Medication-Assisted Treatment Explained

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependence

What is opioid dependence?
Opioid dependence is an addiction to prescription opioid painkillers and heroin. Like other chronic diseases, addiction is treatable. When someone is dependent on opioids the need to satisfy cravings or avoid withdrawal symptoms can be intense and difficult to manage. When people addicted to opioids first quit they may suffer from withdrawal symptoms, which can include pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Medications can be helpful in the detoxification stage to ease craving and other physical symptoms. Prescription medications like Suboxone may be used to help individuals manage their disease by suppressing withdrawal symptoms and reducing cravings as they take steps towards long-term addiction recovery.

What is Suboxone?
Suboxone is a prescription medicine, containing buprenorphine and naloxone, used for treatment of opioid dependence. Buprenorphine is an opioid medication. Naloxone is a drug that reverses the effects of other narcotic medicines. When used properly, buprenorphine and naloxone can help an individual with the physical symptoms associated with opioid dependence. It is recommended that when used, a multifaceted treatment plan is incorporated.

What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?
Medication-Assisted Treatment is the use of medication, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies to provide a whole-patient approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. Research shows that when treating substance-use disorders, a combination of medication and behavioral therapies often has the highest rates of success. Medication-Assisted Treatment is considered for patients who are willing to commit to a highly structured and individualized recovery plan. Examples of medication utilized are Naltrexone (Vivitrol), Buprenorphine (Suboxone) and Acomprosate (Campral).

How to get help
Each person is different and Medication-Assisted Treatment may not be appropriate for everyone. A professional substance abuse assessment is necessary to determine the appropriate level of care for an individual. Fairbanks provides confidential and individualized alcohol and drug addiction treatment and assessments for men, women and adolescents. Assessments are available seven days a week. Call 800-225-4673 to make an appointment today.

For more information about Medication-Assisted Treatment visit the following websites:
National Institute on Drug Abuse http://www.drugabuse.gov
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration http://www.samhsa.gov