Prescription opioid addiction is a huge problem in our society, and most people know someone who has been affected by this tragedy or have even suffered the effects of addition themselves. It can be hard to know exactly what to do to treat an opioid use disorder, but the good news is that there are treatment centers all across the country that offer a variety of treatment plans to fit the needs of each individual that walks through the doors. If you or someone you know is one of the 24.6 million people living with a substance use disorder, consider getting treatment at one of the many drug rehab centers working to help treat opioid addiction.
Facts about Opioid Dependence and Treatment Plans
1. Suboxone is a popular treatment option.
Suboxone is a pharmaceutical treatment for opiate addition that is composed of two drugs, Buprenorphine and Naloxone. This drug formulation has been around since 2003 and it has a unique mechanism of action that helps drug users abstain from using drugs so they can work on getting their lives on track. Suboxone works by combining the effects of the two drugs: Buprenorphine is a low dose opiate that works to prevent withdrawal symptoms so the poatient won’t get sick, while Naloxone is an opiate blocker that blocks the effects of more potent opiates, so if the user tries to get high it won’t have any effect. This is considered a short to medium length treatment and the final goal is for the user to taper off Suboxone treatment when they are ready and have a good support system.
2. Vivitrol is a treatment that was recently approved.
Vivitrol is a treatment that works by blocking the effects of opiates, and unlike Suboxone it does not provide any low dose opiate therapy. The blocking effect of Vivitrol is so strong that the patient must be completely free of any opiates in their system before the shot is administered, otherwise this medicine can precipitate withdrawal and the patient will get sick. This is accomplished by making sure the patient abstains from opiate use for seven to 10 days. The drug user may need support to do this and they may even stay in a detox facility, because the first several days of getting off drugs are often the hardest and this is when the patient needs the most support. It is key that they are in a drug free environment during this time.
3. It is important to also have counseling and a support system.
For many people who have used drugs, it is the only way of life they know. When a person gets off drugs they will need to rebuild their life and find new friends and maybe even a new place to live. Pharmaceutical treatments can’t help with these obstacles, so it is a good idea to have consistent therapy or group connections so the drug user knows that he or she is not alone.
Do you know someone who has suffered from opioid addiction? How did this person approach treatment and what would you say to someone who is going through the same thing now? Please share your thoughts and leave a comment below.