The Importance of Medication Assisted Treatment


Now more than ever, there is a growing need to deal with drug addiction and specifically the rising use of opioids. Coincidentally, people who use drugs like heroin have significantly reduced while those using opioids such as hydrocodone (Vicodin) and oxycodone (OxyContin) is on the rise. There is a growing concern that if something is not done early enough, the nation might not be able to address the drug pandemic. This is why health agencies are focusing on two major areas-how to deal with opioid as well as treatment of addiction whenever it occurs. Using medication-assisted treatment is one of the approaches being implemented to address the drug addiction challenge but there are still people who are yet to understand the concept of medication-assisted treatment and how effective it is in treating drug addiction.

Currently, there are so many people who suffer from opiod addiction. However, the level of misinformation does not allow such people to access medical help that can assist them secure recovery. In the recent past, combining medicine and the therapy have been found to successfully treat substance use. Using medication-assisted treatment can effectively ease withdrawal symptoms such as opioid addiction symptoms. In most cases, using medication-assisted treatment is most effective during the early stages of recovery and especially when the person is undergoing withdrawal symptoms. For example, recovery from opiod addiction symptoms would require that the body exhibit withdrawal symptoms. Ideally, withdrawal is when the body is trying to alter its functioning when the person is not using any addictive drug that they are used to such as suboxone. However, withdrawal has several side effects such as nausea, vomiting, body chills and extreme pain. Whereas the physical symptoms of withdrawal can last for just a few weeks, the emotional ones such as irritability, insomnia and depression can go for months.

Using medication-assisted treatment is meant to overcome these problems and therefore reduce the risk of craving the drug again and achieve recovery from opiod addiction . A process such as detoxification is one of the most effective methods of preventing the body from going back into relapse. Just like nicotine replacement therapy, a person can continue with the medication-assisted treatment as long as the process if not interrupted. Currently, medication is used in the treatment of opioids, alcohol and tobacco. It can also be able to help with mental health conditions. According to the Center for Disease Control, drug overdose is one of the leading causes of death in America. Over the years, opioids have also become a popular drug with more people addicted to it than it was a decade ago. One of the drugs used to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose is Nalaxone. Nalaxone works by attaching itself to the brain receptors reversing the process where a person stops breathing after an opioid overdose. It works in an amazingly great time of approximately five minutes while the results can last up to 90 minutes. While it is recommended that Nalaxone be used by a qualified medical worker, the ease of administering the drug means that it can be used by literally anyone.

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