Your opioid addiction once consumed your days. It held your goals and hopes for the future hostage. Now, that’s all in the past. As hard as it may have been, you accepted reality and admitted to yourself that you need real help.
Whether you’re about to enter addiction rehab or seriously considering this life-changing move, you’re wondering what treatment for opioid addiction is like. Specifically, what opioid treatment medications will be used throughout the detoxification process.
Learn what opioid treatment medications may be used and how they work. But first, do you know why a medically-assisted treatment for opioid addiction is so imperative?
As opposed to quitting cold turkey or trying to detox and manage withdrawal symptoms on your own, a medically supervised opioid treatment program is by far the safest route.
The withdrawal process from opioids can result in dangerous and debilitating withdrawal symptoms, like an increased heart rate, hypertension, fevers, vomiting, emotional instability (like anxiety, despair and depression), extreme cravings – which, for some, is the hardest symptom to work through – and much more.
Because opioids systematically change the way nerve receptors in the brain work, trudging through the detox and withdrawal process alone exponentially increases the possibility of relapse and overdose.
When you seek professional help at an established treatment and recovery facility, your detox and withdrawal management process will be met with:
Ceasing all opioid drug use has a way of making it feel like your life has been flipped upside-down and inside-out. During a medically-assisted opioid treatment program, there are several key medications that are effective at managing withdrawal symptoms, preventing cravings and helping a recovering addict quit opioids once and for all.
Methadone is used as an effective stabilizer because it is a long-acting opioid drug that prevents opioid withdrawal symptoms. It helps recovering addicts remain in a steady state without experiencing soaring highs and overpowering crashes.
HOW IT WORKS: Since methadone is an opioid, it attaches to the same opioid receptors in the brain that heroin and prescription painkillers do. However, it is slower-acting and essentially removes feelings of cravings. This allows recovering addicts to only focus on sobriety and not hold on to a desire to relapse. Addiction treatment programs use methadone as a way to help recovering addicts taper off all opioids over a specific period of time.
Known as a partial opioid agonist, buprenorphine helps to evade opioid withdrawal symptoms and stop addiction by gradually weaning a recovering addict off of opioids.
HOW IT WORKS: Since buprenorphine links to the same receptors in the brain that opioid drugs do, it does produce a similar opioid high. However, it is less pronounced. The medication is effective when a recovering addict is first stabilized with buprenorphine and then safely and gradually tapered off.
Working as an opioid antagonist, naltrexone is used to reverse an opioid overdose – in the event that an opioid is taken during recovery.
HOW IT WORKS: Naltrexone attaches to opioid receptors in the brain and prevents other drugs from connecting to the receptors. Naltrexone does not produce a high like other opioid drugs. In fact, this drug blocks the high altogether, which helps discourage future drug use.
Consisting of both buprenorphine and naloxone, suboxone is used by some treatment programs to help stop opioid dependence. Suboxone has a dual purpose, as it eases opioid withdrawal symptoms and blocks a high from occurring.
HOW IT WORKS: Like other opioid treatment medications, suboxone attaches to the brain’s opioid receptors but doesn’t produce the desired opioid high. This allows relief and control to be present within the withdrawal and detoxification process.
It’s simply not enough to just attend addiction rehab. You must arrive with an unbreakable commitment to get clean and an open mind to discover a renewed sense of purpose. Without question, you have a purpose that is beyond measure.
At Covenant Hills, we understand how addiction has derailed your life. With an expert, seasoned staff and medical team, you will never fight this battle alone and will have access to 24/7 medical attention and care.
Additionally, through our Recovery Assurance Guarantee, if for any reason you relapse within one year of completing treatment at Covenant Hills, you can return for a week of stabilization and evaluation at no cost.