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What Drugs Are Used To Treat Addiction

Other Medications For Addictions

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Other Isolated Examples of Research Into Additional Pharmacotherapeutic Agents Include:

  • Baclofen, a skeletal muscle relaxant used to treat muscle spasticity, has been studied for its possible function in opioid dependency maintenance care.
  • There is some evidence that the anticonvulsant drug gabapentin can help people going through methadone-assisted detox handle such withdrawal symptoms.
  • The anticonvulsant vigabatrin, like gabapentin, can help with alcohol withdrawal symptoms
  • When used in the treatment of alcohol dependency, low-dose topiramate may help alleviate alcohol cravings, anxiety, and depression, suggesting that it may help prevent relapse.

While no official approval for medications for addictions has been issued in these cases, they serve as examples of how researchers are still searching for new prescription solutions to add to the addiction treatment toolbox. With ongoing research, we expect to supplement our validated clinical approaches and procedures to make more progress in drug abuse treatment shortly.

What Is The Difference Between Substance Use Disorder And Addiction

Substance use disorder can be mild, moderate or severe. Addiction is the most severe form of SUD. It involves continued substance use despite negative consequences. Addiction to substances happens when the reward system in your brain takes over and amplifies compulsive substance-seeking.

Both involve the development of physical dependence and psychological dependence.

People are psychologically dependent when a drug is so central to their thoughts, emotions and activities that the need to continue its use becomes a craving or compulsion despite negative consequences.

With physical dependence, your body has adapted to the presence of the substance, and withdrawal symptoms happen if you suddenly stop taking the drug or you take a reduced dosage.

In the past, healthcare providers, organizations and members of the public often used the terms addiction/addict, abuse/abuser and dependence when referring to substance use.

Mental health condition classification systems, including the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , have become more sophisticated over time. The term substance use disorder allows for more clarity in diagnosis. SUD also recognizes a spectrum of problematic substance use, not just physiologic addiction.

What Are The Treatments For Drug Addiction

Treatments for drug addiction include counseling, medicines, or both. Research shows that combining medicines with counseling gives most people the best chance of success.

The counseling may be individual, family, and/or group therapy. It can help you

  • Understand why you got addicted
  • See how drugs changed your behavior
  • Learn how to deal with your problems so you wont go back to using drugs
  • Learn to avoid places, people, and situations where you might be tempted to use drugs

Medicines can help with the symptoms of withdrawal. For addiction to certain drugs, there are also medicines that can help you re-establish normal brain function and decrease your cravings.

If you have a mental disorder along with an addiction, it is known as a dual diagnosis. It is important to treat both problems. This will increase your chance of success.

If you have a severe addiction, you may need hospital-based or residential treatment. Residential treatment programs combine housing and treatment services.

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Addiction As A Disease

Treating addiction has long been controversial, with many opinions, largely because addiction itself is controversial. Some people view it as a matter of willpower, some view addiction as a disease, and some see it as a combination of both. Experts in addiction medicine, psychiatry, and neurology now mostly view addiction as a disease of the brain. Substances like drugs, alcohol, and nicotine, actually change the brain, making it more and more difficult to quit as time goes on.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse , addiction is a chronic disease. It is characterized by the compulsive and uncontrollable need to seek out and use a substance, like drugs or alcohol. This use continues for an addict, despite negative and harmful consequences. The substance abuse causes changes to the brain, which reinforce the substance abuse. Addiction is chronic because most people experience relapses after quitting.

Even this definition of addiction as a disease recognizes that the first few steps toward addiction are voluntary. Someone must choose to use and abuse dangerous substances. Over time, though, the choice to use the substance becomes less voluntary and more compulsive.

Mat And Opioid Addiction Treatment At Whitesands

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At WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab, the preferred drugs used to treat opiate addiction during MAT are Suboxone, utilized in combination with counseling and therapy. We prefer using Suboxone rather than methadone, as this newer medication is found to be more effective during the recovery process and is also less habit-forming. Please contact us today or visit one of our facilities to learn more.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at . Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

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How Does Suboxone Help Addiction Treatment

Suboxone can be used during different stages of treatment and offers a long-term solution for managing an Opioid addiction. When included as part of a comprehensive recovery plan, the medication eliminates Opioid cravings altogether.

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Follow-up appointments with your prescribing physician is important in ensuring a successful recovery while on Suboxone.

Medical Detox And Rehab

Some people choose to detox on their own. This is not only harder but also more dangerous than detoxing with a doctor. Medical detox is the best way to get sober in a safe, comfortable environment. For those addicted to alcohol or Benzos, medical detox is a must.

A supervised detox is the first step in treating any type of addiction.

A supervised detox can alleviate health issues. Physicians track the patients heart rate, temperature, breathing rate, and fluid levels. Physicians help relieve any discomfort the patient may be feeling. They also adjust any medication doses according to the patients needs and make long-term plans for medication. Those with separate health issues should also seek medical detox. Withdrawals can complicate problems like high blood pressure. A physician can prevent any issues that may arise from attempting to detox alone.

Break free from addiction.

Detox is often a part of inpatient rehabs. In most cases, inpatient rehab takes 30 to 90 days. The first week consists of closely observed detox. Rehab includes other treatments, such as behavioral therapy, to make recovery more successful. If you or a loved one wants to explore rehab options, contact a treatment provider now.

Jeffrey Juergens

Reviewed by Certified Addiction Professional: December 7, 2018

David Hampton

  • A survivor of addiction himself, David Hampton is a Certified Professional Recovery Coach and a member of the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors .

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What Are The Treatments For Opioid Misuse And Addiction

Treatments for opioid misuse and addiction include:

  • Counseling and behavioral therapies
  • Medication-assisted therapy , which includes medicines, counseling, and behavioral therapies. This offers a “whole patient” approach to treatment, which can increase your chance of a successful recovery.
  • Residential and hospital-based treatment

Medications Used For Addiction Treatment

Alcohol/Drug Addiction, Treatment & Recovery | David Streem, MD

The first step in treating any addiction in anyone is to detox. Detoxification is the time it takes the substance to leave the body. This is a period during which a patient is not using anymore and will experience withdrawal symptoms. The changes that have occurred in the brain cause these terrible symptoms, which in extreme cases can even be dangerous. Medical detox is often necessary, sometimes to administer medications like painkillers, but sometimes just to monitor the health of the patient. Once past detox, a patient may be ready for therapy combined with medications. Some of the medications used to treat addiction include:

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Which Drugs Are Abused

  • Examples: oxycodone , hydrocodone , and meperidine
  • Medical uses: Opioids are used to treat pain or relieve coughs or diarrhea.
  • How they work: Opioids attach to opioid receptors in the central nervous system , preventing the brain from receiving pain messages.

2. Central Nervous System Depressants

  • Examples: phenobarbital , diazepam , and alprazolam
  • Medical uses: CNS depressants are used to treat anxiety, tension, panic attacks, and sleep disorders.
  • How they work: CNS depressants slow down brain activity by increasing the activity of a neurotransmitter called GABA. The result is a drowsy or calming effect.

3. Stimulants

  • Examples: methylphenidate and amphetamine/dextroamphetamine
  • Medical uses: Stimulants can be used to treat narcolepsy and ADHD.
  • How they work: Stimulants increase brain activity, resulting in greater alertness, attention, and energy.
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Counseling And Behavioral Therapies

Under federal law 42.CFR 8.12, MAT patients receiving treatment in OTPs must receive counseling, which may include different forms of behavioral therapy. These services are required along with medical, vocational, educational, and other assessment and treatment services. Learn more about these treatments for substance use disorders.

Regardless of what setting MAT is provided in, it is more effective when counseling and other behavioral health therapies are included to provide patients with a whole-person approach.

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Heroin Research Reportwhat Are The Treatments For Heroin Use Disorder

A variety of effective treatments are available for heroin use disorder, including both behavioral and pharmacological . Both approaches help to restore a degree of normalcy to brain function and behavior, resulting in increased employment rates and lower risk of HIV and other diseases and criminal behavior. Although behavioral and pharmacologic treatments can be extremely useful when utilized alone, research shows that for many people, integrating both types of treatments is the most effective approach.

What Is Opioid Replacement Therapy

Which Drug Is Used To Treat Opiate Addiction

Opioid drugs are prescription painkillers that can easily lead to addiction. When people become addicted to opioids, they develop an opioid use disorder. In the event of this problem, opioid replacement therapy, or ORT is generally recommended.

ORT works by giving patients certain opiate medications to help them. The supplementary opioid drugs don’t have as high of an addictive potential. They are longer-acting drugs, with less euphoric effects. Methadone and buprenorphine are typical choices for opioid replacement therapy.

Some types of ORT will actually negate the effects of any opioids if someone takes them. For example, someone who takes buprenorphine might experience relief from opioid withdrawal. If that person decides to take an opiate drug like OxyContin, the euphoric effects should be blocked.

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Who Can And Cannot Take Methadone

Adults can take methadone for drug addiction.

It can also be given to newborn babies in hospital, to help with heroin or methadone withdrawal symptoms.

Methadone may not be suitable for some people. Tell your doctor before starting methadone treatment if you:

  • have had an allergic reaction to methadone or any other medicines in the past
  • have a lung problem or breathing difficulties
  • are addicted to alcohol, or other drugs that are not opioid
  • have a head injury or get bad headaches
  • have heart rhythm problems or low blood pressure
  • have problems with your thyroid, adrenal glands, kidneys or liver
  • have myasthenia gravis
  • are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding

Benefits Of Medical Detox

Medically assisted drug and alcohol detox can help individuals go through cravings and withdrawal safely and comfortably. Some substances, including alcohol, may have life-threatening withdrawals when attempting to stop using. During medical assisted detox, a team of doctors and nurses will monitor your vitals around the clock to ensure detox is going as planned and provide you with medications to ease cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Medically assisted detox can also help you successfully complete the withdrawal. Often those who attempt to detox at home will quickly relapse because of cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It can provide a solid foundation for drug rehab and throughout the addiction recovery process.

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Combining Addiction Treatment Medication With Psychosocial Treatment

Medications for addiction treatment may be more effective when combined with psychosocial treatment modalities like motivational enhancement therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, or other behavioral interventions.18

This combination is sometimes referred to as medication-assisted treatment. However, since medication is an increasingly common standard of care, particularly for treating OUD, the idea of medication as a mere assist is considered outdated by many addiction treatment professionals.18

Medication and therapy can provide a whole-person approach that addresses the varied and often complex needs of people with substance use disorders.4 Combining medication with psychosocial interventions can provide support and skills that can:16, 19

  • Benefit the person as theyre waiting for the medication effects to become apparent.
  • Enhance treatment adherence.
  • Improve treatment retention.
  • Address symptoms and problems that the medication will not address .

How Can Prescription Drug Addiction Be Treated

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Some people think they can quit cold turkey, but its not that simple, especially when youre hooked on painkillers or any other highly addictive drugs such as Adderall or Oxycontin which are often used to control health conditions like Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or severe chronic pain. Different options help to treat prescription drug addiction, and they include prescription substitution which is replacing one opioid with another, such as methadone for heroin, or buprenorphine for morphine for instance. You can also consider methadone maintenance treatment, wherein patients take a daily dose of methadone, which blocks the effects of heroin and lessens withdrawal symptoms.

Contingency management is another type of treatment, wherein patients are rewarded when they submit clean urine samples with vouchers or small cash rewards. There is also the option for you to try Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which helps patients to explore their thoughts and feelings as well as identify ways in which they interact with drug use or learn how to avoid or cope with triggers. This includes 12-Step Programs which can be in the form of group meetings and one on one counseling, as well as sponsorship from a more experienced member of the support group.

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Taking Methadone With Painkillers

It’s usually ok to take methadone with paracetamol, ibuprofen or aspirin.

Do not take methadone with painkillers that contain codeine. You will be more likely to get side effects and increase the risk of overdose.

Painkillers that contain codeine include co-codamol , Nurofen Plus , co-codaprin and Solpadeine . Some migraine treatments and cough syrups also contain codeine. Always check the ingredients on the packaging.

Speak to a pharmacist or a doctor if you need any advice about pain relief while taking methadone.

What Medications Are Available To Help With Substance Use Disorder

Medication may be part of your treatment plan. Your care team figures out the best medications for you. Medication-assisted treatments are available for:

  • Opioids: Methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone are FDA-approved for the treatment of Opiate Use Disorder.
  • Alcohol: Three FDA-approved drugs include naltrexone, acamprosate and disulfiram .
  • Tobacco: A nicotine patch, spray, gum or lozenge can help. Or your doctor might prescribe bupropion or varenicline .

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List Of Medications That Aid In Addiction Recovery

A lot of the drugs used for addiction recovery are anti-craving drugs, or anti-alcohol drugs. Without them, so many people wouldn’t be able to recover successfully from their addictions.

Some of the different prescriptions used for withdrawal and recovery are:

These drugs, as well as others, have been instrumental for so many people during recovery. In this section, you’ll find excellent information on each one of them.

When it comes to drug and alcohol addiction, medications prescribed for withdrawal can help you tremendously. Typically, addicts often feel as though they’re on their own. This isn’t something you need to be concerned about. The right medication assistance is available for you, if you need it.

Medications Used To Treat Addiction

How Does Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction Work?

Many types of drug addictions can be treated with medication in addition to talk and behavioral therapies. Medications can be used both to treat withdrawal and to help prevent relapse. Some medications are only used during detox, while others may be used on a long-term basis throughout the recovery process.

Medications that treat withdrawal help to suppress symptoms during detox, which is typically the first step in the recovery process. Medications often help to alleviate withdrawal symptoms, lessening their severity but often not eliminating them altogether. Detox itself does not treat the underlying addiction it only addresses the physical dependence on the substance. As a result, further treatment is always necessary in order to recover from a drug addiction.

Other medications are used to help prevent relapse while in recovery. These medications can help reestablish normal brain function, which eases cravings for the substance of abuse. Not all drug addictions can be treated with medication however, there are FDA-approved drugs available to treat addiction to opioids, tobacco, and alcohol. According to NIDA, opioid addiction can be treated with methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone, while alcoholism can be treated with naltrexone, acamprosate, or disulfiram. Many nicotine replacement products exist to assist in the treatment of tobacco addiction.

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Common Types Of Addiction Medications

There are several treatment medications that may be used to treat specific types of substance use disorders, including opioid use disorder and alcohol use disorder.

For other substances, however, medications are generally supportive and they dont play a major role in reducing substance use. For drugs like and stimulants, there are currently no FDA-approved medications, although research is still ongoing.1

The following sections will outline commonly used medications.

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