What Is NAMA Recovery?

The National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery (NAMA-R) is an organization of medication assisted treatment (MAT) patients, healthcare professionals, friends, and associates working together for greater public understanding and acceptance of MAT.

Promoting
quality MAT as the most effective modality for the treatment of opiate dependence.

NAMA-R’s Goals

  • To eliminate discrimination toward MAT patients
  • To create a more positive image about MAT
  • To help preserve patients’ dignity and their rights
  • To make treatment available on demand to every person who needs it
  • To empower MAT patients with a strong public voice

Struggling
to destigmatize the treatment which has given us back our lives.

At NAMA-R, we’d like people to focus on the success stories of MAT: patients who became successful lawyers or construction workers, patients who rebuilt their families and are now productive members of society.  There are thousands of us.

What We Are NOT!

Working
to dispel the ignorance regarding MAT which plagues
both treatment professionals and the general public.

NAMA-R is not an organization of apologists for what passes for MAT in the United States today and abroad. Most Opiate Treatment Programs (OTP) do not even come close to practicing the treatment modality created by Drs Dole and Nyswander five decades ago, and even the best programs are severely hampered by senseless regulation and by the presence of staff oriented towards non-medical modalities. NAMA-R believes that only through education can MAT fulfill its promise and again become the most effective, progressive, and humane treatment for opioid dependence.

Since its beginning over fifty years ago, MAT has proven to be the most effective treatment for opiate addiction, resulting in the termination of both drug use and criminal behavior. In spite of this success, MAT is often disparaged as a “substitute drug” by those who ignore the positive benefits it has brought to society. The media tends to focus on the negatives and none of the success stories.

These negative attitudes impair the effectiveness of OTPs. Patients are mistreated, misinformed and stigmatized. They are victims of discrimination in health care, the job market, education, insurance, and housing. Even treatment professionals feel ashamed to admit they work in this field.

Fighting
discrimination perpetrated against MAT patients.

Changing People’s Views With Education and Advocacy NAMA-R will:

  • Speak publicly about the productive lives led by MAT patients
  • Establish contact with elected and appointed officials
  • Attend community meetings
  • Prepare and distribute educational material
  • Participate in media interviews
  • Create a unified voice to reach the public on all issues of concern to MAT patients

In addition to fighting the negative image and low self-esteem of MAT patients, NAMA-R provides practical assistance in the everyday concerns of patients and treatment professionals.

Drug Treatment

Some OTPs have become huge, cumbersome bureaucracies. The policies of various agencies often conflict with one another, leaving the patient frustrated and discouraged. NAMA-R helps promote improved program services, development of new approaches, and increased patient participation in treatment.

Treatment on Demand

Opiate addicts seeking help are daily denied treatment and forced back to the streets because of long waiting lists at clinics. NAMA-R can push for immediate expansion of treatment and provide referral assistance to those who need help getting into a program.

Education of MAT Patients

In many programs, the fundamentals of MAT and addiction are not even explained to patients. As a result, many believe dangerous folklore about methadone such as “it gets in your bones” or “it rots your teeth”. NAMA-R remedies this situation with workshops, meetings, the media and other methods.

Some treatment professionals lack an understanding of the pharmacology of addiction and how this relates to rehabilitation. NAMA-R promotes an improved addiction treatment curriculum in institutions of higher learning.

AIDS and Hepatitis

Patients that are infected with HIV+ and HCV+ need information to promore a healthy lifestyle. Information on preventative healthcare for non-HIV/HCV patients also needs improving. NAMA-R helps supplement existing Infectious Disease Education Programs.

Discrimination

Discrimination is a major obstacle for anyone who has ever used drugs. While some legislation has been enacted which protects former addicts and MAT patients, there still remain many areas where MAT patients are not protected. NAMA-R works to inform MAT patients of their rights and to provide support to those who have been victims of discrimination.

Notes

In 2009 at the AATOD conference in New York the Board of Directors of the National Alliance of Methadone Advocates, the premier patient advocacy organization in the opiate addiction recovery community, established in 1988 in this very city, announces an important change to its identity. It will now be doing business as the National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery, or NAMA Recovery. You can read more about the change at the President’s Blog.

National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery

435 Second Avenue

New York,NY   10010

Phone/Fax: (212) 595-NAMA (6262)

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