Cathie E. Alderks, Ph.D.
Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs) are regulated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and are qualified to dispense the controlled substances, methadone and buprenorphine, to treat addiction to opioids (e.g., heroin and prescription pain relievers).
● The number of OTPs has increased from approximately 1,100 in 2003 to almost 1,500 by the end of 2016 and the number of clients receiving methadone on the survey reference date increased from about 227,000 in 2003 to over 350,000 in 2015.
● The percentage of OTPs offering buprenorphine increased from 11 percent in 2003 to 58 percent in 2015; the percentage of facilities without OTPs offering buprenorphine increased from 5 percent in 2003 to 21 percent in 2015.
● The percentage of OTPs offering extended-release, injectable naltrexone increased from 11 percent in 2011 to 23 percent in 2015; the percentage of facilities without OTPs offering extended-release, injectable naltrexone increased from 8 percent in 2011 to 16 percent in 2015.
As an addiction specialist, I can only speak to my experience. I do not prescribe Methadone other than as a taper to transition my patients to buprenorphine which I believe to be a superior agent for the treatment of addiction. I also believe long-acting naloxone injection has a place with refractory cases, but it’s not my first-line agent. Addiction is a disease of self-will run right. It’s also a spiritual disease and it’s a terminal illness that shortens life spans while causing great suffering