Different types of Opioid Treatment Program

The problem of substance abuse has been present in the society for a long period of time and it can be seen all around us. Substance abuse involves excessive use of a particular substance that can lead to hazardous behavior and persistent use causes social, psychological, occupational and health issues.

Opioid, also called narcotics are medicines that are mainly prescribed for pain relief. They are also called painkillers. Opioid has addictive powers, and can become a source of addiction even when taken as prescribed.  Opioid like heroin are illegal drugs and abused by many individuals. Opioid addiction can cause life threatening problems, like the risk of overdose.

To treat Opioid addiction, an individual can opt for an Opioid Treatment Program, according to his individual needs. These programs include medication and therapy. A brief description of some treatment programs is discussed below.

  • Medications

Pharmacotherapy is a popular Opioid Treatment Program, where medications are used to treat Opioid addiction. Three types of drugs are mainly used to treat the addiction: methadone, buprenorphrine and naltrexone. Although both methadone and buprenorphrine are Opioids themselves, when they are taken as prescribed, these drugs help treat severe cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

How do these medicines work?

Methadone, as other Opioids, target the same areas of the brain, however, methadone does not produce the feeling of ‘high,’ which other Opioids produce. Methadone is available in the form of pill, as well as liquid.

Buprenorphrine, works along the same line as methadone, and it mainly reduces cravings and symptoms of withdrawal.

Naltrexone is not an Opioid like the other two medicines. Naltrexone works by blocking the opioids from producing the high feeling, in the brain, which helps prevent relapse by reducing cravings.

  • Therapy

Therapy is a type of Opioid treatment program that is effective in dealing with Opioid addiction. Cognitive behavioral therapy is mainly used to treat drug addictions. In therapy the focus of the therapist is to change the individual’s thoughts and attitudes, which in turn, will help to change his behavior. The focus in therapy is to change the negative thought patterns and behavior and help an individual build healthier attitudes and skills.

  • Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT):

Medication Assisted Therapy or MAT is a Opioid treatment program that uses both medication as well as therapy like cognitive behavior therapy and counseling to treat Opioid addiction. This is considered a “whole patient” approach. MAT programs are tailored according to an individual’s needs. Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT) has proven to be an effective Opioid Treatment Program. It has shown improvement in survival rates, better retention of treatment as well as decrease in illegal use of opioids.

  • Residential programs

This is another type of Opioid Treatment program, where an Opioid addict resides with other individuals suffering from similar addiction and treatment is given to all the residents, in a similar fashion and housing is also provided.

  • Hospital Based Treatment

Sometimes addiction becomes too severe and life threatening and it cannot be treated by staying at home. There are provisions for treatment in hospitals, and the individual is admitted and he/she goes through complete detox, before being released and sent home.

The above described treatment programs can be used to treat Opioid addiction as well as for treating other types of substance abuse and it is important to know what type of treatment is best suited for treating one self.

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