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What Is The Most Effective Way To Treat Opioid Addiction?

The United States is currently facing an opioid epidemic. According to the National Safety Council report, drug fatalities increased by 13 percent from 2015 to 2016. With the increase in fatalities from opioid addiction, there has been a continuous debate about what is considered the most effective treatment for drug dependency. It includes medical interventions, counseling, behavioral therapy, and other forms of therapy and treatment. Many opiate addicts and people with opioid addiction have difficulty finding a treatment program that will work for them. There are many different types of opiate addictions, ranging from painkillers to heroin, and a range of drug rehabs whose treatment protocols differ widely.

 Facilities such as Recovery Delivered – a reputable online opioid rehab, believe that residential rehabs are possible for all types of opioid addictions. These types of programs allow patients to focus on detoxing safely, all the while in a supervised environment. While almost all residential programs include group therapy, weekly lectures, and lifeline recovery support, inpatient or residential treatment can vary greatly in quality. It would help if you worked with a top-notch drug rehab center with proven track recovery records. These facilities share the passion for helping individuals achieve long-lasting sobriety no matter the circumstances.

How To Treat Opioid Addiction

While there are various types of treatment for opioid addiction, it’s important to know that no single option can cure this disease. The best approach to opioid addiction combines multiple methods depending on each patient’s individual needs. In many cases, a combination of medications and psychosocial support is the most effective treatment. Research indicates that behavioral therapy and medications like methadone or buprenorphine (but not naltrexone) are more effective for opioid addiction than either treatment alone. Behavioral therapies can also be combined with drugs such as naltrexone. Still, evidence suggests that behavioral therapy and methadone or buprenorphine are more effective than behavioral therapy plus naltrexone.

The primary goal of addiction treatment is to reduce cravings for opioids and improve physical and psychological functioning. A variety of effective strategies can accomplish that goal, including treating underlying mental health issues, using medications such as buprenorphine or varenicline to relieve withdrawal symptoms, or participating in self-help groups and counseling sessions. Someone addicted to opioids will likely face a lengthy road to recovery. But what is the most effective method for opioid addiction treatment?

  • Withdrawal management

The first step in treating opioid addiction is proper withdrawal management, and there are two options: medical detox or tapering.

Medical detox: This is a more complex form of withdrawal management that requires close medical attention. A doctor will examine the patient and administer medications that help ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce the risk of relapse.

Tapering: Tapering is a gradual reduction in medication taken over time. It can be performed at home or in an outpatient setting with a doctor’s guidance.

  • Psychosocial therapies 

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT]-The most effective way to treat opioid addiction is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is a form of treatment that can help you learn how to identify, avoid, and cope with the situations in which you’re most likely to abuse drugs. It also teaches you how to develop a strong network of recovery support.

Motivational enhancement therapy-Other addiction treatment options include motivational enhancement therapy (MET) and contingency management. MET helps people who are ambivalent about stopping their drug use. Contingency management uses rewards and incentives to promote abstinence from drugs.

  • Using drugs 

The FDA has approved three drugs for treating opioid addiction: methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone.

Methadone treatment has been widely available since the 1970s through federally licensed opioid treatment programs (OTPs). Studies suggest that long-term use of methadone decreases mortality rates among people with opioid addictions. Methadone maintenance has also been shown to enhance drug treatment outcomes by increasing retention in treatment, decreasing illicit drug use, improving social functioning, and reducing criminal activity.

Buprenorphine has similar effectiveness to methadone; it can be prescribed in a physician’s office. Buprenorphine (Suboxone) works similarly to methadone but is not as potent. Buprenorphine can be prescribed by qualified doctors in an office setting, while specially approved clinics must dispense methadone with strict government regulations.

Naltrexone is a drug that blocks the effects of opioids. It can be injected or used as an implant under the skin. A longer-acting version of naltrexone called Vivitrol is given once a month. People who receive medication-assisted treatment are less likely to relapse than those who don’t get this type of therapy, but it doesn’t work for everyone.

The most effective way to treat opioid addiction is by any means necessary. The patient must be in the best physical and mental health possible, so detoxification and treatment in an inpatient setting are critical for success. Simply reducing access to opioids has proven to be insufficient in treating the opioid crisis; no one should have to risk their life or damage their health relapsing. By strengthening and expanding existing resources, our nation could greatly reduce opioid addiction dramatically.

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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