Elements of Effective Addiction Treatment

Addiction is a complex, but treatable disease. Abusing drugs or alcohol alters the brain functions and the effects tend to linger even after ceasing to use the substance. It can have a gripping impact on the addict leaving him or her in a terrible state, with only sustained treatment being the sole remedy.

Detox treatment helps addicts in quitting and overcoming compulsive drug seeking tendency and bring about long-term sobriety. Treatment can occur in a variety of settings with different tenure and techniques. Drug addiction treatment could be medications, behavioral therapies and sometimes a combination of both. There are a variety of evidence-based programs to treat addiction and it depends a lot on the individual.

Let’s take a look at the factors that make an addiction treatment effective and long-term:

Treatment should be easily available

Early intervention is the key and addiction treatment should be easily accessible. If an addict is unable to find an appropriate detox treatment early on, chances are that the addiction will deteriorate requiring more complex treatment procedures in the future. Finding a reputable detox center in the vicinity is paramount. Whether it is the rapid detox centers or the conventional rehab facilities, seeking treatment at the earliest is most important.

A good treatment program is all-encompassing

In order to be effective, an addiction treatment approach cannot be lopsided. It has to address more than just the drug abuse. An effective addiction treatment program considers any associated medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal problems of the addict.

Completing the de-addiction treatment

“Remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical,” according to the Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment (third edition), a research-based guide released by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). “Research indicates that most addicted individuals need at least 3 months in treatment to significantly reduce or stop their drug use and that the best outcomes occur with longer durations of treatment,” it says.

All-round support for the addict

The NIDA guideline says, “Treatment does not need to be voluntary to be effective. Sanctions or enticements from family, employment settings, and/or the criminal justice system can significantly increase treatment entry, retention rates, and the ultimate success of drug treatment interventions.” Encouraging the addict and bringing him or her to the treatment level is the first important step, the rest will definitely follow suit.

Treatment of dual diagnosis

Sometimes an addict might be suffering from a co-occurring mental condition as well. Treating only the addiction without intervening the mental condition would not yield the desired outcome. Most relapses are a resultant outcome of this negligence. “Because drug abuse and addiction – both of which are mental disorders – often co-occur with other mental illnesses, patients presenting with one condition should be assessed for the other(s),” according to the NIDA guideline.

Doctors’ discretion

It is the call of the doctors and treatment specialists to decide on the treatment procedure by studying individual profiles of the addicts. Whether it is behavioral therapy, including individual, family, and group counseling, or medication, the treating doctors are the best judge of the condition.

Medications are also an important element of drug treatment for many patients and are usually combined with counseling and other behavioral therapies. Some of the most commonly administered medicines include methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone.

The Benefits of Suboxone Treatment for Opiate Addiction

Suboxone is a type of medication used to treat the symptoms of withdrawal from opioid dependence. Suboxone treatment is typically prescribed as part of a complete rehabilitation regimen that includes psychological counseling. Fewer than 25 percent of patients who are addicted to heroin or another opiate are able to successfully quit “cold turkey.” With the help of this treatment, these patients are able to succeed in abstaining from substance abuse, since the medication works to curb withdrawal side effects and subsequent cravings.

How Does Suboxone Work?

Suboxone is a prescription medicine that combines buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, and naloxone, an opioid blocker. Like an opioid, a partial opioid agonist acts on the brain’s opioid receptors. Unlike these drugs, however, buprenorphine does not result in the euphoric feeling the user associates with a “high.” That allows for the prevention of the physical side effects caused by drug withdrawal without the associated pleasurable feelings caused by the abused substance. Naloxone, on the other hand, produces severe withdrawal symptoms when it is crushed or snorted, so it is combined with buprenorphine to discourage the abuse of this treatment regimen.

How Is Suboxone Treatment Dispensed?

Because this is a long-acting medication, it only needs to be taken once a day, either as a 2 mg or 8 mg tablet or a 2 mg or 8 mg film strip that dissolves under the tongue. The filmstrip also includes a serial number to prevent diversion of the medication. Patients shouldn’t drink, eat, or smoke within 30 minutes of their daily dose since this can prevent absorption of the medication. This treatment is not effective for those who chew or dip tobacco.

What Are the Side Effects of this Medication?

Patients typically experience a sense of calm and relaxation, but it sometimes causes less desirable side effects like constipation, insomnia, irritability, or a feeling of jitters or shakiness. Although the inclusion of naloxone reduces the potential for abuse, this substance can still be addictive if it is used without a doctor’s supervision. Those in this type of treatment will be slowly weaned from the medication after the withdrawal period subsides. Using this drug in the long-term can result in drowsiness, confusion, gastrointestinal issues, confusion, anxiety, isolation, and depression. And like heroin addiction, this can lead to financial strain and problems with work and relationships.

How Does Suboxone Treatment Fit into Recovery?

Recovery is the term for returning to a life free of opioid addiction. While Suboxone treatment is a powerful tool in the treatment of addiction, it is not effective alone. Those attempting to overcome opioid addiction should also consider counseling to understand the psychological and behavioral aspects of addiction. Inpatient or outpatient therapy comes in a variety of forms that can help alleviate the psychological mechanisms that led to addiction and treat any underlying mental health conditions that were either caused by or contributed to the abuse of opioids.

Those who are addicted to opioids can visit a doctor specializing in addiction to learn more about the benefits of Suboxone treatment.

Choose Only the Best Drug Addiction Treatment Center

It is a fact that more than 20 million Americans today need professional help to get rid of alcohol and drug addiction. Most of the times this addiction pertains to some substance abuse, medical drugs abuse or alcohol but the actual problem is, the sufferers never realize that they need help and treatment to get rid of their nasty addictions.

Numerous alcohol and drug addiction treatment centers are spread across all states in US. They include both public and private centers. Most of them offer wide range of services catering to different problems. But sufferers need to first realize and accept that they need help than only they can be benefited from these services.

Treatment programs in these centers are designed keeping in mind the common and general addictions. Before joining any such program try to take suggestion from your doctor. The treatment program should match to your requirement and should address to your specific problem in order for you to benefit from the program effectively.

Different kind of problems requires different kind of treatment and rehab method largely depends on the severity of the problem and the underlying actual cause of the problem. You can even speak with the people who already got treatment so that you can get a clear idea about what you can expect at these centers.

Most of the programs include 5 treatment levels: detoxification, primary care, extended care, partial and out-patient follow-up care. Doctors analyze cases individually and suggest which level fits best for the individual. If the condition is severe and addiction is prolonged than all 5 levels of treatments may be necessary.

Study Identifies Factors Leading to Discontinuation of Treatment for Opioid Addiction

Earlier considered as a scourge specific to military veterans, opioid addiction has today spread to each section of the society. Surprisingly, the crisis has largely engulfed teenagers, women or older adults. Addiction to opioids, including heroin, morphine and prescription pain pills, has led to severe physical and mental health problems among Americans, apart from creating a burgeoning and dangerous black market of illegal drugs on the streets.

Results from the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) revealed that of the 20.5 million people aged 12 years or older who were diagnosed with substance use disorders, 2 million were addicted to prescription pain relievers and nearly 591,000 were hooked on heroin.

Getting rid of opioid addiction is tricky due to the involvement of medication. Additionally, opioid addiction recovery treatment requires long-term engagement in therapy for its success, which many fail to follow. Disengagement from treatment has become a norm in people undergoing recovery from an addiction to opioid drugs.

Until recently, a majority of people addicted to prescription pain relievers were treated with buprenorphine. However, a recent study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment has pointed out that many patients undergoing the treatment process tend to give up midway owing to various reasons, such as unemployment, belonging to a particular race or an acute hepatitis C infection.

What causes disengagement from opioid addiction treatment

According to the study by the researchers from the Boston University (BU), individuals with opioid use disorder are more likely to disengage from treatment programs if they are black or Hispanic, unemployed, or have hepatitis C. Buprenorphine – Subutex and Suboxone – is the most widely used drug for the treatment of opioid addiction due to its efficacy in reducing the rates of heroin and prescription opioid use. Additionally, it reduces the chances of “risky behaviors” that are associated with development of co-morbidities such as HIV or viral hepatitis infection.

As part of the study, the researchers evaluated more than 1,200 patients treated at office-based addiction treatment (OBAT) program between 2002 and 2014 to identify the patient-specific factors associated with retention in the treatment program for longer than one year. Factors such as age, gender, race/ethnicity, education level, employment, infection with hepatitis C virus, co-morbid psychiatric conditions, and prior or current use of drugs or alcohol were specifically evaluated.

Highlighting some important disparities in treatment outcomes (especially racial/ethnic), the study observed, “Older age, female, and co-morbid psychiatric diagnosis were associated with greater odds of treatment retention beyond one year, patients who were black or Hispanic, unemployed, and had evidence of hepatitis C viral infection were associated with decreased odds of treatment retention beyond one year.”

The study plays a key role in understanding the potential of opioid agonist buprenorphine to treat opioid addiction at a time when Americans are fighting a tough battle against prescription drug abuse. The study is expected to open newer avenues of treating opioid addiction, apart from encouraging patients to complete the recovery program.

Treating opioid addiction through effective therapeutic interventions

Like any other addiction, opioid abuse is also a brain disease that needs to be treated immediately. Prescriptions for opioid medications written by doctors has resulted in unprecedented level of opioid addiction in the country. While institutions at the federal level are making efforts to address the issue by sharing guidelines on the nature and extent of prescription to physicians, it is important to identify alternate therapeutic interventions that are more effective.