for another. However, others say that risk of overdose is greatly reduced because unlike heroin, user of suboxone and methadone are carefully monitored.

Is Medically Assisted Recovery really True Recovery? recently posted an article submitted by written by a physician who specializes in addiction medicine. Medically assisted therapy, he writes, may not foster true, stable recovery because addicts aren’t compelled to face the issues that contributed to addiction in the first place. Because feelings and emotions are suppressed, individuals are unable to face the real consequences of their addiction, thus preventing necessary emotional and behavioral changes required for true recovery.

He writes that at some point, users of suboxone and methadone will be required to face reality, possibly resulting in “a flood of people coming off the drugs” that the medical community isn’t equipped to treat. Health care providers haven’t addressed the difficulty involved in weaning users off suboxone and methadone, he says, suggesting that pharmaceutical companies, which profit greatly from medically assisted recovery, have played a role in the over-reliance of the medications.

The Argument in Favor

Many addiction professionals agree that drug and alcohol treatment and rehab are better tools to deal with stress and trauma, empowering people to cope with problems without using heroin to self-medicate. The problem, however, is that inpatient treatment isn’t always available or affordable for many people. Outpatient or short-term treatment is inadequate for addicts who need help with a range of problems.

Proponents of medically assisted therapy argue that suboxone and methadone have decreased the rate of deadly overdoses, and that addicts have been able to stop using opiates without the horrible cravings that have prevented many from stopping. Those in favor also say that the drugs have helped addicts become employable and lead more normal lives. Additionally, studies indicate that medically assisted therapy has decreased the incidents of HIV and Hepatitis C.

Some argue that chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity can be controlled by lifestyle changes, yet physicians rarely hesitate to prescribe medications that help people manage their illness. Medically assisted therapy for addiction, they argue, is no different.

A Personal Decision

The decision to use medically assisted therapy is a personal decision that should be made with the advice of a health care provider, but most addiction professionals agree that suboxone and methodone should not be used as a substitute for quality drug treatment or rehab. Usually, the best solution is a combination of medications and treatment.

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