By: Shannon Persad
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Is It Possible to Quit an Opioid Addiction?
Every day there’s an opioid-related event in the United States, whether it’s about pharmaceutical companies going bankrupt, federal funding to combat the opioid epidemic or a rising opioid crisis in a state or town.
At a glance, it seems we’re at the height of the opioid epidemic, giving the impression that those who are addicted cannot escape, resulting in fatal consequences. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), 130 people die every day from an opioid overdose. Also, NIDA states prescription opioid use costs the U.S. $78.5 billion a year alone.
However, all hope is not lost. Some do recover from opioid addiction, successfully quitting and living a happy life.
The solution is medicated-assisted treatment (MAT), which is underused today.
How Medicated-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Can Help With Opioid Addiction
If you aren’t familiar with MAT, it’s an opioid treatment program that combines medication and therapy, as opposed to just therapy like most treatment facilities. Under MAT, opioid treatment programs must administer SAMHSA-approved medications, such as methadone, naltrexone, and buprenorphine.
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, “when prescribed and monitored properly, MATs have proved effective in helping patients recover. Moreover, they have been shown to be safe and cost-effective and to reduce the risk of overdose.”
Even though MATs show improvement in patients who suffer from opioid addictions, most facilities do not offer MAT programs. Also, there is a stigma about MAT, as it uses medication which patients can abuse, such as buprenorphine, also known as Suboxone.
However, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) states the prescription rate has gone down in the U.S., but NIDA expresses that opioid overdose deaths have gone up. That’s because people are turning to heroin and fentanyl, which are deadly alternatives when compared to the drugs administered through a MAT program.
While every person is different, it is possible to overcome opioid addiction if one were to participate in a MAT program.
The first step is finding the right facility for you. Seek professional help or a treatment center to overcome opioid addiction now.