Experts push for opioid treatment, against medical marijuana at annual addiction conference

Vivitrol injections are being administered to people who are heroin addicts and are exiting county jail Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, in Houston. Photo: Godofredo A. Vasquez, Houston Chronicle / Godofredo A. Vasquez Vivitrol injections are being administered to people who are heroin addicts and are exiting county jail Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, in Houston.

Photo: Godofredo A. Vasquez, Houston Chronicle

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Vivitrol injections are being administered to people who are heroin addicts and are exiting county jail Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, in Houston.

Vivitrol injections are being administered to people who are heroin addicts and are exiting county jail Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, in Houston.

Photo: Godofredo A. Vasquez, Houston Chronicle

Experts push for opioid treatment, against medical marijuana at annual addiction conference

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SAN DIEGO – Support for drugs like Suboxone, Vivitrol and methadone was one of the rallying cries at the annual American Society for Addiction Medicine conference this week in California.

Broadly known as medication-assisted treatments, the drugs are sometimes-controversial tools for battling the growing opioid epidemic. Though they work in different ways, all three can be taken long-term to reduce the chance of relapse into drug use.

“It’s not a matter of ideology,” said ASAM president Dr. Kelly Clark. “It’s a matter of the facts show a person’s risk of dying is higher when they don’t take medication.”

Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, assistant secretary of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, touted the use of addiction-fighting medications during

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