OHL Letter to the Editor: Treatment Works

OHL Letter to the Editor: Treatment Works  - OHL Opinion: Treatment Works

OHL CEO Ed Carlson recently wrote a Letter to the Editor commenting on an article published in The Times-Picayune that documented one woman's struggle with opioid addiction (read the original article here). Below is OHL's commentary:

RE: "Life on and after opioids: One woman's journey." Stacey Nichols should be commended for her open and honest portrayal of her life as an opioid user. As this article accurately highlights, relapse is a part of recovery, which is one of many reasons why addiction is such a misunderstood and stigmatized disease. Addiction is a medical issue, with both physical and mental components, and should be treated similar to a chronic health condition.

Individuals often require multiple treatment stays, especially now that the state is moving to shorter and shorter treatment lengths. Ten years ago, people could remain in treatment for over a year; today the most commonly funded stay is 28 days. If a diabetic were to go off his or her medication and suffer a health setback, that person wouldn't be offered 28 days of insulin. Instead, that person would have open access to the ongoing medical care needed to correct the situation and get back on track. The same should be true for individuals suffering from addiction.

Treatment is much-needed medical care and should be readily available for anyone who is attempting to regain control of their life and health. Treatment does work and people do recover. Sometimes it just takes more than one try and more than 28 days.

Edward C. Carlson
Chief Executive Officer
Odyssey House Louisiana

View the letter online here.