Opiate Treatment

2011
04.15

Opiate Treatment

Invariably, opiate treatment involves a maintenance program for both addicts and non-addicts. There are three categories of opiate treatment available.

Opiate Addiction

These are medically assisted treatment, drug-free treatment, and withdrawal treatment, and seek to assist individuals to re-integrate into society through social programs aimed at avoiding a relapse. They will be explored in this article.

It is an established fact that many addicts do not have the willpower to stop taking opiates, even after enduring detoxification. A maintenance program, which involves medically supervising the dispensing of opiates, therefore has to be developed to assist them. Methadone, which is also an opiate, is the drug mostly used in this program. It is dispensed in liquid form, at specialized clinics, to keep it from reaching the illicit market. A single dose of methadone can last for one to one-and-one-half days, and has a few side effects. Some methadone clinics also help the families of addicts, and offer vocational and educational assistance.

Addicts who embrace methadone treatment do not experience the mood swings and medical risks associated with intravenous injections and their consequent criminal behaviors. They are reported to be more stable in their jobs and families, are less depressed, and also less likely to engage in criminal behaviors or catch HIV or hepatitis. Methadone can either be continued, or reduced gradually over a period. The program has some measure of success.

A partial opioid, which is also an opiate, named buprenorphine, is also used in opiate treatment. Buprenorphine is taken thrice weekly in tablet form placed under the tongue. It inhabits the nerve receptors and produce a mild effect similar to opiates, and may also trigger a withdrawal reaction. Since it can be abused if dissolved and injected, buprenorphine is often combined with another opiate antagonist, naloxone, which neutralizes the effects of injected opiates. This combination, called Suboxone, is very advantageous in that patients do not need to attend clinics to get it since there is no danger of illicit sales. This is helpful to patients who cannot reach a methadone clinic, and frees up space in those clinics for those persons who need to attend.

Drug-free treatment programs encourage and operate on the principle of maintaining a state in which no narcotic drugs at all are used in all stages of the treatment during the rehabilitation process. One such program carried out in Russia, states that substitution therapies, harm reduction programs, and drug safe use recommendations, are approaches which admit to the continuing use of opiates, and this is a violation of its principle.

The main goal of the Russians’ treatment program is remission stabilization and relapse prevention. Opiate addiction treatment includes the use of opioids antagonists, psychotherapy and social therapy. The stages of the opiate addiction treatment involves detoxification – which features immediate and total deprivation of opiates; a post-withdrawal period – which features a craving for the drug; and the formation of remission and relapse prevention – featuring goal-directed theory and the elimination of the basic factors that exacerbate the craving for the drug through the use of opiate antagonists. Their therapy of addiction stresses follow-up after detoxification for maximum effectiveness, and encourages relief from craving, for successful treatment, all through the use of social rehabilitation and psychotherapy.

As addiction is prevalent, however, an opiate treatment for addicts is very necessary. There are a number of programs aimed at detoxification, which is the first stage of treatment.

Opiate AddictionOpiate detoxification, is used to remove opiates from the bodies of addicts, and include closely- supervised intervention strategies, especially for heroin addicts. Many detoxification programs employ a substitution therapy using other opiate-based drugs to treat opiate addiction. Some of these replacement opiates are themselves addictive, and so a second weaning is necessary. Many programs also offer rapid detoxification with the aim of quickly and successfully treating addiction, but programs do not have similar designs or results.

The Waismann Method of Accelerated Neuro-Regulation has successfully treated numerous patients worldwide. This in-hospital procedure allows patients to comfortably sleep under light anesthesia while the drugs are cleansed from their opiate receptors using special medications. Withdrawal is accelerated and occurs within hours, with the patients waking up no longer dependent on opiates, but unaware that withdrawal has happened.

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