By: Shannon Persad
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Are Methadone and Suboxone the Answer for Opioid Abuse?
The opioid crisis has met with many initiatives to solve the problem. Some work, some don’t.
A method that is unpopular, but is said to be effective is methadone and suboxone. This is controversial, however, as both are opioids themselves. However, many argue the alternative is heroin or fentanyl, which increases the chance of an overdose, and ultimately death.
Methadone and Suboxone Facts You Need to Know
According to Drugs.com:
“Methadone is an opioid medication. An opioid is sometimes called a narcotic. Methadone reduces withdrawal symptoms in people addicted to heroin or other narcotic drugs without causing the “high” associated with the drug addiction. Methadone is used as a pain reliever and as part of drug addiction detoxification and maintenance programs. It is available only from a certified pharmacy.”
Also according to Drugs.com, Suboxone “contains a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is an opioid medication, sometimes called a narcotic. Naloxone blocks the effects of opioid medication, including pain relief or feelings of well-being that can lead to opioid abuse.”
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states these two drugs can work together to combat opioid addiction, combined with other methods such as therapy. NIDA states:
“Two medicines, buprenorphine and methadone, work by binding to the same opioid receptors in the brain as the opioid medicines, reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Another medicine, naltrexone, blocks opioid receptors and prevents opioid drugs from having an effect. Behavioral therapies for addiction to prescription opioids help people modify their attitudes and behaviors related to drug use, increase healthy life skills, and persist with other forms of treatment, such as medication. Some examples include, cognitive behavioral therapy which helps modify the patient’s drug use expectations and behaviors, and also effectively manage triggers and stress. Multidimensional family therapy, developed for adolescents with drug use problems, addresses a range of personal and family influences on one’s drug use patterns and is designed to improve overall functioning. These behavioral treatment approaches have proven effective, especially when used along with medicines.
While these two drugs can help with opioid withdrawal symptoms, the drugs will also need to be tapered as symptoms can occur from the drugs themselves.
Different methods work for different people, especially if one were to check into drug rehab. However, always listen to a professional.
If you or someone you know is suffering from opioid addiction or substance abuse, contact ATSI at 1-(855)-498-2121 for a confidential consultation.