TREATMENT ALTERNATIVES


There are three major methods for Opiate addiction treatment:

Medication Assisted Treatment

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is treatment for addiction that includes the use of medication along with counseling and other support. Treatment that includes medication is often the best choice for opioid addiction.

If an individual is struggling with addiction, medication allows him or her to regain a normal state of mind, free of drug-induced highs and lows. Medications developed to treat opioid addiction work through the same receptors as the addictive drug, but are safer and less likely to produce the harmful behaviors that characterize addiction. Physicians prescribe a particular medication based on a patient’s specific medical needs (e.g. methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone) to help reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings. In turn, patients are better able to focus on the lifestyle changes that lead back to healthy living.

Taking medication for opioid addiction is like taking medication to control heart disease or diabetes. It is not the same as substituting one addictive drug for another. If controlled and used properly, the medication does not create a new addiction. It helps people manage their addiction so that the benefits of recovery can be maintained.

Residential Programs

Residential treatment, sometimes called rehab or inpatient treatment is a live-in health care setting providing therapy for substance abuse, mental illness, or other behavioral problems. Residential Treatment Centers provide treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, as well as other issues and disorders such as Conduct Disorder, Depression, Bipolar disorder, ADHD, educational issues, some personality disorders, and phase-of-life issues.

Most residential programs use a behavior-modification paradigm in a community or positive peer-culture model. Residential treatment programs last a minimum of 28 days. A large premise of residential treatment is that it provides a structured environment in which patients are removed from stressful circumstances that promote or fuel the urge to use.

Outpatient Drug Free

The outpatient drug free (ODF) treatment method consists of group and individual counseling sessions for people recovering from drug abuse, without the use of medication. ODF treatment for an individual who is already addicted is not a preferred choice of treatment and has a high probability of continued use, relapse and failure.

Usually outpatient clients are not classified as substance dependent and they are involved in this type of drug rehab treatment only after completing a more intense inpatient program and use the outpatient as a structured transition back into the community way of life, with a gradual reduction in treatment intensity.

The outpatient treatment varies in the types and intensity of services offered. It usually costs less than residential or inpatient drug treatment and often is more suitable for individuals who are employed or who have extensive social supports.