Taking medication to treat addiction is not a new concept. For example, in the 1980s and 1990s, researchers developed medications to treat alcohol addiction, which is now considered a form of medication-assisted treatment. And buprenorphine hydrochloride (brand-name Suboxone), for example, has been used since 2002 to treat opioid addiction. Treating addiction with medication, along with counseling and behavioral therapies, rather than through more traditional rehabilitation like 12-step programs is still controversial. There’s also the fact that many rehabs are run by religious organizations or nonprofits; it would be difficult for them to make money providing medications. Sometimes taking medications alongside rehabilitation can aid in the recovery process, while other times it may be necessary for individuals with addictions to remain on full time maintenance treatments. A common question often asked by addicts is, “can I just get a medication that will help me rather than going to rehab?”
What you need to know
There are many different types of treatment when it comes to addiction. Some people choose to go through an inpatient treatment program, while others may choose to enter a sober living program. Other people may choose to be treated through medication and therapy. Some addictions can’t just be treated by stopping the addictive behavior and avoiding relapse. For some addictions, such as alcoholism and opioid addiction, medications are required in order for someone to remain abstinent. In some cases these medications are used continuously over a period of years in order to avoid relapse. Having said that, there are times when these medications need to be taken indefinitely or until such a time that they can treat other addictions. For other addictions, such as certain prescription medications are taken on an “as needed” basis in order to combat cravings or withdrawal symptoms that can easily lead to relapse.
Regardless of the type of addiction and the length of time the individual has been struggling with their dependency, some people can benefit from medication-assisted treatment (MAT). MAT is when an appropriate dose of medications such as methadone, buprenorphine or naltrexone are administered to an addict in order to alleviate the signs and symptoms of withdrawal as well as reduce or eliminate cravings. These medications can be used as a detox aid or as a substitution for other opioids. They are often given after the individual has gone through an initial period of withdrawal from their drug of choice. Because MAT is still relatively new, a substantial amount of research still needs to be done in order to develop medications that will alleviate the “disease” of addiction.
Currently, all three of these medications are used interchangeably for MAT because they have been found to help individuals stay off illicit opioids while also preventing withdrawal symptoms from setting in .There is a common misconception that taking medications to treat addiction is simply trading one vice for another. However, medications such as methadone and buprenorphine are given for one specific reason: to reduce cravings in the addict by creating a chemical dependency .As time progresses, the dosage of these medications can be reduced because their effects begin to wear off when they are not taken. This is when the individual is able to begin weaning off of them and eventually they may no longer be necessary for the addict .While MAT can be useful for some individuals, professional treatment is often needed to properly treat addiction
In conclusion, the decision of whether or not an addict should enter rehab instead of taking medications depends on the type and length of addiction as well as any co-occurring disorders that may be present. It is important to keep in mind that MAT alone cannot resolve the addiction, but it can help individuals reduce their cravings and increase their ability to function in everyday life. MAT is an important part of addiction treatment that can help addicts recover from their addictions. However, it does not take the place of rehab in every situation and there are many cases where both treatments should be considered. Consulting a doctor, therapist or health professional is very essential before making a decision on how to beat your addiction. We are available 24 hours therefore you can call us at any time. Take action at 833-364-0736 and fight addiction!