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Creating A Supportive Environment: The Role of Family in MAT Post-Prison

Creating A Supportive Environment: The Role of Family in MAT Post-Prison

When an individual is released from prison, they step into a world riddled with challenges and judgments. For those battling Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), this period can be particularly vulnerable. Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), especially with Suboxone, offers a lifeline, helping them regain control over their lives. Yet, MAT’s success isn’t solely a result of the medication; the environment in which an individual re-integrates plays a pivotal role. At the forefront of this environment is family. Let’s delve into how families can actively bolster the effectiveness of MAT post-prison.

The Power of a Supportive Environment

Upon release, returning to an environment that previously harbored drug use or facilitated negative behaviors can be a trigger for many. The familiar settings, faces, and stresses can reignite the pull toward opioids. In contrast, a supportive, understanding family environment can act as a shield against these triggers.

  1. Re-establishing Trust: Post-incarceration, rebuilding trust is paramount. Families that take the time to understand MAT and the role of Suboxone can better support the individual in their treatment journey. This knowledge aids in breaking down misconceptions, fostering an environment of trust and cooperation.

  2. Emotional Anchoring: Emotional support is crucial. The physical aspects of addiction are just one side of the coin; the emotional and psychological challenges often loom larger. Families can be the rock on which the individual leans, providing encouragement, listening without judgment, and offering reassurance during tough times.

Practical Ways Families Can Aid MAT

  1. Educate Themselves: Knowledge dispels myths. Families should educate themselves about OUD, Suboxone, and MAT’s overall benefits. This understanding equips them to better support their loved one.

  2. Attend Counseling Together: Family counseling sessions can be beneficial, offering a space for open dialogue, addressing concerns, and healing past wounds.

  3. Set Boundaries: While support is essential, setting clear boundaries ensures a healthy relationship. It can involve rules about drug use at home, attending MAT sessions, or ensuring other household members understand and respect the individual’s journey.

  4. Engage in Group Support: Families can participate in support groups like Al-Anon, which offers insights into addiction and recovery from a family perspective.

Challenges and Concerns

While family support is invaluable, it’s essential to acknowledge the challenges:

  • Previous Traumas: Past events or behaviors linked to the individual’s addiction can strain family relationships. Counseling can aid in addressing and healing these wounds.

  • Misunderstandings about MAT: Despite its efficacy, many still view MAT, especially Suboxone, as substituting one drug for another. Addressing such misconceptions is vital.

Family Success Stories

Consider Jenna and her son, Max. Max’s incarceration was a challenging period for Jenna. However, upon his release and introduction to MAT, Jenna took it upon herself to learn about Suboxone. She attended counseling sessions with Max, creating an environment where he felt understood and supported. Today, Max credits his successful recovery journey not just to MAT but to the unwavering support he received at home.


Suboxone and MAT offer a promising path for individuals with OUD post-incarceration. However, the road to recovery is rarely traversed alone. Families can play an indispensable role in bolstering MAT’s effectiveness, offering emotional, psychological, and practical support. By creating a nurturing, informed, and structured environment, families can ensure that their loved one’s transition from prison to everyday life is not just smooth but leads to lasting recovery and transformation.

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