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Medication For Addiction Recovery

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Medication For Addiction Recovery

Medication Assisted Treatment for Addiction

Multiple treatment models have been developed to assist individuals in successfully recovering from addiction.  The various options for treatment and the models for recovery aim to address and provide solutions for what is currently known about the different struggles addicts in recovery face, the complexity of addiction’s impact, the personality of the individual and the characteristics of different substances of abuse. Medication assisted treatment for addiction was developed as a reaction to the high relapse rates for opioid addiction and the amount of relapses that resulted in overdose for opioid addicts. Medication assisted treatment for addiction is a form of harm reduction that follows the chronic disease care model for managing chronic diseases with an integrated approach using medication and therapy to help alcoholics and opioid dependents re-gain strength to live a healthy life with a healthy mindset. Research published in the National Institutes of Health found MAT programs to be effective for treating opioid addiction, reducing relapse and mortality rates, in addition to enhancing treatment outcomes in alcoholics and opiod dependents. It is important to note that research is also based on statistics from individuals whose medication assisted treatment was administered by a primary addiction treatment provider. For immediate help finding treatment for opioid addiction contact us now and our experienced treatment providers will guide you in choosing the best treatment plan for you or your loved one.

What is the Purpose of Medication-Assisted Treatment ?

Medication assisted treatment for addiction was developed with the unique characteristics of opioid and alcohol dependence in mind. Early development of most treatment models focused on one aspect of facilitating recovery. Pharmacological treatment approaches combine medications for treating the biological aspect of addiction and behavioral therapy such as counseling to address the psychological aspects of addiction.  Chronic disease care management and medication assisted treatment involve integrated and coordinated long-term delivery of care that is both medical and specialty care, education, and maintenance. When treatment follows the guidelines for effective implementation  individuals suffering from addiction are enabled to manage their disease and provided a strong foundation for building a healthy lifestyle.

Obstacles to Treating Opioid and Alcohol Dependence:

  • Struggles faced during each stage of recovery such as withdrawal, relapse, and becoming self-aware.
  • The Various mental and physical health conditions commonly seen in sufferers of addiction
  • Include spiritual, faith based, or cultural preference therapies,
  • Characteristics of specific substances of abuse
  • Gender & Age differences

How can Using Drugs Be Effective For Treating Drug Addiction?

Drug and alcohol addiction are complex diseases that prey upon the lives of countless people all over the world. One of the leading indicators of an addiction being present in an individual is the compulsive need to continue using substance. The desire to use a substance can stem from any number of things however it can be difficult for an individual to be self-aware of when desire crosses over to need. Compulsion develops as drugs or alcohol change the way the brain functions and eventually it becomes dependent on those substances to function “normally”. When individuals say that addiction is a disease it is because it is. There is no cure, but the evolution of treatment and the shift from blanket treatment programs to personalized recovery management options has made recovery possible when individuals are willing to follow effective treatment guidelines.

Another dominant force that greatly influences one’s inability to overcome drug or alcohol dependency, is the agonizing and unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that arise throughout the course of detox. In an effort to tackle both of these obstacles, many treatment centers prescribe patients medication for addiction recovery. In addiction recovery, utilizing medications to address withdrawal symptoms and enhance relapse prevention can be incredibly influential. In many instances, patients seeking to recover from opioid addiction or alcoholism will be need medicine during the detoxification phase and/or during treatment, as these dependencies are notorious for causing severe physical and psychological sensations that can be vastly unpleasant. Although detoxing naturally without drugs is possible, people who are dependent on opioids/opiates or alcohol are usually instructed to register themselves into a medically assisted detox program.

What are The Benefits of Medically-Assisted Addiction Recovery Programs?

Medications can be used to alleviate and manage hazardous withdrawal symptoms, such as seizures and delirium tremens. The dosage of these drugs is gradually reduced over a long time period to help lessen the likelihood of a dangerous and abrupt withdrawal from occurring. Drugs used in the treatment for opioid addiction include methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. Medications that treat alcohol addiction include Naltrexone, Acamprosate, and Disulfiram. These FDA approved prescription drugs can help individuals find relief from symptoms of withdrawal that occur during detox, as well as decrease cravings, institute customary functioning in the brain, treat co-occurring disorders, and help patients remain free from the use of drugs and alcohol while in recovery. These medications can play a key role in preventing relapse because oftentimes, these overpowering cravings keep the addiction in existence, even for people who are in recovery or who have a strong desire to stop using.

Opioid Addiction Treatment Medication

  • Suboxone has recently become a more popular medication used in treatment for opioid addiction. It has similar effects that opioid painkillers have, due to the agonist Buprenorphine, except Suboxone has a milder impact on the user. Naloxone is also a key component of Suboxone, as it obstructs specific opiate receptors in the brain from receiving signals that may trigger cravings. This effectively assists in diminishing, if not eliminating, the potential for abuse by not allowing the user to feel any increased effects. After a few months, a patient taking Suboxone will begin to be slowly tapered off the drug.
  • Methadone is very similar to Suboxone, except methadone helps alleviate symptoms of pain and is used over the long-term, whereas the Suboxone program is short-term and focuses mainly on acting as a substitute for opiates in the brain. Methadone is much more difficult to detox from, and therefore should only be used as a last case scenario. A patient in recovery for opioid addiction may find methadone to be more useful if he or she is experiencing moderate to severe symptoms of pain.
  • Naltrexone works to completely break one’s physical addiction to opioid drugs such as OxyContin, Percocet and Heroin. This is done by denying the brain’s opioid receptors the ability to receive feelings of euphoria brought on by opioid drugs. Positive aspects of Naltrexone are that it can completely eliminate cravings, it has shown to not have the potential to cause addiction, it has very few side effects, and patients cannot build a tolerance to the drug. However, despite the fact that Naltrexone can be effective during detox and relapse prevention, it has significantly lower success rates. This is because Naltrexone is not required to be used in compliance with medical practices. Recovering from addiction can be extremely difficult, and as a result, all measures and steps must be taken in order to guarantee a successful recovery. When used in addition to treatment and therapy, Naltrexone can certainly be effective, but when used alone, this medication will only address the physical dependency and not the psychological facets of the addiction.

Alcohol Addiction Treatment Medication

Individuals who are addicted to alcohol often begin to experience symptoms of withdrawal roughly six hours after their last drink, such as headaches, sweating, nausea, and vomiting. Additional symptoms may also arise during this timeframe, which may include psychiatric symptoms such as depression and anxiety. Patients commonly experience mental confusion, hallucinations, and agitation between 12 and 24 hours following their last drink. During the detoxification phase, patients may be given seizure medication, as well as medications that address anxiety, such as benzodiazepines. Once the patient has successfully completed detox, he or she can transition into a treatment program and other medications may be prescribed to help the individual progress through the recovery process.

  • Disulfiram is a drug that simply works by discouraging patients from drinking. If an individual consumes even the slightest amount of alcohol while taking Disulfiram, he or she will become violently ill and experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, headaches, sweating, confusion, anxiety, blurred vision, and difficulty breathing. Disulfiram can prevent alcohol intake, but it will not treat the actual addiction. It is highly encouraged that people taking Disulfiram also participate in a comprehensive rehabilitation program for a productive recovery.
  • Naltrexone can reduce the likelihood of relapse by rejecting users the ability to obtain feelings of gratification when consuming alcohol. This drug inhibits reward signals from reaching the brain’s opioid receptors, which not only lessens cravings, but also causes feelings of disinterest towards drinking. Further treatment and therapy should be used in combination with Naltrexone to address the entire addiction for a prosperous recovery.
  • Acamprosate to be effective Patients who have a more acute addiction may find . Acamprosate is a medication that can treat ongoing symptoms of withdrawal. These symptoms are commonly due to one’s mental stability, which is greatly affected during detox, and typically include anxiety, depression, and insomnia. In order to achieve a successful recovery story, patients taking Acamprosate should also enroll in a qualified treatment program.

Addiction Recovery

More often than not, patients who seek recovery for a drug or alcohol addiction will be highly advised to utilize medications during detox and/or treatment. Discontinuing use of these substances, especially when a dependency has formed, can be incredibly unpleasant, but there are medications that can provide relief from withdrawal symptoms and ease the course of recovery. It is important that every medication used to treat addiction, only be done so under the supervision of a medical professional and should only be taken as prescribed. When used concurrently in treatment, medications for addiction recovery can offer patients the highest probability of success.

Established Guidelines For Effectively Treating Opioid Addiction and Alcoholism Using MAT:

  • Implementing screening and intervention for risky behavior and or under lying mental health conditions
  • Preventative services & addiction education
  • engaging and supporting patients offering therapies for learning self-management, understanding personal temptations
  • monitoring patient on long-term basis and patients active participation in on-going addiction management counseling
  • Setting goals for when medication replacement can be replaced with non-medication recovery management.

Great strides have been made in treating addiction and spreading awareness about the disease however many barriers still exist. Insurance regulations remain an obstacle for many who are seeking medication assisted treatment and face pre-authorization requirements from their healthcare insurance providers. The restrictions on dosing and duration of use can also deter the recommendations of addiction treatment specialists and confusion regarding different regulations across different states can increase the feeling of hopelessness when addicts are fed confusing answers to their requests for help. The lack of widespread access to long-term chronic disease care for addiction remains the greatest impediment on recovery outcomes.

According to Christopher M. Jones, A professional Doctor of Pharmacy, with the Public Health Strategy and Analysis team, the treatment gap exists in every state, some states worse than others but over all their is an urgent need for national attention to improving states capacity to provide opioid addiction medication assisted treatment. Currently only 23 % of publicly funded programs in 2017 offer FDA approved addiction treatment medications. Private rehab centers show similar faults with less than half of them reporting physicians administering FDA approved medications. Initiatives are still needed to close the treatment gap and improve availability of effective-long-term addiction care, according to Hannah Knudsen, leader of addiction research at the Department of Behavioral Science and Center on Drug and Alcohol Research with the University of Kentucky.

To find a qualified medication assisted treatment program today, contact us now and we will work together to ensure you get the help you need without hesitation. Don’t let your financial situation or insurance plan prevent you from getting your life back, there is always a solution and we will help you find it.

Sources:

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