Affecting over two million people across the country, addiction to opiates is a national epidemic that has claimed the lives of thousands of sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters. The best treatment for opiate addiction is individualized and personalized to a person’s specific needs. Having a care plan to not only address the physical addiction, but any other things that could arise once the drugs are removed can make the process of getting clean from opiates much smoother.
What are Opiates?
Opiates are a drug class that includes opioid painkillers as well as illegal drugs such as heroin. Opiates also include synthetic opioids such as morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and the extremely deadly drug fentanyl. These synthetic drugs were listed as available legally through a prescription from a doctor, however, as with heroin, they are often illicitly obtained on the street. When opiates are purchased illegally, there is no regulation and really no way of telling if it is actually what a person intended to obtain. Many pills that are advertised as one thing are often pressed pills containing drugs like fentanyl that could lead to deadly results.
Medications for Opiate Addiction
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States has approved many different medications for the treatment of opiate addiction. These medications have undergone extensive research and testing to ensure their safety and effectiveness. The best treatment for opiate addiction can include some of these medications.
Buprenorphine is a drug that activates the opioid receptors within the brain, while simultaneously blocking the effects that opioids produce in individuals who abuse them. There are different forms and brand names of buprenorphine. However, they generally all do the same thing. Suboxone is a medication that is used daily to manage and treat opiate addiction. Subutex is also used daily to alleviate opiate withdrawal and manage cravings. Sublocade is a monthly injection that releases buprenorphine into the system over a 28-30 day period in order to combat opiate addiction and cravings.
This is an opioid antagonist and it treats opiate addiction as well as alcohol addiction. Stabilizing the brain’s chemical makeup, naltrexone can help to alleviate cravings providing relief from the desire to use these drugs. As with buprenorphine, naltrexone comes in different brand names. Vivitrol is a monthly injection that helps to fend off cravings to help prevent relapse. ReVia is the same, just taken daily by mouth.
Methadone is an opiate agonist that replaces the use of other opiates in order to prevent withdrawal symptoms and cravings, as well as treat opiate abuse. Dosages are limited and methadone is not as strong as other opiates.
Behavioral Therapy and Counseling
The best treatment for opiate addiction includes therapies and counseling to treat some of the root causes of the addiction. Some forms of behavioral therapy that are used in opiate addiction treatment include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy: talk therapy is used to identify thoughts that play into addiction and work to change them.
- Dialectical behavioral therapy: talk therapy that focuses on accepting thoughts, and working to change how these thoughts affect and play into addiction
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing: a form of therapy used to help treat trauma so that they don’t play such a big role in addiction
- Group therapy: therapy in which people undergoing similar situations can talk and process feelings and situations in a group setting.
These forms of therapy can all be used to treat opiate addiction, sometimes more than one therapy. Individual therapy and group therapy are often used in conjunction to provide the best treatment for opiate addiction.
Support groups are one of the best treatments for opiate addiction. These groups help to maintain recovery outside of formal treatment. Groups like AA and NA provide much-needed support to those who are seeking recovery from drugs like opiates. Recovery from opiate addiction is a lifelong process, and continued participation in support groups like these 12-step programs can help to keep the symptoms of opiate addiction at bay. Socializing and talking with like-minded people who are also clean and sober can help to provide support and help as a part of the best treatment for opiate addiction.
Treatment for Opiate Addiction in Massachusetts
Opiate addiction is a dangerous game. It can lead to severe impacts on health, or even lead to death. Treatment for opiate addiction is beneficial in insurmountable ways for those who choose to partake and begin living a better life. If you or a loved one are struggling with opiates, we can help. The Healing Center in Stoughton provides individualized and personalized care to those who enter into our care. We help to make the process of kicking opiate addiction as comfortable and smooth as possible. Contact our admissions team today and begin living a new and positive life.