By Janette Sheppard, LCADC, LSW, CCS, Executive Director, Ocean Monmouth Care, an opioid treatment program in Brick, New Jersey
Opioid is one of the most powerful and addictive analgesics out there. It was a drug that was prescribed specifically as pain killers in the beginning, but with time, they have been misused and are now being used to get “high” or enjoy euphoria. Opioid use disorder (OUD) has now become a global crisis, with reports of deaths of more than 42,000 Americans in 2016 alone. This fatality rate continues to rise; however, if you or your loved ones are dealing with OUD and wish to quit right away, treatment is available.
Treating patients with OUD is quite a challenge, but it is still possible. There are more treatment agents available for OUD than there are for abused drugs but none of them are proven to be 100% curative. The most effective withdrawal medications for OUD treatments are methadone and Suboxone, a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Both of these medications, when taken properly, can help the individual in alleviating withdrawal symptoms and reducing cravings for the drugs without producing euphoria or a “high” feeling. These are first given to manage the OUD withdrawal symptoms in patients, after which they are prescribed to have it for a longer term to avoid relapsing back into the opioid addiction habit.
Methadone is a liquid that is taken along with another liquid that cannot be injected. A physician can only prescribe this medication with an exemption under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Buprenorphine/naloxone is a tablet that can be prescribed by a physician with a practitioner waiver. These two medications work differently in the body and are available as generic drugs; the costs for both are almost the same.
Plenty of treatments are available around you to treat your opioid use disorder; however, it is vital to find the one that best suits you to help overcome your habit as quickly and effectively as possible. Below mentioned are a few guidelines that can be useful in your quest to finding the best OUD treatment:
- In most cases, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) might be crucial for your recovery, as opioid withdrawal symptoms can be painful and you may need medication to reduce cravings and to avoid relapse due to intolerable withdrawal pain. With this in mind, the first thing you are advised to do is to research your options. You can look for treatment programs that are within your budget and convenience.
- Treatment centers are always open for queries and you can use this opportunity to call them to get advice on the most ideal treatment program and clarify any other issues you have in mind. This step will help you learn more about the staff and their programs.
- If the calls were not very successful, you can seek the help of experienced practitioners or counselors. These professionals will help you determine the best treatment program for you and also guide you in reaching full recovery.
Opioid addiction treatment centers
There are two types of treatment/rehab centers – inpatient and outpatient. Inpatient treatment centers allow individuals to reside in the facility and receive treatment for a specific period of time, while outpatient treatment centers consult and treat the individuals within a few hours a day for an extended period of time. Many treatment centers provide both inpatient and outpatient options, such as Pinnacle’s Recovery Works locations, and the type of treatment you will receive will be determined on the severity of your OUD and other related issues.
Inpatient treatment programs are helpful because they provide 24/7 care and support. However, unless you have a severe case of OUD, this might be inconvenient for you, especially if you have to balance between work and family. Nevertheless, both programs offer similar medication, treatment, care and support.
Apart from the most widely used medication-assisted treatments for OUD – methadone and Suboxone – there are others as well. Certain treatment centers opt for Subutex, which contains only buprenorphine; Sublocade, an extended release form of buprenorphine; or Vivitrol, an extended release form of naltrexone, as part of the recovery program. Naltrexone is a short acting opiate/alcohol blocking agent. These medications perform similar roles as methadone and buprenorphine/naloxone in opiate detoxification.
Treatment centers might also offer individual, family and group therapies, in addition to holistic care such as meditation, yoga and animal-assisted therapy. A good treatment center will not stop with the recovery; it will also take measures to help individuals maintain sobriety long after the recovery program and hence, it is advisable if you find a treatment center that provides this continued support. You can always seek the help of an experienced practitioner to find out which medication, therapy or intervention is most ideal for your needs.
If you or your loved one have decided to come out of the destructive cycle of opioid addiction, please feel free to talk to us for more information on opioid treatment and treatment centers. We are more than willing to help you take this step on the path to recovery.
Headquartered in New Jersey, Pinnacle Treatment Centers is a recognized leader in comprehensive drug and alcohol addiction treatment serving more than 28,000 patients daily in California, Indiana, Kentucky, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. With more than 110 community-based locations, Pinnacle provides a full continuum of quality care for adult men and women which includes medically-monitored detoxification/withdrawal management, inpatient/residential treatment, partial hospitalization/care, sober living, intensive and general outpatient programming, and medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder. For more information, visit pinnacletreatment.com or call 800-782-1520.