When treating someone with an opioid addiction, medically-assisted recovery programs provide for the best and safest options available. A sobering fact from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that 130 people die every day from opioid drug overdoses, and 10.3 million people misused prescription opioids in 2018. Help is needed now than ever before and is why it’s crucial to have access to affordable medication-assisted treatment.
Medically-assisted treatment “is the use of FDA-approved medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies that provide a holistic approach to the treatment of substance abuse disorders.” (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) FDA-approved medications include Suboxone, Methadone, and Vivitrol. These medications help ease the symptoms associated with withdrawal and curb drug cravings.
There are increasingly more recovery centers that are employing medically-assisted protocols for addicted individuals. This, coupled with a holistic approach to treating addiction, has proven quite effective for those recovering from drug abuse. As stated above, there are three drugs currently approved for addiction treatment. They include:
Methadone is one of the most well-known and highly-regulated medications used during treatment for opioid addiction since it’s a full agonist. This means the drug combines with receptors in the brain and nervous system to produce the desired effect of lessening painful symptoms of opioid withdrawal. It also blocks the euphoric effects of an opiate drug. When Methadone is administered correctly, the patient feels normal and does not physically crave opiates or cause the person to be lethargic. It’s given once a day via a liquid solution.
FDA approved Suboxone is a partial agonist, meaning it doesn’t fully bind to opiate receptors. The combination of buprenorphine and naloxone is effective for treating opioid withdrawal since it alleviates the physical symptoms, thus decreasing opioid cravings. If the person attempts to use the opioids while taking Suboxone, they will experience adverse effects; this is because naloxone counteracts the effects that opioids have on the brain.
The injectable medication is an antagonist designed to curb cravings for an extended period. It;s administered once a month during a medication-assisted treatment program. It helps stave off opioid cravings, eliminates physical symptoms of withdrawal, and prevents overdosing. The person taking the drug needs to abstain from any opiate for fourteen days before the first injection.
Medication-assisted treatment helps with these withdrawal symptoms:
Even though addiction affects people differently, medically-assisted treatment has been proven successful in combating the disease. This is because of how the medications impact the opioid receptors in the brain. They help patients with physical, mental, and emotional symptoms that can occur during the withdrawal process.
Steps Recovery Centers guarantee that any person who completes any of our programs are welcome to come to our weekly aftercare group for additional support at no charge for life.