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Finding Success with MAT




Hey guys, Sarah here, Harm Reduction Chair for The Trust! I wanted to talk a little

bit about my success with Medication Assisted Treatment, also known as MAT or

maintenance meds! In the process I will tell you a little bit about my recovery

journey as well.

Just for a bit of background, my substance use started back around 2007 with

Percocet. In the beginning, it was a here-and-there kind of thing, just to take the edge off. Slowly over time and after a lot of emotional trauma, that turned into using up to 40 pills per day.


My use led me straight into homelessness. I couldn’t afford or access a safe

supply of pills anymore, so I quickly found heroin. Heroin disappeared and

fentanyl took its place, and before you knew it, I was using less but overdosing

more because the dosage was so unpredictable. I probably overdosed 6 or 7 times

that I am able to remember.


I tried countless times to get sober. I went 5 hours away to rehab, I tried sober

livings, and more than anything else I tried Alcoholics Anonymous (that was an

obvious choice for me because I grew up in those rooms from infancy, dragged

along by my mother). I can’t tell you how many meetings I walked into ready to

surrender, but it just wasn’t working for me.


Feeling like a failure in the rooms of AA felt like a death sentence to me. The

literature taught me that if I had this problem I was bound for “jails, institutions,

or death.” It also says that any solution outside of the Big Book isn’t a solution, it’s

a problem. So, naturally this indoctrination taught me that I must be the problem,

and only worthy of the one alternative: jails, institutions, or death.


For these reasons I had given up on myself entirely, but by the grace of God, living

in devastation with an open wound landed me in the hospital here in Waycross.

They treated me like a human being and kept me for 6 weeks so that I could heal.

The magic really happened when I was discharged.


Deciding not to go back to the street was one of the best decisions I ever made!

Enrolling in Unison’s MAT program was another one! I was embraced by a group

of ladies who would not give up on me. They prioritized me and my care. They

helped me find housing and offered me transportation. I was prescribed

Suboxone which helped maintain my triggers. Over time it helped calm my mind

and allowed my body to reach homeostasis. I can now make solid decisions with a

clear mind without being triggered to use a substance!


This program is about so much more than medication. They offer group therapy

and one on one therapy, which are so important. It helped me sort through my

issues and find out why I was using in the first place. It taught me to trust myself

and my resources. The MAT program has given me my life back.

I

t is a 180 degree difference from trying to get sober by traditional methods. I am

no longer in this alone, expected to “just get it together”. I have a team of medical

professionals who understand my disorder and who are committed to helping me

achieve a good quality of life!


December will be two years of sobriety for me, and my kids are so happy to have

their mom home and better than ever! Not only have I repaired relationships with

my family, but I have built strong and trusted relationships in my community. My

advice and opinion are valued and trusted by my peers, and this has helped me

realize my own worthiness! And that is the secret to success! Realizing you are

worthy of it, just for being you!


If you are interested in starting your recovery journey with a MAT program, I

highly recommend it!


There are other medication options available as well, like Methadone or Sublocade.


Stay tuned to future posts for more information and success stories for those medications as well!


If you have any questions about MAT, or would like more information, please visit

www.samhsa.gov/medications-substance-use-disorders.


Sarah Jumper

Harm Reduction Chair

The Trust Partnership


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