Michael Carlton, M.D.

Medical Director

Michael Carlton, M.D. has over 25 years of experience as a medical practitioner. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and returned for his MD from the College of Medicine at the University of Arizona in 1990. He completed his dual residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and his Fellowship in Toxicology at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center and Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

He has published articles in the fields of toxicology and biomedicine, crafted articles for WebMD, and lectured to his peers on medication-assisted treatment. Dr. Carlton was a medical director of Community Bridges and medically supervised the medical detoxification of over 30,000 chemically dependent patients annually.

Dr. Carlton focused the beginning of his career working in primary care and found his true calling in addiction medicine. Upon receiving his Addiction Medicine Certification in 2002, he has dedicated his experience and knowledge to help those who are suffering from alcohol or substance abuse treatment. Dr. Carlton has worked in private practice, outpatient and inpatient detox programs, and supervised medication management for addiction treatment.

Dr. Carlton started with A Better Today Recovery Services as a Medical Director sharing his knowledge of illicit drug detoxification and medical managed drug treatment with the dedicated staff at A Better Today Recovery Services. As a Medical Director for ABT, he supervises the quality of our medical care, oversees clinical peer reviews, and establishes medical and behavioral health treatment guidelines for behavioral health conditions for patients.

“If I was not doing addiction medicine I would not be as happy. As a primary care doctor, I never saw people actively change, those who have diabetes continue to have diabetes as they never change their diet. For heart disease, very rarely did my patients change their lifestyle to better their lives. You do not see people really changing. In addiction medicine, the patient actively changes their life and practice the skills learned in treatment to maintain sobriety. People really do change their lives to get better, and I love seeing that.”

Michael Carlton, M.D.

Dr. Carlton’s Substance Abuse Video Resources

How Can Medication in Substance Abuse Treatment Encourage Success

A Better Today Recovery Services Medical Director is passionate about helping people achieve success in their journey through recovery. After years of treating patients with substance abuse addictions, he highly recommends utilizing medication during the treatment process and fresh out of treatment to prevent relapse. He focuses on opiate dependency medications but some medications are utilized for alcoholism as well.

Dr. Carlton explains the benefits and risks of Buprenorphine, Methadone, and Naltrexone to help educate our patients. Going into treatment can be stressful and have all the information about medication, treatment options, and relapse prevention opportunities.

What is Methadone and Why is it Utilized in and After Treatment?

Methadone gets a back wrap in substance abuse treatment and aftercare programs. Many people believe that if they utilize this medication they are trading one addiction for another.

A Better Today Recovery Services respects this thinking and often times Methadone is not a good fit for everyone.Dr. Carlton has put in extra effort to fully understand and properly use this type of medication for his patients.

He feels that if Methadone is utilized in the drug and alcohol addiction treatment it must be paired with other aftercare programs like 12 step meetings, SMART recovery and/or IOP.

Why ABT Utilizes Medication in Substance Abuse Treatment

Many people believe that there is no place for medication in substance abuse treatment. At A Better Today Recovery Services, we believe that utilizing medications for withdrawing and relapse prevention encourages success when done properly and by a medical professional.

Drug and alcohol addiction medication has come a long way in the past decade and turning a blind eye to medical advancements would be doing our patients a disservice. Dr. Carlton discusses the potential benefits and risks for using medication during and after substance abuse treatment to encourage long-lasting success. When done properly and managed properly, people can focus on the important aspects of rehab and not on the cravings that could cloud the mind.

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