Medication-assisted treatment has a 60 percent success rate with only 40 percent relapsing post-treatment. Consider these options when starting the road to recovery.
What it is: With brand names such as Dolophine and Methadose, methadone is a tightly regulated opioid traditionally used for pain management in the form of liquid, pills or dissolvable wafers. What it does: It acts like heroin by binding to receptors in the brain and increasing dopamine levels, fulfilling addictive cravings and stopping opioid withdrawal symptoms. How it is used: Due to high potential for abuse, each dose must be administered directly from a health care provider at federally certified methadone treatment centers — of which there are four in Cuyahoga County.
Buprenorphine and Naloxone
What it is: This synthetic drug combination commonly known as Suboxone is a take-home medication administered up to twice a day in pill form or dissolvable film that combines an opioid (buprenorphine) with an opioid blocker (naloxone). What it does: It functions much like methadone by fulfilling addictive cravings. However, the buprenorphine has a built-in ceiling that ensures high dosages have no affect on a patient, decreasing the chances of overdosing. The naloxone ensures a patient will experience severe withdrawal symptoms if ingesting other opioids, dissuading any future abuse. How it is used: Suboxone is meant to help a patient transition safely off opioids while undergoing some form of therapy and group counseling.
What it is: Although traditionally used for treating alcoholism, opioid antagonists such as Vivitrol and Revia are becoming increasingly popular as an opioid addiction treatment because they are nonaddictive medications. What it does: It eliminates the euphoric high associated with opioids by blocking them from binding to receptors in the brain. Unlike naloxone, which tends to wear off after 30 minutes, Naltrexone can remain in the body for up to 24 hours. How it is used: Typically administered through an extended release injection once a month or in pill form, it is often combined with some form of counseling. Before use, it requires full detoxification — three to 10 days without opioids — potentially increasing rates of relapse during that time. Once on treatment, however, if opioids are introduced to the body they will remain ineffective.