Michael Barajas took his first vacation this year, at the age of 33. For most of his life, the Aberdeen native had no interest in leaving town — unless it was to pick up or deliver drugs. “Nothing else mattered but getting high,” he says, “so why would I go anywhere?”
But he’s been sober for nearly three years, thanks in part to the Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) he receives at the Elma Clinic. As detailed by the Seattle Times, the hospital has been breaking down barriers to patient care, including not requiring appointments, giving same day medication, and doing away with requirements that patients also enroll in talk therapy.