Finding the Best LAAM Addiction Treatment and Recovery Options

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LAAM addiction is a serious issue, and anyone suffering from it will require treatment in a professional rehab center as well as potentially other options following this type of care. If you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to LAAM and needs help finding treatment, call 800-442-6158 Who Answers? today. We can help you find the care that suits your particular needs.

What Is LAAM?

According to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, LAAM (also known as levo-alpha-acetylmethadol) is “a synthetic opioid analgesic marketed under the trade name Orlaam.” The drug can be effective for the treatment for opioid dependence and addiction and is an alternative to the use of methadone. Many individuals prefer using this medication because it is longer lasting than methadone and because it only requires the patient to visit their treatment clinic three times a week.

However, like methadone, if LAAM is abused, it can cause dependence, tolerance, and addiction. If this occurs, an addict will require treatment, often with a program that is more intensive than the treatment they were previously receiving. Finding suitable options for treatment can be difficult, but with help, you too can begin a safe and effective recovery from LAAM addiction.

Recognizing LAAM Addiction

Someone who has become addicted to LAAM has often been in treatment with the medication. Misusing your LAAM treatment drug can lead to addiction, just like in the case of methadone abuse and addiction. You can recognize the signs of LAAM addiction in a number of ways.

  • Misuse of this drug can quickly lead to addiction, especially in someone who is being treated with the medication for opioid dependence. Ask yourself if you have been using your medication
    • More often than you were prescribed
    • In larger doses than you were prescribed
    • For a longer period than your were prescribed
    • Without a prescription
  • Ask yourself if you have begun to alter your use of LAAM in order to feel different effects than those for which you are taking the drug. For example, LAAM can cause the same euphoric effects that other opioids can cause. If you have been experiencing these effects with your use of the drug, you have been abusing it and are likely to become addicted.
  • Consider whether or not you crave the medication. If you are taking it exactly as you are meant to, you will only be dependent on it and should not experience cravings.
  • Have you been taking LAAM in other ways than you were prescribed?
    • According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse Archives, LAAM is “more rapidly effective” when taken orally than when injected intravenously, which is how many abusers will attempt to use the drug. Still, if you have been taking your medication in any way other than the way you were prescribed, this is considered abuse.
  • Are you beginning to notice yourself acting out in the same ways you did when you were abusing opioids?
    • Are you hiding the drug from your loved ones and being secretive?
    • Do you become hostile or upset when someone else asks about your treatment or your drug use?
    • Are you trying to justify your LAAM abuse to yourself or to others?

If you are acting the way you were when you were consistently using opioid drugs, it is likely that your LAAM abuse has led to addiction. This is very serious because those who begin abusing their treatment medication often need more intensive help, as stated above. It can also be difficult to admit that your treatment is not working, but this does not mean you should give up on your recovery.

LAAM Withdrawal

Withdrawal from LAAM is another sign that you are abusing the drug and may already be addicted to it. If you are taking your medication correctly, you should be maintained on it throughout your treatment and not experience withdrawal symptoms until you and your doctor decide together that it is time for you to be slowly weaned off the drug.

According to the National Library of Medicine, opioid withdrawal symptoms include

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  • Agitation
  • Muscle, bone, and joint pain
  • Tearing of the eyes (crying)
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Chills
  • Runny nose
  • Insomnia
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Dilated pupils
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Usually, a person will begin to experience withdrawal symptoms about 24 hours after their last dosage of the drug. Depression and anxiety can be especially severe for someone withdrawing from LAAM, and in some cases, the individual may even become physically shaky. LAAM withdrawal requires immediate treatment, especially for those who have been misusing the drug. If you are looking for a safe, reliable rehab center, call 800-442-6158 Who Answers? now.

LAAM Addiction Treatment Options

There are a number of treatment options for LAAM addiction. It is usually best to seek a more intensive rehab program if you were abusing your treatment medication previously. This often means professional care in a rehab center.

  • There are two types of rehab centers: inpatient and outpatient.
    • Inpatient centers offer intensive treatment in a 24-hour facility where the patient stays overnight.
    • Outpatient centers offer many of the same treatment options inpatient centers do, but they do not provide 24-hour care.
    • With the severity of their conditions, inpatient care may be a better option for LAAM addicts who started opioid addiction treatment with the drug and then began abusing it.
      • Because LAAM allows patients to visit their rehab centers less often and in a less intensive capacity, choosing this more intensive option is probably a safer decision when recovering from LAAM addiction.
    • Rehab centers for LAAM addiction offer many different treatment options, including:
      • Medications like methadone, buprenorphine, naltrexone, etc.
        • In most cases, methadone would probably be a safer choice for recovery from LAAM addiction.
        • According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, methadone is similar to LAAM but requires more frequent doses and more intensive treatment. Its optimal doses are also more effective than optimal dose buprenorphine for those with severe dependencies.
      • Behavioral therapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy, contingency management, group therapy, etc.
        • Behavioral therapies are considered the most effective recovery options for addiction treatment.
        • They will provide you with the skills you need in order to avoid drug abuse in the future as well as help you understand why you began using drugs in the first place.

Though there are other options for addiction recovery, choosing a rehab center that offers intensive care is normally the most effective option for one’s recovery from this particular drug of abuse. And because a LAAM addiction is often an extension of a severe addiction that was first treated with a less intensive approach, inpatient centers providing evidence-based practices are usually a safe option.

Do I Really Need LAAM Rehab?

LAAM is a full opioid agonist, just like methadone, according to the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. As such, it can cause many the same effects methadone can cause, including a euphoric high if taken in larger doses than those prescribed. If you have been…

  • Misusing your LAAM medication or taking the drug without a prescription
  • Putting others or yourself in danger in order to obtain or use more of the drug
  • Taking LAAM to get high
  • Hiding your use of the drug from your loved ones, your doctor, and others
  • Experiencing severe physical and psychological side effects of your drug abuse

then you do need LAAM rehab. This medication can be effective for those who take it as prescribed, but if you have been abusing your prescription in any way, you are putting yourself in danger of addiction as well as many other severe side effects.

Without professional treatment, it can be very difficult for you to recover effectively from your LAAM abuse and addiction. But we know finding safe, effective treatment that takes your needs into account is not always easy.

Choosing the Best Inpatient Treatment of Opioid Withdrawal

How Do I Find Treatment for LAAM Addiction?

LAAM addiction treatment options that will suit your situation can be found by calling 800-442-6158 Who Answers? . Our treatment advisors are available 24/7 to help you determine which type of treatment will be most effective for your recovery.

  • Before you call, make sure to have your information ready. This can include your insurance plan and provider information, your medical and substance abuse history, and your needs for treatment.
  • When you begin speaking to your treatment advisor, make sure to tell them everything you will require from your rehab center as well as the treatment options you have received in the past.
    • You will also need to give your insurance information so your advisor can help you find rehab centers that will accept your insurance. If you do not have insurance, you may qualify for free or low-cost treatment, and this will depend on the severity of your condition as well as other factors like your income.
  • Once your advisor has all your information, they will be able to match you with rehab facilities that will offer the options that are most effective for your needs. In some cases, they may find more than one facility. You can discuss with them the benefits of the different programs and also call the rehab center of your choice in order to learn more.
    • When you call the rehab center, make sure to ask important questions such as
      • How long will my treatment last?
      • What treatment options do you offer for LAAM addicts?
      • What are your facility’s accreditations and certifications?
      • What is your facility’s success rate?
      • Do you help patients transition into an aftercare program of some kind when treatment ends?
      • Will you accept my insurance and/or how much will I be expected to pay out-of-pocket for my treatment?
    • After you feel you have received all the necessary information to make an informed choice about the rehab center you will attend, your advisor will be able to help you create a plan to be accepted into and begin treatment at the program of your choice.

What Happens After Rehab?

Once you leave your rehab program, you may also choose to attend aftercare. Most rehab centers will help you set up an aftercare option for your continued recovery, including

  • Booster sessions where the patient revisits their treatment center for several weeks or months after rehab (NIDA Archives)
  • Attendance at 12-step group meetings
  • Sober living homes
  • Less intensive rehab programs (such as outpatient care following inpatient care)
  • Halfway houses

Many individuals do need multiple or long-term treatment options in order to safely recover from a substance use disorder, especially one as intense as an opioid addiction. Even if you do choose to leave treatment, you may need to return to another program later in your life. Also, it is important to remember these essential lessons for safely navigating a life in recovery.

  • Eating right, exercising, and living healthily can help you to stay drug-free. It is very important to take care of yourself while living in recovery.
  • Your friends and family members are your support system. If you are worried that you may be close to a relapse, talk to them and get their help.
  • Recovery is not something that happens overnight. It is more like a marathon than a sprint, and most people need a long time before they can start to feel like their old selves again.
  • Merely going through a treatment program for addiction does not mean you are cured. According to the NIDA, addiction can be treated and managed but is not an issue that can be cured overnight. You will likely need to practice certain ways of avoiding relapse, even long after your treatment has ended.

Especially after becoming addicted to a drug like LAAM, which is meant to treat opioid addiction, you may need a number of professional and personal rehab programs, recovery options, and interventions in order to avoid relapse and stay healthy.

Seek Treatment Today

LAAM addiction is a serious issue, especially for those who began taking the drug as a maintenance medication for opioid addiction recovery. Let us help you find the safest, most effective rehab option for your recovery by calling 800-442-6158 Who Answers? now.

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