For many struggling with alcoholism and opioid addiction, medication-assisted treatment can be a life-saving tool. By utilizing powerful, FDA-approved addiction medications, you can better manage your cravings and minimize your withdrawal symptoms. With a clear mind and stronger physical health, you can fully address the psychological effects of your addiction and stay on the path to recovery.
Addiction Treatment Medications
Currently, there are several addiction medications available to treat alcoholism and opioid addiction. The most common are buprenorphine, naltrexone, and methadone.
Buprenorphine: is a medication used to treat opioid addiction. It is available under the brand names Suboxone, a daily filmstrip, and Sublocade, a monthly extended-release injectable. Both formulations decrease opioid cravings and painful withdrawal symptoms. Other buprenorphine options include Subutex and Zubsolv.
Suboxone is an opioid partial agonist and can be taken during the detox stage to help you safely taper off opioids. Suboxone can also be used throughout other phases of treatment as a maintenance medication.
Sublocade can be used after being stable on a Suboxone regimen for a minimum of 7 days. Because it is a monthly formulation, it can free you up to focus on other areas of your life such as work, family, and spirituality without having to remember to take a medication daily.
Naltrexone: is a medication used to treat opioid and alcohol dependence. It reduces cravings by blocking natural opiate receptors in the brain that normally register the sensations caused by opioids and alcohol. It is sold in pill form and also under the brand name Vivitrol as a monthly extended-release injectable.
Because Vivitrol only needs to be administered once a month, it provides you the opportunity to receive treatment on a flexible schedule. It is also a great option if you tend to forget to take your medications, or if you are currently on a methadone or buprenorphine regimen and would like to switch to a non-opioid alternative. Keep in mind that you must be opioid free for 7-14 days before taking any form of Naltrexone.
Methadone: is a medication used to treat opioid addiction. It works by altering how the brain and nervous system respond to opioids, lessening cravings, and minimizing withdrawal symptoms. Methadone is available in a variety of formulations, including pill and liquid form.
Because methadone is an opioid, there is a risk of relapse and overdose. Methadone is best for those who use it under close medical supervision.