Methods of Treatment for Opiate Addiction

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Opiate addiction is one of the fastest growing problems, and one of the most deadly problems, in the United States. Millions of Americans are addicted to opiates and in search of some method of treatment that will not only help them to get sober, but which will help them to remain abstinent for years to come. According to the National Center for Biotechnology, opiate addiction has grown significantly in the past ten years and, despite the good intentions of law enforcement to crack down on such drug use, the numbers continue to rise.

Types of Treatment

There are a number of options for those who become addicted to opiates such as:

  • Heroin
  • Prescription painkillers
  • Opium
  • Opioids

The most common methods of treatment focus on the reduction of physical and psychological behaviors associated with the addiction. Medication is often used to help reduce cravings, restore balance and minimize the effects of withdrawal while counseling and therapy provide a foundation for continued success in recovery.

Medication Replacement

Although the term medication replacement sounds as if the user is simply replacing one addiction with another, this method of treatment can help users to cope with the unbearable effects of opiate withdrawal. Medication replacement methods, such as Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT), involve providing the user will a medication that will reduce the impact of opiate addiction allowing him or her to feel more comfortable and focused when therapy ensues. Methods of medication replacement include:

  • Suboxone
  • Naltrexone
  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Subutex
  • LAAM

Each of these medications can be prescribed to help reduce the effects of withdrawal allowing the patient to feel at ease in recovery. As with any medication, there are risks involved so you should talk to your healthcare provider about the use of any such drug.


opiate rehab

Counseling is an important part of opiate addiction treatment.

In addition to the use of medications to ease symptoms of withdrawal, block cravings and restore stability into the use’s life, psychotherapy is also an effective method of treatment for opiate addiction. Various forms of psychotherapy can be used to reduce the psychological impact that addiction has on the user. These treatments help the addict to work through emotional elements of the addiction, hammer out patterns of insecurity or dangerous thought processes that can lead to drug abuse and learn how to avoid relapse in the future. The most common methods of psychotherapy that are used in the treatment of opiate addiction include:

  • Talk therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Motivational interviewing or motivational incentives
  • Support groups such as 12-step programs
  • Individual counseling
  • Group counseling

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