Millions of Americans struggle with drug and alcohol abuse every year. Attempting to quit using drugs and alcohol without any kind of assistance can be a very difficult experience. Many who try to do so quickly end up relapsing. Substance use disorders can be treated with medication to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal, alongside a comprehensive treatment strategy to address the root causes of the disorder. You may know this type of program as medication-assisted treatment.
At San Antonio Recovery Center, we understand that the symptoms of withdrawal can be frightening and painful to experience. We will help you get through it as comfortably as possible. When properly administered, medication-assisted treatment can help you heal faster and with less discomfort. Our treatment center also offers a range of treatment options to help you recover. If you or someone you care about needs medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder or alcohol addiction, get in touch with us at 866.957.7885.
What Is Medication-Assisted Treatment?
Medication-assisted treatment is an evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders. It provides patients with support as they begin the healing process. The medications help reduce the effect of the alcohol or opioid the patient is addicted to, making the use of the substance less pleasurable. Other types of medication can ease the withdrawal symptoms, meaning the patient has fewer and less intense cravings for alcohol or opioids. Some medications are a blend of both of these approaches. This makes it easier for patients to quit using drugs and alcohol for good.
The FDA-approved medication is only one component of the approach, as patients are also meant to undergo counseling and behavioral therapy. Medication-assisted treatment is most effective when the treatment plans are customized to the needs of the patient, and are made with input from the patient, the prescribing doctor, and the rest of the care team. The goal is to have a holistic treatment program that gets to the root of the problem and provides a supportive environment for patients to recover.
Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction
To maximize the chances of success, the doctor and therapists will match the type of medication to the specific substance use disorder suffered by the patient. Each medication differs in its approach to easing withdrawal symptoms and reducing cravings to prevent relapse. For opioid use disorder, the following three main medications are useful:
- Buprenorphine is a “partial opioid agonist.” In other words, it works by activating and blocking the opioid receptors in the brain. While it is still classified as an opioid, this medication has a different effect on a patient’s body than a full opioid. It should not cause the same feelings of euphoria as a full opioid. Instead, it helps decrease physical dependence on opioids.
- Methadone is a less potent synthetic opioid that affects users less severely than other opioids. It satisfies the extreme cravings that patients may feel when they are going through withdrawal. It helps patients avoid relapsing. However, it is still a full opioid, and may still cause addiction. Its use is appropriate under the supervision of a medical practitioner. This remains the case until patients are able to show that they are stable enough to use it on their own between visits to a treatment facility.
- Naltrexone is appropriate for both opioid addiction and alcohol addiction. It blocks the opioid receptors in the patient’s brain, minimizing the effects of most opioids. There is less risk of addiction with Naltrexone since it is not, in itself, addictive. However, it does reduce the patient’s tolerance to opioids. As a result, it’s dangerous for them to take opioids at the same dosage they did prior to taking Naltrexone.
Start Recovery at San Antonio Recovery Center
At San Antonio Recovery Center, we understand that medication is just one part of a bigger plan for a patient to overcome a substance use disorder. We offer a variety of therapies to support recovery, including medication-assisted treatment. We integrate these therapies into a number of different programs:
- Intensive outpatient program
- Inpatient drug rehab program
- 90-day treatment program
- Men’s drug addiction rehab
- Women’s drug addiction rehab
We offer comprehensive and affordable treatment plans that will help patients with long-term recovery. If you’re ready to break free from addiction, call us at 866.957.7885.