Opioids are highly addictive. Opioid addiction happens when you use these medications even though you don’t have a medical reason to. These kinds of drugs can change how your brain works. That can make addiction more likely the longer you take the drugs.
Opioids are very good at controlling pain. They help dull the way your brain processes feelings of pain. They can also increase the chemicals in your brain that make you feel pleasure. That’s why they can be so addictive. People start using the pills to get that pleasurable feeling even if their bodies aren’t hurting.
For opioid addiction treatment, we offers several different types of medication along with therapy and counseling. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a number of different medications that have proved effective for the treatment of substance use disorder. These drugs help to decrease the discomforts of withdrawal, manage your cravings and reduce the chances of relapse. The following are FDA-approved medications used for treating opioid use disorder as well as other types of substance addiction:
Naltrexone — This is an office-based non-addictive opioid antagonist that blocks the effects of other narcotics. It’s taken as a daily pill or a monthly injection. Naltrexone blocks opioid receptors to reduce opioid cravings and has no known potential for abuse. Patients cannot have taken opioids within the last 7–10 days for naltrexone to be effective.
Buprenorphine — Another office-based opioid agonist/antagonist that blocks other narcotics while reducing withdrawal risk. It’s offered as a daily dissolving tablet, cheek film, or 6-month implant under the skin. Buprenorphine can reduce the effects of physical dependence on opioids, including morphine. It can lower overdose risks as well. As with all MAT medications, buprenorphine must be prescribed in a MAT clinic and used with therapy.
Methadone: This medication mimics the physiological effects of the substance of addiction, leading the brain to assume it is still receiving the abused substance. This drug is completely safe as the patient does not get any “high” as a result, and is able to function normally
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