Medications Commonly Used To Treat Opioid Addiction
In addition to cognitive-behavioral therapy, alternative therapies, counseling, and 12-step programs, there are also drugs used to treat opiate addiction. The drugs used to treat opiate addiction help patients endure the period of medical detox more comfortably and lessen cravings for opiates.
Some of the more common drugs used to treat opiate addiction are methadone and buprenorphine. The drugs naltrexone, and naloxone, are also sometimes prescribed. Another combination medication is Suboxone.
Many of these medications work by making your brain believe that you’re still taking the opiate you’ve been abusing, though to a lesser effect.
Types of Addiction Treatment
If you’re actively using opiates, you’ll first need to undergo detoxification. A detox treatment program cleanses your system of opiates and is necessary before your addiction treatment can actually begin.
During this period of withdrawal from opiates, you can take advantage of medically assisted detox services. If your withdrawal symptoms are very uncomfortable, you’ll be given medications to help relieve your distress and remain calm throughout the time you need to complete detox.
Once your system is cleansed of opiates, there are several program choices for your addiction treatment. Inpatient or residential treatment is usually the most effective option for opiate addiction treatment. Other types of addiction treatment for opiate use disorder also include outpatient, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient programs.
An essential part of any opiate addiction treatment program you choose is the array of therapies and the support you’ll receive. Cognitive-behavioral therapies, support groups like 12-step programs, and other interventions are all well-proven aspects of opiate addiction treatment.
Medications in opiate addiction treatment can also play an essential role in your rehab program. However, utilizing medications alone to help overcome an opiate addiction without the interventions and therapies most treatment programs provide is usually not a practical recovery plan.
What Is MAT?
The term MAT stands for a medically assisted treatment program used in opiate and other types of drug or alcohol addiction. The medications used in MAT are safe to take for long periods to relieve your cravings for the substances you had been abusing. The medications used in MAT also help you avoid relapse and prevent an overdose from occurring.
MAT is not simply the use of medications for opiate addiction, though. This type of treatment is performed in conjunction with therapy for the most successful outcomes.
Medications That Can Be Used to Treat Opioid Use Disorder
While taking medications used to treat opiate addiction, you will not experience the usual feelings of euphoria that opiates provide; instead, you’ll feel more like yourself and won’t need to go through a difficult withdrawal period from these drugs. Some help alleviate the strong cravings for opiates that persist, while others block the effects of opiates should you relapse.
These medications include:
- Methadone – This medication is an opioid used in opiate treatment to relieve uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms during and after detox and alleviate cravings for the drug that’s been abused.
- Buprenorphine – This opioid partial agonist is used in opiate addiction treatment to reduce cravings for opiates and reduce withdrawal symptoms.
- Naltrexone – This medication works by blocking the effects that opiates have on your system. If you were to abuse opioids again, these drugs used to treat opiate addiction would block the euphoric effects, or the high, that you’re used to feeling. Naltrexone is a good choice for opiate addiction treatment when used to help prevent relapse while in recovery.
- Naloxone – This drug helps prevent an opiate overdose from occurring. It doesn’t provide a high and isn’t addictive.
- Suboxone – This medication that helps with withdrawal symptoms, possible overdoses, and cravings combines two drugs: buprenorphine and naloxone. Suboxone has a lower potential for abuse than other drugs, such as methadone. It’s a very successful medication when used in MAT programs.
MAT and Opioid Addiction Treatment at WhiteSands
At WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab, the preferred drugs used to treat opiate addiction during MAT are Suboxone, utilized in combination with counseling and therapy. We prefer using Suboxone rather than methadone, as this newer medication is found to be more effective during the recovery process and is also less habit-forming. Please contact us today or visit one of our facilities to learn more.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.