Here in the United States, the abuse of and addiction to opioids in greater than anywhere in the world, as Americans consume 80 percent of the world’s opioid supply. Additionally, Americans make up 1 out of 4 opioid overdose deaths globally.
In 2016, more Americans died from opioid overdoses than died in the entire Vietnam War. To put that in perspective, the Vietnam War Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. is two acres long and is home to 58,000 names of soldiers who died in battle. Within 2016 alone, more than 62,000 people died from opioid overdoses.
In 2017, more than 47,000 other Americans died from opioid overdoses, and in 2018, roughly 130 people die each day from the same cause. While these numbers have lessened since 2016 broke records, they are continuing to remain steady despite several efforts to help reduce opioid-related deaths.
The disease of addiction, whether it is to opioids or another mind-altering substance, is most effectively treated with a combination of medication (if necessary) and therapy. Unfortunately, despite opioid overdoses and addiction, in general, being one of the most popular topics of discussion in the United States, getting help for addiction and admitting to being an addict is still stigmatized. This makes it extremely difficult for people who are struggling with substance use disorders to get the help they need, as does the physical and psychological changes that are occurring because of their abuse.
When the brain is “rewarded”, it naturally wants to be rewarded again. So, when someone abuses an opioid, even if just once, it can kickstart the brain into craving more opioids. This is one of many reasons why when prescribed a painkiller like Percocet or Vicodin, doctors, nurses, and other professionals with prescribing abilities usually only prescribe a supply of pills for just a few days. Even using opioids responsibly can cause the brain to continually crave their presence. Therefore, when opioids are continually abused, the brain keeps craving them as its overall functionality starts to become altered. This is exemplified through the negative behaviors and actions that users participate in.
The need for professional opioid addiction treatment has never been more necessary than it is now. Those who are addicted to opioids can benefit most from medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which combines medication and therapy into one cohesive plan.
Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction
Medication-assisted treatment has been proven to be the most effective approach to opioid addiction treatment. Over the years, this type of treatment has been tweaked here and there in order to finally reach a point where it is now known as the “gold standard” for opioid addiction. Within this program, clients benefit from the use of prescription medications and regular therapy sessions.
Medication-assisted treatment centers are not places where those addicted to opioids go to get more opioids. While these programs provide clients with opioid-based medications, they are only administered in a manner that helps wean clients off of stronger, more potent opioids like fentanyl and heroin. When the medications offered through the program are taken as directed, they can save the lives of those striving for recovery.
These medications include the following:
- Methadone is an opioid agonist, meaning that it fully activates the opioid receptors in the brain. This sends out signals to the body that opioids are being consumed, helping to decrease the intensity of withdrawal symptoms and desire to keep using. Methadone does not, however, get a person high or damage his or her physical or mental wellbeing.
- Buprenorphine interacts with opioid receptors in the brain, however, does not do so fully. Despite not activating these receptors as much as methadone does, buprenorphine is still capable of minimizing the pain associated with withdrawal and curbs cravings.
- Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist, which is the opposite of an opioid agonist. Instead of activating the opioid receptors in the brain, naltrexone completely blocks them. As a result, patients on naltrexone cannot achieve any type of high when if they relapsed or chose to use again. This medication, like all other medications in this type of program, lessen withdrawal symptoms and cravings so they are more manageable. Naltrexone is also used in treating recovering alcoholics.
When enrolled in medication-assisted treatment, clients will be prescribed one of these medications and have it administered to them in a controlled setting. This is merely just one aspect of this type of treatment, as, throughout 99 percent of a person’s treatment, he or she will be involved in several different therapies that can help him or her recover.
Medication-Assisted Treatment in Lexington
Medication-assisted treatment programs are now available in more places than ever before. In fact, they are located in all parts of the country. Medication-assisted treatment in Lexington has helped countless individuals put a stop to their opioid addiction and continues to help those in need by providing only the best quality care possible.
If you are addicted to opioids and need help, reaching out to medication-assisted treatment in Lexington can get you started on a path towards recovery.
When you begin this process with us, we sit down and get to know you as much as possible so that we can establish a treatment plan that is best for your needs. This will include what type of medication you will be prescribed, along with what therapies you will participate in. Of course, as you grow in treatment, your treatment plan can be altered to support your continued needs.
Get Professional Help at JourneyPure Today
There is nothing to be ashamed of if you are addicted to opioids. Millions of people grapple with the same disease that you do and reaching out to get help is the best possible thing you can do for yourself.
If you continue to abuse opioids, it will only lead to more consequences and likely an overdose. However, getting help through medication-assisted treatment in Lexington can help you put a stop to your active opioid abuse and begin developing a life of recovery.
Do not wait any longer. Call us right now.