Opiate Addiction Treatment Without the Use of Maintenance Medications: Is It Possible?
Overcoming opiate addiction isn’t easy, but it is possible. People do it every single day and they do it in a variety of ways. Some people say 12 step groups like AA and NA are the only solution, while others swear inpatient drug and alcohol rehab is the only thing that will work. Still others say the only real solution is to use maintenance medications.
The fact is, just as everyone’s path to addiction is different, so is their path out. No two journeys are the same and what works for one person won’t necessarily work for another. If you’re ready to start your journey to recovery, and don’t know where to turn, call 800-533-1341 (Who Answers?) to immediately speak to someone who can help.
What Are Maintenance Medications?
Maintenance medications are FDA-approved medications specially designed to help patients overcome addiction. These medications act as an opiate agonist, an opiate partial agonist, an opiate antagonist, or a combination of the two. The most popular of these medications are:
- Methadone: a strong and long lasting opiate agonist, methadone is administered once a day through a specially licensed clinic, typically in liquid form
- Suboxone: a partial opiate agonist combined with an antagonist, Suboxone reduces withdrawal and drug cravings with a minimal “high” effect and is often prescribed in sublingual films which are taken daily
- Vivitrol : an injectable antagonist, Vivitrol blocks the brain’s receptors, stopping the effects of opiates if they are used and lasts for 30 days
What Are the Benefits of Maintenance Medications?
Maintenance medications are used in conjunction with addiction treatment and 12 step groups and have shown to have a range of benefits, including:
- Increase in remaining opiate free
- Decrease in death rates associated with addiction
- Prevents addiction complications included HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, and STDs
- Lowers crime rates associated with drug use
- Lowers risk of overdose
Is It Possible to Get Sober without Maintenance Medications?
Yes, it is possible to get sober without the use of maintenance medications and people have been doing it for a long time. To start, you must make a commitment to getting sober and attending inpatient drug and alcohol rehab. If possible, get into a long-term inpatient addiction treatment center for a minimum of three months. Treatment lasting at least 90 days has shown to have a significant impact on treatment success and outcomes. After inpatient treatment, follow through with aftercare, including a partial program, intensive outpatient (IOP), and outpatient counseling.
Attending 12 step meetings such as AA or NA is also an important aspect of getting and staying sober. Ninety meetings in 90 days allow you to develop new habits, have recovery-focused accountability, and develop a strong network of sober support.
Are Ready for Recovery?
If you’re ready for recovery and not sure if maintenance medications are right for you, call 800-533-1341 (Who Answers?) to talk to someone about your treatment options and get the help you need to get and stay sober.