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Announcing the Medication-Assisted Recovery
Essay Contest Winners

People using variety of medications tell their recovery stories


2nd place winner: Louis Buchhold


I’ve been sober for 11 years and six months.  I would never have imagined I could experience even one day from alcohol/drugs back then.  For eight-long years I had never been able to get longer than 30 days sober; being in and out of AA, therapy, and having tried to kill myself.  Then I met a psychiatrist who saw past that homeless unemployable, degenerate hope-to-die alcoholic – to a person gripped by a terrible disease, with a medical solution.

At that time in 1999, naltrexone was new.  I had tried all the other clearly non-effective recovery methods, what harm could a trial be?  MAT moved me for the first time to stop dissociating when triggered.  I found myself being completely present, able to stop the addictive process.  I got 60 days, after which, like an alcoholic/addict, my self-will tested this MAT by drinking/using.  The medication worked.  I stayed present and have been able to be recovery-committed since, knowing it was possible.

I continued taking naltrexone for two years.  I went off when I had built enough behavioral tools and support to ensure my ongoing recovery.  I continue to live each day only 24 hours at a time, knowing that I can return to drinking and using tomorrow.  If it wasn’t for MAT, I would not be here to tell my story.  I am grateful that there are medical options to help people struggling when all else has failed them.


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