Certain medications can help a person with a substance abuse problem get and stay sober.

You may be terrified of giving up drugs because you worry that you will not be able to deal with withdrawal symptoms or cravings, and this is particularly the case with opioid addiction. Medications for addiction treatment may be prescribed as part of a comprehensive rehabilitation program. A licensed physician will prescribe and monitor progress so that you have the best opportunity to enter recovery.

What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?

Medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, is now used to help patients who are struggling with opioid addiction. Willpower is no match for prescription painkiller addiction or addiction to other opioids such as heroin. Escaping the hold that this disease has requires help, and part of the assistance that is being given is in the form of certain medications.

Opioid addiction creates changes in the body and mind, which will create a host of unpleasant symptoms when withdrawal symptoms begin. These include cravings, lack of sleep, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headaches, and nausea. These are some of the things that MAT can help control.

Top Meds Used to Treat Addiction 

There are many different kinds of medications that are used to reduce the effects of withdrawal and control drug cravings. Among them are:

  • Benzodiazepines. (Brand names: Valium, Xanax, Ativan). Often referred to as “benzos,” these well-known drugs depress the central nervous system and are commonly prescribed for anxiety. They can be helpful as a short-term use for opioid detox.
  • Clonidine. (Brand names: Clonophelin, Catapres, Nexicion, Kapvay). Clonidine treats elevated blood pressure during opioid detox. It is also useful for relieving depression, anxiety, and insomnia as well as controlling some physical symptoms such as watery eyes and runny nose.
  • Hydroxyzine. (Brand names: Vistaril, Atarax). Hydroxyzine is a drug that has a calming effect because it lowers the activity in the central nervous system. This can help with the tension and anxiety associated with drug withdrawal.
  • Methadone. (Brand names: Methadose, Dolophine, Methadose Disket, Methadose Sugar-Free). Methadone is a long-acting opioid that is used for maintenance and to ease the effects of withdrawal. It is also an effective pain reliever for opioid addicts who have ongoing pain issues.
  • Naltrexone. (Brand names: Vivitrol, Revia). Naltrexone is a drug that can reduce cravings for opioids. It can also reverse the effects of opioids in the body and is a drug known to prevent relapse.
  • Suboxone. (Brand names: Suboxone, Zubsolv). Suboxone is a powerful prescription drug that contains both Buprenorphine and Naloxone. The Buprenorphine eases the symptoms of withdrawal, and both drugs can help ward off cravings.

MAT as a Part of Comprehensive Addiction Treatment

According to the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA), MAT reduces opioid-related overdose deaths, health-related issues, and criminal activity. In Baltimore alone, its use has reduced heroin overdose rates by 37 percent. MAT should be used as a part of a comprehensive addiction treatment program, but studies also show that MAT participants are more likely to remain in therapy compared to those who do not have access to the treatment.

If you or any of your loved ones are struggling with opioid addiction, The Recovery Village offers MAT as part of its holistic approach to addiction treatment. Contact us now to learn about admissions and find out how our drug rehab programs can help you gain freedom from addiction.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.