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It’s Time to End the Stigma Around Medications for Opioid Use Disorder

Image shows a woman with text that says There is hope. Recovery is possible.

For many people, the path to long-term and successful recovery includes Medications for Opioid Use Disorder or MOUD. These lifesaving medications work by filling brain receptors left empty when removing illicit opioids from the system, according to Andrea Bruhn, New Vista Regional Director of Substance Use Services. The medications used are FDA-approved and have been shown to improve the odds of surviving an overdose, increase retention in treatment and allow a person in recovery to gain and maintain employment, according to SAMHSA.  

Stigma still exists around these medications as people may incorrectly believe people receiving MOUD are replacing one drug with another, Bruhn said. These medications do not produce the euphoric effects of opioids, she said, and the people who take them are not intoxicated. In fact, according to SAMHSA, these medications can be used safely for months, years or even a lifetime.  

Therapy and other treatment options are important tools for people in recovery, Bruhn said, but research shows that a combination of treatment options, including MOUD, can help people reach the best outcomes. By removing the stigma around these medications, the door can be opened to more people who are ready to take the next step in their recovery journey.   

In addition to MOUD services at New Vista’s Mechanic Street location in downtown Lexington, New Vista now offers MOUD at clinic locations in Boyle, Fayette, Madison and Scott Counties. To learn more or to make an appointment, call New Vista’s 24-Hour Helpline, 1.800.928.8000.   

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