How to Treat Opioid Addiction
Opioid addiction is abuse of and dependency on painkillers. Although these drugs are legal, helpful, prescribed medications, they are one of the most difficult substances for addicts to stop using. These narcotics have such a powerful effect over the body that ceasing to take them causes excruciating withdrawal symptoms. For this reason, many addicts have failed or are scared to quit. The good news is that there are proven methods of treating prescription drug abuse.
The first form of opioid addiction treatment is through medications that counter the withdrawal symptoms of detoxification. Methadone is the most successful at doing this. It tricks the body into thinking it’s getting narcotics by activating the same opioid receptors, but it doesn’t provide the high. The dose is gradually decreased until you no longer depend on the drug, all without experiencing withdrawal.
This process can take months to years to complete, though some people must remain on methadone long-term in order to prevent relapse. During this time, called maintenance therapy, you’re still dependent on opioids, but you can live normally.
Another effective treatment is the combination of buprenorphine, which also activates opioid receptors to avoid withdrawal and decrease cravings, and naloxone, which reduces abuse of the medication.
The second part of opioid addiction treating prescription drug abuse is through emotional support such as therapy or a 12-step group. There are different forms of therapy you can participate in, including cognitive behavioral therapy and family counseling.
There are two 12-step groups you can join depending on how you decide to approach addiction treatment. Narcotics Anonymous refrains from maintenance therapy. Methadone Anonymous is for those who choose that route. Either is beneficial in finding a long-lasting support group.
Because opioid addiction is so hard to overcome, it’s important you have the right team to help you on this difficult but rewarding process. Find out how Brighton Recovery Center can get you on the path to successful and enduring recovery.
Learn more about addiction and recovery on the Recovery Soapbox Podcast