There’s been a lot of debate over the vivitrol shot and suboxone the last few years. The debate usually takes one of two forms. The first centers on whether addicts and alcoholics who use anti addiction drugs are truly recovered. The second hinges on which drug – The vivitrol shot or suboxone – is more effective in the treatment of opioid addiction.
The first debate has always seemed odd to me. How other people recover is none of my business. Neither is what medication people take; this is between them and their physicians. The second debate is much more important of course, but both of these discussions can lead us astray if we’re not careful.
All of these factions share an enemy – the disease of addiction. To alleviate the suffering of addiction is the only reasons these factions exist. We’re all on the same side and it would serve our cause to remember that.
Changing the Narrative
In spite of the progress we’ve made the last few decades, it’s still common to think of addiction as a moral failing. It’s our culture’s default position – addiction is a character issue and we just need to stop doing drugs. This position is both inaccurate and harmful.
It’s inaccurate because it completely ignores the biochemical side of addiction. It ignores brain chemistry and the horrors of the withdrawal cycle. In fact, it ignores everything except feeling superior. Fortunately, drugs like the vivitrol shot and suboxone are helping to change this wrongheaded narrative.
Neither drug is perfect, but what is? The bottom line is that suboxone and the vivitrol shot have helped thousands of people. And by treating the physical side of addiction, they chip away at the lethal narrative that people could just stop using.
And this isn’t a cop out. We’re still responsible for our actions, both past and present. A united front will help us handle this responsibility wisely.