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Treatment for an Opiate Addiction
Opiate drug addictions involving the abuse of prescription medications, such as morphine, codeine or hydrocodone, dangerously alter the brain’s function and structure. Opioid dependence can have a negative effect on a person’s physical and emotional health, which can jeopardize relationships, financial standing and overall quality of life. Because of these effects, abrupt cessation of use could lead to extreme drug withdrawal symptoms that, if not properly managed by a trained and licensed professional, can be life-threatening.
What is Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)?
MAT includes medications such as buprenorphine and suboxone to normalize brain chemistry and relieve cravings.
Treatment for opioid dependence is best considered a long-term process. Recovery from opioid dependence is not an easy process, as it involves changes in drug use and lifestyle. The changes needed depend on how dependence affects each person’s life.
MAT entails more than just writing a prescription and sending an individual on their way. MAT requires counseling to assist in guiding the clinical decision-making. The NIH reports that addressing “relevant social, medical and psychological services have the highest probability of being most effective of all treatment for opioid addiction.” 1
MAT is supported by the American Medical Association, National Institute for Drug Abuse, The National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.1. National Institutes of Health 2015