Is Opiate Addiction Treatment Dangerous?

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The treatment options used for opioid addiction recovery are not dangerous, nor is the process of recovering from this condition normally a serious threat to those doing so. Most people who attend professional treatment for opioid addiction recover safely and experience much better results than those who do not. While there are some possibilities for complications, it is much safer to attend opiate addiction treatment, and the care itself is not considered dangerous.

Opioid Addiction Treatment is Safe

The use of medications and behavioral therapy to treat opioid addiction is very safe and has been a beneficial combination for many addicts who are now living in recovery. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “Treatment helps people move into healthy, addiction-free lifestyles,” and while it is necessary for nearly every substance use disorder, it can sometimes pose a considerable risk for the patient while still being the best option for them. Thankfully, there are no risks whatsoever involved in opioid addiction treatment.

Treatment Dangerous

The combination of behavioral therapy and medication used to treat addiction is safe.

Opioid withdrawal itself is not dangerous; it causes painful and uncomfortable symptoms, but these are not as dangerous as those caused by alcohol or benzodiazepines. And once an individual goes through these symptoms, they usually do not reappear without warning, like the cravings caused by cocaine and methamphetamine.

The medications used during opioid addiction treatment are sometimes criticized for being replacement drugs that just substitute one addiction for another. This is not true. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “As used in maintenance treatment, methadone and buprenorphine are not heroin/opioid substitutes” and do not cause the dangerous side effects caused by opioid abuse.

What Complications Can Occur?

The complications associated with opioid addiction are, essentially, those associated with any other drug of abuse. The most problematic of these is relapse. A person has a potential of relapsing back to drug abuse during withdrawal, after withdrawal, or during addiction treatment. This is one reason why the patient’s doctor should do everything they can to make sure the individual understands the consequences of a return to drug abuse and the danger of this possibility.

According to the National Library of Medicine, “Most opiate overdose deaths occur in persons who have just withdrawn or detoxed. Because withdrawal reduces the person’s tolerance to the drug, those who have just gone through withdrawal can overdose on a much smaller dose.” Therefore, they may be likely to experience severe respiratory depression and other dangerous consequences.

Though relapse should always be a concern when treating addiction, the danger of this issue can be avoided if the patient and healthcare team work together to ensure that the individual stays on the right path during treatment. Recovery from opioids does not involve the sorts of complications associated with some other drugs of abuse, and it can relieve many individuals to learn this before they begin treatment.

Is Methadone a Safe Treatment for Opiate Addiction?

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