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Thought Leadership

​Caron’s Position on Medication Assisted Treatment

At Caron, we are committed to removing obstacles that obstruct access to one’s sustainable and progressive recovery journey. To that end, Caron utilizes evidence-based principles to guide addiction treatment.

Given the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic we are currently facing as a society, Caron understands and endorses the utilization of Medication-Assisted Treatment as another important tool in treating the chronic, progressive, and potentially fatal disease.

Whether a treatment facility or licensed prescriber chooses Medication-Assisted Treatment in the form of Methadone, Buprenorphine (e.g., Suboxone), or injectable Naltrexone Extended Release (Vivitrol) to address opioid use disorders, it is important to stress that medication alone is not a panacea. Medication must be used as a supportive tool and managed by a qualified healthcare professional in collaboration with treatment specialists as part of a comprehensive therapeutic program.

At Caron, we utilize a multi-disciplinary approach to address the co-occurring disorders often found with substance use. This extensive approach also incorporates various treatment modalities, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), as well as utilizing psychological testing, medical evaluations and 12-Step integration. Therefore, it is imperative that healthcare professionals not lose sight of the clinical protocols needed for patients to succeed. In other words, it’s essential to ensure that Medication-Assisted Treatment is only one facet of a comprehensive treatment and recovery plan.

Of the available FDA-approved Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) strategies, Caron utilizes Naltrexone Extended Release (XR) or Buprenorphine maintenance. Through a diligent and thoughtful process, Caron’s medical and clinical professionals chose Naltrexone XR as a primary choice because it is a non-mood altering opioid receptor antagonist with no euphoric effect, no withdrawal syndrome and no abuse or overdose potential. It is administered as a monthly injection, thus, increasing compliance.  Additionally, if a patient relapses on heroin or opioid prescription medications while taking Naltrexone XR, he or she would not be in imminent danger of respiratory arrest.

We have an ever-growing referral database for addiction medicine specialists who will continue administering Naltrexone XR after discharge from Caron. If Naltrexone XR is not the right choice for the patient, we begin Buprenorphine maintenance and refer to an addiction medicine specialist in the outpatient setting to continue Buprenorphine MAT.

It’s important to understand that if you administer Methadone, Buprenorphine or Naltrexone XR in the face of active heroin or other opioid use, you will precipitate withdrawal and the need for medical management. We need to give doctors and patients choices for MAT, because, no one solution is best for all.

From day one, Caron’s medical professionals begin the conversation with our patients about cravings and relapse risks, and continue to address these issues throughout our patients’ episode of care. We educate all patients about the disease concept of addiction and the importance of implementing evidence-based practices to sustain a meaningful and healthy recovery.

Joe Garbely
Featured Expert
Dr. Joseph Garbely

As Medical Director and Vice President of Medical Services at Caron Treatment Centers, Dr. Joseph Garbely oversees all medical treatment at Caron’s Pennsylvania facility including detoxification and medicine related interventions. He collaborates on medical research, Caron’s senior program, as well as Caron’s chronic pain and healthcare professionals’ programs. Dr....

As Medical Director and Vice President of Medical Services at Caron Treatment Centers, Dr. Joseph Garbely oversees all medical treatment at Caron’s Pennsylvania facility including detoxification and medicine related interventions. He collaborates on medical research, Caron’s senior program, as well as Caron’s chronic pain and healthcare professionals’ programs. Dr....