In addition to pharmacological detoxification, opioid addiction medication may also include psychosocial interventions. Psychosocial treatments include cognitive-behavioral therapy, which teaches patients to recognize patterns of negative behavior and change thought patterns that lead to the misuse of opioids. Some people may benefit from group counseling, which can help them feel less alone and learn new coping strategies. Families may also benefit from family counseling sessions, which help them repair and improve relationships with their loved ones.
While physicians are increasingly aware of the risks of opioids, a relapse is always possible. When prescribed for pain management, doctors are aware that some patients may need to take increased dosages. When this happens, some individuals may resort to illegally obtained opioids, which may contain contaminants or stronger opioids than those prescribed by their doctor. For instance, the opioid fentanyl is linked to a significant number of deaths among heroin users.
When stopping opioids, it’s important to be aware of your tolerance. If you have developed a tolerance to an opioid, it may become too powerful for your body to handle. Talk to your doctor about how much you can safely take, and slowly reduce the dose until you no longer need it. You may want to seek treatment at a higher-level of care as withdrawal symptoms can develop. When you’re done, you should consult with your doctor to determine a plan for reducing the amount you’re taking.
While treatment for opioid addiction can be difficult, it’s possible to overcome the symptoms of the condition and return to a normal state of mind. Opioid addiction medication is an important step toward recovery, as it can help reduce withdrawal symptoms, lessen cravings, and help you make other changes to your life. However, treatment for opioid addiction is never a one-size-fits-all solution. The best treatment is personalized and holistic, addressing the physical, emotional, and social aspects of addiction.
Opioid Addiction Medication
There are a few different types of opioid addiction medication, and the most effective ones are those that you take under the supervision of a health care provider. The most commonly used type is extended-release naltrexone, which requires an injection every two months. In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, naltrexone extended-release treatment helped prevent relapse in men who had already been in the criminal justice system.
Methadone and buprenorphine are often used to treat opioid addiction. Methadone, a long-acting full opioid agonist, reduces withdrawal symptoms and helps people stop using the drug. Both are available in both pill and monthly injection form. Patients who are undergoing buprenorphine treatment should not mix opioids and other medications, which can increase the likelihood of misuse. When these drugs are mixed, the treatment is not as effective, and it’s best to avoid combining them with other medications.
Medication-assisted treatment is considered the gold standard of opioid addiction treatment and is used by one out of every four people. The goal of this treatment is to use medications along with behavioral health and counseling to reduce cravings and the unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal. In most cases, medication assisted treatment involves 3 medications: methadone, naltrexone, and buprenorphine. This treatment helps the patient stop the cravings for opioids and also decreases the risk of overdose.