Drug addiction is not something that people can just stop on their own without professional help. Since addiction is a disease, they require help when dealing with and recovering from it. For some people, addiction treatment is enough to put them on the road to recovery. Others require addiction medicines to help them get well. There are numerous types of medicine that rehab centers use to aid their patients in the fight against addiction. The medicines that each rehab treatment center uses vary depending on the drugs that each patient is addicted to and how long he or she has been addicted to those substances. Below are a few types of medication-assisted treatment that rehab and recovery clinics like Crestview Recovery commonly use.
Why Addiction Medicine Is Used
For people who are not familiar with addiction, it is hard to understand why rehab centers use medicine to fight it. From an outside view, it might appear that they are simply substituting one drug for another. However, these medicines are necessary to combat a number of problems. For example, addiction medicine can lessen the symptoms associated with withdrawal when you are in a drug detox program. It can also help with reducing cravings and relapse, both of which are common problems faced by those in recovery.
In addition, addiction medicine can provide a sense of stability and coping mechanisms to those who are struggling with their addiction. Ultimately, these medicines serve to make the recovery process easier and more successful.
When choosing an addiction medicine, it is important to consider the individual’s needs. Different medications will work better for certain people and situations. It is also important to be aware of any potential side effects that could occur with the chosen medicine.
Medicines for Opioid Abuse
Two of the most common medicines for opioid addiction are methadone and naltrexone. These two drugs act on the same part of the brain as opioids, such as heroin and morphine. Studies show that these medicines reduce cravings and suppress withdrawal symptoms for people with opioid addictions.
These drugs block the effects that opioids have on receptors in the brain. Due to this, only people who go through detox with the supervision of a medical professional should use these medications.
Other medicines that treat opioid addiction include buprenorphine, naloxone, and suboxone. It’s important to note that medications for opioid addiction are not a cure-all and that they should be used in conjunction with counseling, therapy, and other forms of treatment.
Medicines for Alcohol Abuse
Alcohol is a commonly abused drug that requires alcohol addiction treatment. The FDA has approved three types of medicines that help with alcohol addiction. Large clinical trials proved these drugs to be effective.
Naltrexone can treat both opioid addiction and alcoholism. This addiction medicine blocks the reward receptors that alcohol triggers in the brain and helps lessen cravings to reduce the chances of heavy drinking.
Acamprosate is another drug that reduces the symptoms associated with withdrawal. Typical symptoms of withdrawal from substance abuse include:
Doctors typically only give acamprosate to people who have severe alcohol addictions. Physicians do not prescribe this drug after withdrawal symptoms pass.
The last commonly used drug for alcohol addiction is disulfiram. It interferes with the way the body breaks down alcohol. This medicine creates unpleasant side effects when patients drink that are similar to a hangover. These include nausea, irregular heartbeat, and flushing of the face.
Disulfiram takes the pleasure out of drinking, which discourages people from wanting to drink in the first place.
Start Your Road to Recovery
Crestview Recovery can help you overcome your addiction through a variety of programs. With both inpatient and outpatient rehab programs, we offer an intimate atmosphere that promotes healing. Some of the features that set us apart from others include:
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- 90-day extended care programs
- Group therapy
- Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
- Rehab aftercare
- Trauma therapy
Take That First Step
By understanding why addiction medicine is used and how it can help those in recovery, one can make a more informed decision about their own journey. While it may seem like a daunting process, with the right guidance and support, recovery is possible.
Remember that addiction is not something that you or a loved one should have to face alone. Crestview Recovery can provide you with the support that you need to get the most out of your rehab experience and can help you stay sober for a lifetime. For more information on addiction medicine contact our addiction treatment center at 866.262.0531. Our professional and caring staff is here to help you overcome your addiction and live a healthy life without the need for drug and alcohol.
Since 2016, Dr. Merle Williamson, a graduate of Oregon Health Sciences University, has been the Medical Director at Crestview Recovery, bringing a rich background in addiction medicine from his time at Hazelden Treatment Center. He oversees outpatient drug and alcohol treatments, providing medical care, setting policies, detox protocols, and quality assurance measures. Before specializing in addiction medicine, he spent 25 years in anesthesiology, serving as Chair of Hospital Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and Chief of Anesthesia at Kaiser Permanente. This experience gives him a unique perspective on treating prescription drug addiction.