Broadening the Base of Addiction Mutual-Help Organizations
This article discusses the challenges Methadone maintenance (MM) patients face in participating in mainstream recovery mutual-aid groups, review the history and program of Methadone Anonymous (MA), and discusses other recovery supports currently available to MM patients. MM patients have historically encountered many obstacles in their transition from active addiction to recovery, including barriers to participation in such recovery support groups as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Alcoholics Anonymous. The Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) staff can serve vital supportive roles in working with patients to promote their participation in 12-step programs and acceptance of spiritual concepts. This review is based primarily on interviews with key individuals who have been close participants in or observers of efforts to develop recovery support groups for MM patients. Patients in medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction have been historically excluded or marginalized within mainstream recovery mutual-aid societies. The resulting isolation has sparked the rise of indigenous support structures organized by and for people in medication-assisted recovery.