Different Types of Opioid Treatment Programs


In recent times, the United States has experienced adverse effects of widespread opioid usage and other challenges related to substance abuse. For long, addiction or substance overuse remains a disorder that causes long-lasting changes in the brain. The therapies based on scientific research enable people to counteract addiction’s powerful disruptive effects on the brain, behavior and regain control of their lives. Many modern opiate de-addiction treatments have become popular now-a-days. These could be counseling and behavioral therapy, medication-assisted therapy, and telehealth addiction treatment. Here, we would glide through various opioid treatment programs.

Medication-Assisted Therapy

Extended medication-assisted therapy benefits the patients during de-addiction procedure. US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended medications include methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone in the treatment. A study finds that buprenorphine treatment has better results in the long run than short-term detoxification methods. Whereas, methadone targets the same brain regions as other opioids. However, the person does not feel narcotized. It is often given as a pill, liquid or in the form of a wafer periodically. Speaking of Naltrexone, it is an injectable extended-release (ER) intramuscular drug for opioid use disorder. It can be therefore expected for buprenorphine to get a new reputation, especially in the case of an office-based treatment. Nevertheless, many doctors suggest their patients’ ways of minimizing opioid withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Counseling and Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Use of various CBTs during the treatment can help alter the attitude and behavior of an individual. The doctor/health care provider takes up behavioral or motivational therapy during the substance abuse treatment. Family counseling might help strengthen those bonds, along with group counseling, that would be inspired by similar people’s struggles with opiate dependency or addiction. Counselors have also pen-down a 12-step program. These include joining some spiritual groups and case management specialists.  

Opioid Addiction Treatment at Hospital

Hospitals mainly provide either the ‘highly structured out-patient therapy’ or ‘in-patient de-addiction services’; as a special unit or as an add-on to medical care. Immediate onset of treatment in an outpatient clinic can bring up the rainbow in the sky. However, other people can require either short- or long-term residential detox and treatment programs, owing to their individualistic needs. Once a person recovers from the inpatient treatment program, he/she can be headed towards the outpatient program. Interestingly, researchers are trying to create several vaccinations that would target opioids in the bloodstream and prevent them from damaging the brain. However, it is too soon to think of them as a cure.

Residential or Therapeutic Community (TC) Program

Long-term residential treatment offers round-the-clock care, typically outside of hospitals. TC emphasizes on “resocialization” of the patient. It actively involves the entire ‘program community’, including other residents, staff, and the surrounding social environment. The Therapeutic Community (TC) Program duration lies somewhere between 6 and 12 months. This treatment focuses on helping the patients to establish personal accountability and responsibility. It also concentrates on people’s socially-productive lives. This becomes important because addiction is a social and psychological shortcoming. The treatment helps analyze harmful attitudes and destructive patterns of behavior in patients. This in turn, helps connect patients to others, by adopting harmonic and productive ways.

Telehealth Addiction Treatment

Until recently, research carried out on interventions in substance abuse treatment, indicates promising results. Telehealth addiction-treatment facilitates have widened the reach of cures available for mental health disorders and other chronic ailments. It is effective, time-saving and easily accessible and allows real-time communication between the patient and the clinician at a distance. Figures clearly suggest that telehealth has made opioid de-addiction possible, merely a click away!

The Bottom Line

Although diverse methodologies for opiate addiction treatment cloud the market, yet groundwork advocates telemedicine facilities in modern scenarios. To the utter surprise, treatment via telehealth programs has an improved recovery rate than in-person patient programs. Telemedicine-based treatments are a promising alternative, especially when evidence-based treatments are not readily available. The facilities in St Louis offer certain telemedicine consultation options for specific treatments and substance-use categories. Given the response, telemedicine could result in better treatment retention among patients and can become ‘The Genie’s Lamp’ for those who wish to grow-up once again.

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