Addiction is a multifaceted disease and requires a number of concurrent treatment methods to ensure safe detoxification, successful initial recovery and, ultimately, long term sobriety. There have been many advances in therapeutic technique over the past several decades. One area of treatment that continues to evolve rapidly is that of medical management. In other words, the use of medication to manage addiction and co-occurring mental illness, if present. Medication management can make the recovery process not only more comfortable but safer and can be used for:
- Easing the detoxification process from opioids and alcohol
- For co-occurring addiction and mental illness
- In an outpatient setting, when clients do not have full time care or supervision
- To prevent relapse
What does that mean to you or your loved one? You can rest assured that during treatment, we are looking to keep you or your loved one as comfortable as possible. And this is not the addiction treatment of old that is often portrayed in the movies. Addiction and mental health do not carry the same stigma they once did, and medication management is most certainly not an easy way out. Rather, we now acknowledge it as a disease that must be treated just like any other. Medication management, for some, is a way to jumpstart a very important part of your long-term recovery.
Can you benefit from medication management?
The course of treatment for anyone in therapy will be determined by a comprehensive assessment during admission to a treatment facility like Destination Hope. Depending on the substance of abuse, duration of abuse and quantity, medication management may be suggested or may even be necessary. Medication management will be further evaluated by medical staff here a Destination Hope and will be reviewed periodically by your primary counselor.
What kinds of medication are there?
- Buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone are approved by the FDA to treat opioid dependence. Each have their benefits and risks. For example, while methadone has been widely touted as a way to replace opioids, it is addictive itself and can lead to dependence.
- Naltrexone, Disulfiram and Acamprosate are all commonly used in the treatment of alcohol use disorder by either reducing the euphoric effect of alcohol or by preventing individuals from drinking.
- Naloxone can be used to prevent overdose with opioids, reducing and reversing the toxic effect of the overdose.
- A myriad of prescription drugs have been developed for mental health disorders.
Why medication management?
For those in detox, medication can reduce the discomfort associated with this level of care dramatically. In the case of some substances of abuse, like alcohol, medication management can even reduce risk during the detox process. While detoxification is never comfortable, it is often the first point of contact with the client and sets the stage for a successful recovery.
Other drugs such as opioids have an incredibly high relapse rates, which can bring clients back to treatment over and over again. Medication therapy along with traditional psychotherapy and adjunctive treatment methods can reduce the risk of relapse and ultimately make the treatment more successful.
Who oversees medication management?
Medication can only be prescribed by qualified medical personnel. Our therapeutic team works closely with our medical doctor and the nursing staff to ensure that the appropriate medication is prescribed and that our clients take their medication when needed. As the treatment process progresses, medication may be adjusted to the client’s particular circumstance and progress. It is critically important that all clients take their medication as prescribed and do not stop their medication without their doctor’s advice.
It is important to remember that medication management is a treatment but not a cure. Substance abuse is a lifelong disorder that requires multidisciplinary approach from a qualified treatment facility like Destination Hope. But remember there is always hope. The most important first step is to reach out for help.