Opioid overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, killing more people than motor vehicle accidents and falls do each year. Every single day, 130 people die from opioid overdoses. The use of illicit opioids like heroin is never safe in any manner, while the use of prescription opioids like OxyContin can be used safely if taken as directed. However, that does not mean that people do not abuse prescription painkillers in conjunction with illicit opioids.
Today, 2 million people are addicted to prescription painkillers that include Percocet, Dilaudid, and Vicodin, while nearly 1 million more are hooked on heroin. As the days go by, more and more people turn to the abuse of heroin because it is much cheaper and is easy to obtain, seeing as how it is in massive demand at the moment.
When someone is addicted to opioids, he or she simply cannot just stop using. One reason for this is because the continued craving to keep using is being fueled by signals that the brain is sending out. These signals can be nearly impossible to ignore, causing users to fold and use again and again.
The way the brain functions, when addicted to opioids, makes it extremely challenging for individuals to control their own behaviors and impulses. As a result, opioid addictions can last for years, unless a user experiences a deadly overdose, which is always a possibility.
The top line of defense in treating opioid addiction is by enrolling in medication-assisted treatment (MAT), where those who want to recover can do so through the implementation of a multifaceted plan such as this.
Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction
Medication-assisted treatment is a combined approach that includes both medications and therapy. Opioid addiction is, by far, one of the most common addictions occurring in the United States and around the world.
Studies have proven that medication-assisted treatment is and continues to be the “gold standard” of care for opioid addiction, as it saves the lives of countless individuals who could have otherwise died due to their addiction.
Medication-assisted treatment, despite its effectiveness, still continues to be stigmatized in American culture, as many people view it as a program that only swaps one opioid for another. When little is known about this type of program, that can be an easy assumption, however, there is more science behind why medications like methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone are used in mediation-assisted treatment.
When someone is addicted to opioids, the brain is no longer functioning as it normally would without the presence of these mind-altering substances. Instead, the brain has altered the way in which is functions and the types of signals it sends to the rest of the brain and body. As a result, those who are abusing opioids lose control of their behaviors even if they want to change. That can be a difficult concept to understand because opioid addiction can feel incredibly personal, however, this is what is occurring behind the scenes. And the only way to address how the brain has been re-wired is through professional treatment like medication-assisted treatment.
The medications used in this treatment approach are all designed to interact with the opioid receptors in the brain. Methadone fully triggers the receptors, buprenorphine partially triggers them, and naltrexone blocks them completely. As a result, clients can experience a less distressing period of withdrawal, along with more controllable cravings. Each client in a medication-assisted treatment program will be prescribed one of these medications based on what is best for his or her needs.
Clients will take medication for as long as deemed necessary, up to two years after ending opioid abuse. It is recommended that those who begin methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone treatment remain on these medications for at least one full year to achieve the most benefit out of them.
While medication plays a major role in a medication-assisted treatment plan, it is not the only thing that is focused on. An exceptional amount of effort and energy goes into developing treatment plans for each and every client that include therapies best suited for their recovery goals, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, individual therapy, and group counseling.
The pairing of medication and therapy helps to simultaneously address the physical and psychological aspects of opioid addiction and treat them as one, rather than ignoring one issue while focusing on the other. The comprehensive approach to treating opioid addiction is what has proven to be most effective in producing positive results in clients.
Medication-Assisted Treatment in Louisville
At JourneyPure, we understand how much an opioid addiction can impact your life. We know that the life you once had prior to your addiction and the life you envision for yourself are much different than the life you are living right now. But at medication-assisted treatment in Louisville, we can help you get to where you want to be without having to do it alone.
When you enroll in medication-assisted treatment in Louisville, we will be ready to work with you to learn more about your history with opioids, as well as several other areas of importance in order to develop a customized treatment plan just for you.
While opioid addiction is something that millions of people across the nation can relate to each other with, no two addicts are exactly alike. This is why we carefully assess your needs so that they can be properly met.
The medication and therapies chosen for you can get your moving towards both sobriety and recovery. As you progress in your treatment, changes can be made to your plan to support your shifting needs.
Get Help at JourneyPure Right Now
At medication-assisted treatment in Lexington, you can gain a fresh start. By reaching out for help, you are preventing yourself from suffering any more negative consequences of your use, including a deadly overdose. Your courageous actions are what can save your life.
If you are ready to get the help that you need, do not wait a minute more. Call us to learn how medication-assisted treatment in Lexington can help you.