According to a recent study on opium abuse and its management by the National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre of New Delhi, India, “The data on treatment and outcome of opium dependence is not abundant, though some information is available.” Essentially, the best way that has been found to treat opium addiction is the same as treating other opioid drugs of abuse and their addiction syndromes: with a combination of medication and behavioral therapy.
Opium Addiction Treatment Options
The options for treating opium addiction are the same as those associated with treating all other types of opioid abuse. There are several different medications available for opioid addiction treatment and several behavioral therapy options. These can be used together in certain combinations to create an addiction treatment regimen that is beneficial to the specific addict.
- Methadone: Methadone is a synthetic opioid drug that reduces the severity of withdrawal symptoms and cravings when taken in doses between 80 and 120 mg per day (National Institute of Justice). As a maintenance drug, it can only be received from a clinic with an official license to dispense methadone.
- Buprenorphine: Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that treats addiction much in the same way methadone does. It is usually paired with naloxone to make it safer from abuse, which allows it to precipitate withdrawal in those who attempt to misuse it. It can also be prescribed at a doctor’s office, unlike methadone.
- Naltrexone: Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist that is not well tolerated by most addicts but can be beneficial for those who are motivated to end their opium abuse fast. The drug creates withdrawal in anyone who is still dependent on opioids, and if taken faithfully, it is very effective.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: CBT is a therapeutic program that helps patients view their addictions in a new light, practice for scenarios they will encounter outside of treatment, and learn to cope with stressors, triggers, and cravings in order to avoid relapse.
- Contingency management: This program utilizes reward-based vouchers that are given to the individual every time they prove by a drug test that they have not abused opioids.
- Group therapy: This program allows addicts to meet other addicts who have gone through the same hardships they have and to see ways in which they can improve through their relationships with others.
What is the Best Way to Treat Opium Addiction?
Any combination of medications and therapies can be beneficial as long as the specific patient’s needs are taken into account and they can receive a program that is tailored to their recovery. For example, someone with a strong physical dependence on opium could benefit from methadone maintenance treatment that utilizes methadone, CBT, and group therapy.
A combination of these treatments is usually used for opium addicts, just like those who become addicted to heroin or prescription narcotics, but the individual must also receive the program they need in order to make a change.
Do You Want to Learn More About Opium Addiction?
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