Opioid addiction can be treated. Opioid addiction is a chronic disease, like heart disease or diabetes. A chronic disease is a medical condition for life. It cannot be cured but it can be managed to regain a healthy, productive life. At Thrive, we provide a well-rounded treatment that includes medication and counseling. This combination is often the best choice for opioid addiction.
Most people cannot simply walk away from addiction. They need help to change addictive behavior into nonaddictive, healthful patterns. They can get this help with treatment—with the care of medical and substance abuse providers. Treatment helps people stop using the problem drug. It helps them get through withdrawal and cope with cravings. It also helps them move away from other harmful behaviors, such as drinking alcohol or abusing other drugs. In addition, treatment helps people address life issues they might have that are tied to the addiction, such as feelings of low self-worth, a bad situation at work, home, or spending time with people who use drugs.
If a person is addicted, medication allows them to regain a normal state of mind, free of drug-induced highs and lows. It frees the person from thinking about the drug all the time, and can reduce problems of withdrawal and craving. This can give the person the chance to focus on the lifestyle changes that lead back to healthy living. Taking medication for opioid addiction is like taking medication to control heart disease or diabetes. It is NOT the same as substituting one addictive drug for another. Used properly, the medication does NOT create a new addiction. It helps people manage their addiction so that the benefits of recovery can be maintained.
Behavioral therapy is an important element of the recovery process and should be started early in treatment. Research studies indicate a combination of medication and behavioral therapies is the most effective for recovery. Counseling helps patients to engage in the treatment process, improve attitudes and behaviors related to drug abuse, and increase healthy life skills. Patients can learn how to make healthy decisions, handle setbacks and stress, and move forward with their lives. Counseling can also enhance the effectiveness of medications and help people stay in treatment longer. Support of family and friends is very important, as patients have stronger recoveries while working with others to manage their recovery long-term.
Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)
Thrive uses medication assisted treatment (MAT) to help patients reach optimal recovery. Medication is introduced carefully. Medical staff members meet with the person a few hours after the first dose is taken and regularly for a week or two. These meetings are to make sure the medication is working, that side effects are not too uncomfortable, and that the person is taking medication exactly as prescribed. Following directions is important, because taking the medication improperly can lead to overdose or death.
Withdrawal symptoms can include: yawning and other sleep problems, sweating more than normal, anxiety or nervousness, muscle aches and pains, stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness.