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Painkiller Drug Abuse Treatment

With years of research, Substance abuse disorders have shown they are in fact brain disorders. That being said, they can still be treated effectively nevertheless. Treatment, however, in order to be successful needs to take into account the type of drug used and the needs of the individual. It also needs to incorporate many different components as well. These components need to be detoxification, therapy, and medications, when necessary.

Two main behavioral treatments used are contingency management and cognitive-behavioral therapy. This behavioral therapy is usually coupled with medications. These special treatments assist patients to stop using drugs by changing their behaviors through their way of unhealthy thinking patterns. It replaces the negativity with positivity by teaching them strategies to manage cravings and avoiding cues, including situations that could lead to a relapse. It also gives them several incentives to remind them why it’s important to continue with sobriety. Behavioral treatment may involve just the individual, but it can also be incorporated into group or family counseling as well. It also has the benefits of improving personal relationships and work performance. Including their ability to positively function in the community.

Prescription opioids can be treated with medications such as methadone, naltrexone, and buprenorphine. These medications can disallow other opioids from affecting the brain (naltrexone) or give relief from withdrawal symptoms and cravings (methadone and buprenorphine). Another medication used to reduce physical symptoms of withdrawal is Iofecidine. Opioid addiction is often treated as well in combination with psychosocial support or behavioral treatment. These are known as medication-assisted treatments or MAT.

Opioid Use Disorder Medication Treatments

Methadone prevents withdrawal symptoms and is a synthetic opioid. It receives drug cravings as well. It acts on the same mu-opioid receptors in the brain like heroin as well as morphine. In addition, it also acts on the same receptors as other opioid pain medications. Though, they are at less intensity, but for a longer duration. Methadone has been successful in treating for more than forty years in heroin addiction, but it is generally only accessible through specifically licensed opioid treatment programs.

Buprenorphine binds to the mu-opioid receptor and is a partial opioid agonist. However, it only partially activated the mu-opioid receptor. It can only be prescribed by certified physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. It can reduce cravings and is well tolerated by patients overall. The U.S. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2016 approved the NIDA-supported development of an implantable form of buprenorphine which supplies six months of medication. In 2017, a thirty-day injectable was improved. These other formulation options eliminated the requirements of daily dosing. It gives patients more flexibility in treatment continuance. Especially if there are challenges like the distance between the patient and their treatment provider.

There are popular misconceptions over the years that buprenorphine and methadone especially replace one addiction with another. Though, this is simply not the case. When it comes to people who are addicted to opioids, these medications do not produce a high. Instead, they prevent withdrawal and craving.

Naltrexone, is an antagonist medication type. It blocks other opioids from attaching to and activating opioid receptors. For those who do not have ready access to health care or who struggle with continuously taking medications daily there is an option for an injectable. The injectable is long-acting.

Not all people with opioid disorder seek treatment. Even though medications for treating opioid addiction is the standard care. Many even then, when seeking treatment will not receive Medications. Treatment admission data shows that twenty-one percent of individuals admitted for opioid use disorder end up having a treatment plan that includes medications.

Between 1.3 and 1.4 million more people who are suffering from opioid use disorder could be currently treated with medications. Even if the nationwide infrastructure were operating at capacity. Nationwide efforts are in effect to make expansion to create access to opioid use disorder medications for those who are in need. There is even an increase of patient allowance from one hundred to two-hundred and seventy-five per qualified physician for those who request higher patient loads.

It is being researched to determine the most efficient and effective ways to implement medications for opioid use disorder. The NIDA is a strong supporter of that research. Of that research it has been shown that buprenorphine maintenance treatment is more effective than reducing patients off buprenorphine altogether. It also has been shown that starting buprenorphine treatment when one is admitted into the ER department is a more effective treatment approach than referral or short intervention. Lastly, data has revealed that treatment with methadone, naltrexone, or buprenorphine for those incarcerated improves post-release outcomes.

NIDA’s Medications to Treat Opioid Use Disorder Research Report is a good source of information on medications to treat opioid use disorder.

Naloxone’s Role in Reversing Opioid Overdose

Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that can reverse an opioid overdose. It can quickly restore a normal person’s respiration who has ceased breathing as a result of an overdose of heroin or prescription opioids. It can be used by all emergency medical personnel and bystanders.

CNS Depressant Addiction Treatment

Those who are addicted to tranquilizers, hypnotics, and sedatives, which are all referred to as CNS depressants should never attempt to stop taking them alone. Withdrawal is severe, and certain medications could be life-threatening.

When it comes to treating an addiction to any CNS depressants the research on it is sparse. Although, patients who are addicted to these medications need medically supervised detoxification. The dosage of these medications needs to be reduced very slowly.

Therapy is very beneficial in going through this process. CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy helps focus on changing the patient’s way of thinking, expectations, and behaviors. At the same time, it increases positive coping skills for various life stressors. This therapy has also been very successful in helping patients with continuing their absences from benzodiazepines.

As with many substance abuse disorders, CNS depressant misuse can occur with the use of other drugs. This combination of two forms of the conjunction of drug abuse is referred to as polydrug use. An example would be alcohol or opioids with CNS depressant abuse. The treatment approach needs to address all the multiple addictions simultaneously.

There are no FDA-approved medications for treating those who suffer from CNS depressant addiction, at this time. Although research is still ongoing there is hope in the future someday there will be medications available.

Prescription Stimulant Addiction Treatment

Treating those who are addicted to stimulants, whether prescriptions stimulants, such as Adderall and/or Concerta. Street drug stimulants, such as cocaine and methamphetamine. There is no other treatment aside from behavioral therapies. However, behavioral therapies are effective in treating stimulant addiction. Though, at this time there are no FDA-approved medications for treating stimulant addiction coupled with therapy. The NIDA is actively supporting research at this time to hopefully one day find an effective medication to help in the treatment of stimulant addiction.

The first step in treating stimulant addiction is reducing the dosage, and attempting to ease withdrawal symptoms. Though, it depends on the patient on how tolerable that is as the first steps in treatment. If possible and successful, then behavioral treatment may follow in addition to the detox process. Just with any substances it is highly medically advised to go through a medically supervised detox, as it can be potentially life-threatening.

What Can Sylvia Brafman Offer Me?

Here at Sylvia Brafman, we offer uniquely diverse clinical and practical experiences, along with wisdom for our patients. We like to view ourselves as a national thought leader on mental health. We care about the recovery of mental health, not only the physical aspect, but the emotional, and spiritual aspects as well, in addition to your career success. We have a differentiated perspective on how to confront mental illness as a whole along with the counterparts of substance abuse disorders. If you are looking for an out-of-the-box, intimate, non-conventional, solution-oriented, treatment center look no further.

Give Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Center a call today, at (877) 958-9212.


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