The first step to getting the right opiate treatment for addiction or overuse is to have a consultation with a licensed medical professional. The medical professional will give an assessment, and will ask a series of questions to gauge the condition and needs of the potential patient. It is important to be as honest as possible when asked questions by a doctor or nurse – they only want the best for you and your loved ones.
If a doctor believes the patient is an addict in need of help, then he/she may inform the patient of possible treatment options. Family and friends often join in on the conversation. The next steps address the issues at hand.
Common Types of Treatment Options
There are several ways to combat addiction with opiate treatment. Many of the methods listed below are often used in conjunction with each other as part of a patient’s individualized treatment plan. It’s best to consult with a medical professional on what program will benefit the patient the most.
Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is a popular option to treat opiate addiction, if sufficient funding exists. The three most common substances prescribed to combat opiate addiction are buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone. Ask your doctor what may be right for you.
Methadone is commonly seen as the most popular option. It is a long-lasting drug that activates opioid receptors. It has been known to reduce drug dependency while eliminating withdrawal symptoms. Although opioid receptors are activated, the patient will feel no sense of euphoria from its use.
Buprenorphine also reduces cravings by activating opioid receptors. It can reduce euphoria and withdrawal symptoms. It essentially works in a very similar way to methadone, albeit being a newer drug.
Naltrexone blocks opiate receptors in the brain, so an abuser won’t feel a high if they use opiates while on the medication. Some opiate treatment programs favor this drug as opposed to methadone.
12 Step Therapy
In the field of rehabilitation, a supportive community can make or break the patient’s desire to relapse. Narcotics Anonymous (NA) offers a similar program to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), by giving addicts a 12 step program to recover from their substance abuse with a welcoming community at their periphery.
NA hosts meetings in over 100 countries, with tens of thousands of meetings every week. A support group is useful as a supplement or also as a main source of sobriety.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Behavioral therapy is useful for a wide range of issues, such as eating disorders, mental health problems, and addiction. The goal of CBT is to help the patient rectify their issues by exploring their patterns of thought which then lead to behaviors that negatively influence themselves. CBT therapists want to help patients develop healthier thinking patterns, and also like to keep track of their patient’s behavior over time.
CBT patients can expect to work in tandem with their therapist in a 1:1 or group setting. Therapists will often give patients tasks to do outside of therapy, intending to help them improve essential coping skills. A successful cognitive behavioral therapy patient will identify and overpower the negative thought patterns in his/her mind after treatment.
Motivational interviewing is a technique that aims to put all the power in the hands of the patient – there will be no doctors giving medicine, nor extended group therapy sessions. The goal of motivational interviewing is to empower clients to change their behaviors through several techniques.
Interviewers tend not to tell clients what to do, but instead work with them in helping the patient set their goals and overcome them. They hope to use things that drive the client to propel them into future success.
In Conclusion, there are several methods of effectively treating opiate addiction. The patient should work with a medical professional to determine what treatment options will benefit them the most. The first step to solving the problem is to admit that there is a problem. Treatment is expensive. However, the one-time cost of being drug-free for life will save decades of pill purchases.