local drug addiction rehabilitation clinics that needed to expand outpatient and inpatient programs or adopt medication-assisted treatment.
Now, detox services for substance use disorders and different options of treatment for drug abuse are other resources available to the residents of New Orleans, whether or not they are insured. But opening up the conversation about substance abuse and the benefits of drug addiction treatment may be the first step in curbing the opioid epidemic.
“Not too long ago, substance use disorders were not something that we saw talked about publicly too much, and to this day, there’s quite a lot of stigma,” Kanter concluded. “Substance use disorders are, in my view, no different than any other medical illness — no different from diabetes or high-blood pressure. Yet I know, we all know, that doesn’t always feel that way. People who suffer from addiction are stigmatized in a way that people who suffer from other medical ailments are not, and we are working really hard to change that. It starts with just being able to speak publicly about this, so people who do suffer realize they’re no different than anyone else who has a medical illness. They should feel supported and encouraged to get treatment because there’s good treatment out there. It works.”