In the Addiction Blog post Kicked Off Medication-Assisted Treatment by a Court: Here’s How to Fight for Your Legal Rights, LAC’s Legal Director Sally Friedman shares four important tips that could save your life.
According to Friedman, if a court is kicking you off addiction medication (methadone, Suboxone, or Vivitrol):
“The first thing you should do is advocate. Orders to “taper off” MAT medications often result from a lack of understanding about the nature of opioid addiction. In addition, judges and others generally do not realize that policies prohibiting MAT can violate anti-discrimination laws. Education can make a difference.”
You can use LAC’s publication, Advocating for Your Recovery: What to Do When Ordered Off Medication to begin educating the courts and others who might be able to help you stay on the addiction treatment that is best for you.
Friedman offers four concrete tips for responding when a court is kicking you off medication-assisted treatment.
- Get a lawyer who will fight for your right to stay on MAT and educate them about medication-assisted treatment
- Educate the court or agency forcing you off MAT about the science of addiction medicine and the laws that protect people on MAT
- Get help from your doctor and counselor
- Look for help from institutions, organizations, and officials who may be willing to contact the court on your behalf
You can learn more about LAC’s legal services in this area here.