Many people who are dealing with drug addiction feel like there are no other choices on hand when they want to kick this dangerous habit. The thought of fighting fire with fire is a strange concept but doctors, as well as a Malibu addiction counselor, are finding some medications that can do just that for breaking addictions. Medications are proving to be a lifesaver for those breaking through their addictions.

Methadone

Methadone is a great selection that is effective in helping treat addiction. The drug works with the opioid receptors in the brain to help calm the effects of withdrawal and stop the desire for more drugs. Leaving behind the urges is a key step towards healing as far as addiction to opioids is concerned. Methadone can only be given out if someone is in a program or a clinic for treatment, so it is important to be under proper care during use. It comes in a pill form to be taken only one time a day.

Buprenorphine

Known as a partial agonist, buprenorphine works the same way as methadone but is not as strong. This drug is relatively new as it was approved in 2002 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and it can be prescribed by any doctor in their office rather than a clinic or treatment program. Buprenorphine is taken once a day in pill form under the tongue, once a month injections or in implants that last six months. It can be taken for a long period of time, based on the level of addiction as well as the health of each patient; if a person wants to get off of either buprenorphine or methadone they need to consult a doctor first.

Naltrexone

Naltrexone stops the brain from getting any pleasure from the use of opioids as it keeps the receptors from starting in the first place. This drug does not help with withdrawal but focuses more on relapse. Naltrexone is taken by injection and lasts several weeks; it can also be taken in pill form one time a day. There is no chance of this medication becoming an addictive substance for patients, so side effects related to those issues are minimal. One issue with this medication is a person has to be off opioids for a week before starting and they can’t take methadone with this drug.

Naloxone

For fast action in case of emergencies, Naloxone or Narcan will counteract the effects of opioids. This drug is not a treatment but restores respiration during an overdose. It may be given by IV, injection or sprayed in the nose. The IV and injection should be given by someone who is trained in its usage like a doctor. There is an auto-injectable that gives voice instructions when it is opened to help those without training. Any of these special rescue options can be kept by people who are users, their families or friends; many businesses are also carrying the medication in case an employee or visitor encounters a problem. It’s also important that the person is watched closely after the use of Narcan; this will ensure patients do not develop any respiratory problems.

 

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "The Medicines Making Addiction A Thing Of The Past," in Medicalopedia, March 17, 2020, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/8500/the-medicines-making-addiction-a-thing-of-the-past/].