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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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