Imagine: a normal, successful professional. They’ve got a good job, a family, a nice house, everything you’d think a person needs for a good life. Too often, though, they’re hiding a painful secret—addiction to opiates. The family of drugs includes heroin, morphine, and oxycodone among many others. Opiate abuse is creating an addiction epidemic in this country. Thankfully, as addictionologists study the disease, new treatment methods are being introduced to fight opiate addiction.
Many drug addiction treatment centers encourage abstinence, counseling, support, and education as effective standard methods for recovery, but opiates are too tough a drug to kick, with a very high relapse rate. It’s estimated that there’s a less than 25% success rate for addicts trying to quit opiates cold turkey. More tools are needed to have the best chance at long-term recovery for opiate addiction.
The Ridge’s expert program puts even the most complex cases of opiate addiction on the path to recovery. Read more about our drug addiction treatment center.
Now, many rehab centers, like The Ridge use medication-assisted therapy, a combination of medication and traditional rehabilitation methods. A physican prescribed drug called Buprenorphine (trade-named Suboxone), combined with intensive therapy, is increasing the long-term chance of recovery. As a partial opiate, Suboxone attaches to the brain’s opiate receptors for 24 hours. Since the receptors aren’t empty, the addict won’t experience the withdrawal symptoms that usually come from ceasing opiate consumption. However, since Suboxone is only a partial opiate, it will not produce feelings of euphoria so it won’t continue the patient’s addiction. It also contains a chemical that will immediately and painfully shut down all opiate receptors if the patient tries to abuse Suboxone by taking it incorrectly.
With this method, opiate addicts have a much higher chance than before to successfully get sober and stay sober. It’s still an extremely difficult process, but with the right care, all addicts have a real chance at a healthy life.