Treatment for an opiate use disorder should always take into consideration the severity of the disorder, physical and mental health needs, readiness to change, and history of past treatment attempts.
The first element to consider is the need for a medical detoxification program. It is important to understand that “detox” is not a treatment program. Instead, it is medical management of withdrawal symptoms. This is critical for two reasons – 1) Withdrawal from opiates, although not life threatening, can be physically and mentally uncomfortable, and 2) Successful completion of detox gives a person the opportunity to be able to better engage in a treatment program. A substance abuse professional can screen symptoms to determine if a referral to a medical detox program may be necessary. If someone is experiencing withdrawal symptoms, we always encourage immediate medical attention.
The next step is admission into a treatment program. There are several different levels of care – residential, day treatment, or outpatient. An assessment conducted by a substance abuse professional can make a recommendation as to which level of care may best meet an individual’s needs.
Within the treatment program, evidence-based approaches should be used. Evidence-based approaches means the treatments provided have been researched and there is evidence the treatment works. A common treatment approach for opiate addiction is a combination of medication assisted therapy and engagement in a structured treatment program. Medications that are used to replace or block opiates and reduce cravings are methadone, naltrexone, and Suboxone (naltrexone and buprenorphine). The treatment program may include evidence-based approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), contingency management, and motivational interviewing (MI). Traditional 12 step work is also a common approach. Many treatment programs – including Arbor Place – give clients exposure to what it means to work a 12 step program and how AA / NA meetings can help build a person’s recovery support network. Often, these are vital components of successful lifelong recovery programs. Treatment for an opiate use disorder should always take into consideration the severity of the disorder, physical and mental health needs, readiness to change, and history of past treatment attempts.
At Arbor Place, we have professionals who can work with you to treat opiate addiction. Don’t wait – things can get better.