How Medication Can Aid in Opioid Treatment



table of contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    Opioid abuse is one of the most devastating public health issues facing our country today, so opioid treatment is vital. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 68,000 deaths were caused by opioid overdoses in 2020 alone. Opioids are substances that act on opioid receptors found throughout the body and brain to reduce pain. To help people stop using opioids, doctors often prescribe alternative medications as part of a treatment program known as medication-assisted treatment (MAT). 

    MAT is a therapy that incorporates medications such as methadone or buprenorphine to help individuals with opioid use disorder stop using illicit drugs while minimizing their withdrawal symptoms. This form of therapy can be very beneficial to those trying to recover from addiction. MAT reduces a person’s chances of death due to overdose by 50% compared to those who receive non-medication-assisted treatment options such as behavioral therapy and counseling alone.

    MAT Is a Proven Form of Treatment for Opioid Addiction

    MAT is a proven form of treatment for opioid addiction. This method combines medication, therapy, and support to help people stop using opioids and stay clean. These drugs won’t cause feelings of intoxication. Instead, they will give people a tool in their tool belts to overcome their opioid addiction. 

    Some FDA-approved medications used in MAT are:

    • Buprenorphine
    • Naltrexone 
    • Vivitrol 
    • Methadone

    The first two medications are used to treat opioid addiction. Buprenorphine is similar to other opioids in that it binds to the same receptors in the brain as heroin or prescription painkillers. What’s different is that buprenorphine doesn’t cause feelings of euphoria or intoxication. 

    Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist, but it works in a slightly different way than buprenorphine. It is an antagonist that prevents people from becoming intoxicated if they use other opioids while taking it.

    Methadone is an opioid antagonist. This drug binds to receptors in your brain as other opioids do but instead of causing euphoria or pain relief on its own, it reduces cravings for other opioids and makes withdrawal symptoms less severe.

    MAT Medications Are Not Addictive

    The medications used in MAT are not addictive or habit-forming, but they do help with cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid dependence. They work by binding to opioid receptors in the brain and blocking the effects of opioids. As such, these medications can be used in conjunction with behavioral therapy, which is important for long-term success because therapy helps individuals learn how to cope without depending on drugs as a coping mechanism.

    MAT Should Not Be Used Alone

    Medication can also be used to help reduce cravings, ease withdrawal symptoms, and prevent relapse. Patients who are struggling with addiction often experience intense cravings for opioids. Medications can help patients transition from opioids to non-addictive treatments that help alleviate those cravings and help rebalance brain chemistry.

    At Villa Oasis San Diego in California, MAT is used in conjunction with other forms of care, including counseling and behavioral therapy. Research shows that MAT is more effective than behavioral treatments alone when it comes to treating addiction because it’s a combination of many different approaches that address the physical and psychological aspects of this disease.

    There Is No One-Size-Fits-All Treatment Plan

    Treatment for opioid use disorder should be tailored to the individual. You will need to find a program that offers treatment options that are effective and acceptable to you. The best treatment plan is one in which you feel comfortable, supported, and knowledgeable about your options.

    Your recovery plan should also be flexible enough to allow you to continue working toward your goals while still having time for recovery activities like group therapy or attending support group meetings. This type of treatment plan must be sustainable. That is something you can do over the long haul without having trouble maintaining it or giving up due to a lack of job flexibility or other factors outside of your control.

    MAT is a proven way to treat opioid addiction. When used along with counseling and other behavioral therapies, it can help you stop taking opioids.

    MAT is not a one-size-fits-all treatment plan. It’s important to find the right medication and dose for your needs by working closely with your doctor or counselor. Once you start using MAT, you’ll be less likely to experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking opioids. The risk of overdose or death greatly decreases.

    MAT Reduces Overdose and Death

    MAT has been shown to reduce the risk of overdose, relapse, and HIV and hepatitis transmission by 30-50%. People who receive MAT are less likely to die from an overdose than those who don’t receive it. The overall mortality rate of people receiving MAT is significantly lower than those not on medication. Medication-assisted treatment can help reduce a person’s chances of overdosing or dying by 50% when compared to those who receive non-medication-assisted treatment.

    For those who are struggling with opioid abuse, it can be a difficult decision to get help. However, it is important to remember that MAT is a proven method of treatment and can help many people recover from this devastating addiction.

    By using medication during your treatment, you reduce your risk of overdose and death by up to 50%. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction to opioids or other illicit drugs, it is important to get help right away. You can overcome this and live a normal, happy life.

    It can all start today with a phone call. Call Villa Oasis San Diego, and we will help you get started. Call (619) 373-9792.

    Your rise begins.