This article was reviewed for accuracy by Dr. Lauren Weinand. She graduated from the University of Arizona’s College of Medicine with her Doctor of Medicine.
If you or your loved one is facing an addiction to opioids, you are probably looking for the best option for treatment. Although there are many options available, finding the best one for you may take some research. In order to maximize your chance of recovery, we’ve compiled a list of the most effective treatments for opioid addiction.
For any drug addiction, the first step in treatment is to stop using the drug. Treatments for opioid addiction work the same way, but it’s more complicated than just quitting cold turkey. Withdrawal symptoms for opioid addiction can be severe and may include:
- Raised blood pressure
- Muscle pain
Naturally, effective treatments will address these symptoms to keep the patient as comfortable as possible. This may involve medical supervision, diet, and/or using FDA-approved formulations of buprenorphine. Buprenorphine (commonly known as suboxone when combined with the opioid antagonist, naloxone) is an opioid that is often used for treating opioid use disorder. It lessens withdrawal symptoms, reduces cravings, and even blocks other opioids from working.
Buprenorphine treatment works by stimulating the opioid receptors in the brain. Because it only partially stimulates them and doesn’t get the patient “high,” it’s a popular opioid addiction recovery tool. This is a key part of full detoxification initiating treatment since without buprenorphine stimulating the opioid receptors, withdrawal symptoms become much more severe. You may take buprenorphine temporarily and wean off it, or take it indefinitely. This is something you and your treatment team will decide.
As demand for buprenorphine has gone up, new ways to take it have been found. For example, one of the more popular methods is via a monthly, extended release injectable. This helps patients comply with their treatment guidelines, and it has fewer side effects because of the extended release formula.
While medications can be a great asset in opioid addiction recovery, the underlying issues of addiction cannot be solved solely with a pill. The most effective treatments for opioid addiction include both medication and talk therapy. For many people in recovery, they will stay in talk therapy even after leaving a rehab center. This is known as maintenance treatment, and it can greatly increase a patient’s odds of staying sober.
Of course, the type of therapy can vary based on the program and the individual’s needs. Below are some of the most effective talk therapy styles for opioid addiction treatment.
Group therapy is one of the most effective treatments for opioid addiction. This treatment works by bringing patients together and encouraging them to share their experiences. From there, trained recovery specialists help identify patterns in behavior that lead to addiction. Rather than simply assigning blame for drug addiction, this approach helps patients develop coping skills to avoid relapse.
With one-on-one counseling, patients have the opportunity to talk privately about their struggles with drug addiction. Many patients enjoy this type of therapy because it comprises a judgment-free space to talk about their experiences. This is where people entering recovery learn behavioral health skills that keep them healthy and happy without the influence of opioids.
One of the most popular individual therapies is known as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). While it’s a popular treatment for depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, it also effective at treating opioid addiction. The basis of CBT is that when someone does something negative (such as abusing drugs), the underlying issue is related to their thought process. It fixes these issues by showing people how to identify and react to cravings, which reduces the risk of opioid overdoses and relapses for those in recovery.
Bringing families together is a great way to help people recover from opioid addiction. Talking about conflicts in a family can be hard, especially when they’re related to drug addiction. However, this kind of counseling gives everyone a chance to feel heard and respected. Not only does this treatment help fix family relationships, but it also educates family members on how they can support their loved one through recovery.
Get Treatment That Works for You
Treatment of opioid dependency begins with finding the care that suits your needs. A good addiction recovery program will offer multiple ways to learn new coping skills and behaviors. Opioid addiction can be remarkably difficult to overcome alone, so don’t hesitate to seek help!
Reach Out For Help Today
You may be struggling with an undiagnosed mental health condition. Or you may be fighting an addiction. You may also be apprehensive when it comes to the myths about rehab. We can meet you where you are in your fight for sobriety.
We welcome you to our treatment center. From support groups to individual therapy treatment options, we are here to fight the battle with you.
Reach out to us online today. You can also call us at 407-449-8410.
If you have any questions about the Blackberry Center’s medication-assisted treatment for drug rehabilitation, please call admissions at 407-449-8410 to discuss our treatment options.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “FDA approves first once-monthly buprenorphine injection, a medication-assisted treatment option for opioid use disorder.” FDA News Release. November 30, 2017. Accessed October 24, 2019.
World Health Organization. Clinical Guidelines for Withdrawal Management and Treatment of Drug Dependence in Closed Settings. WHO Press. 2009. Accessed October 24, 2019
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