Opium addiction treatment is necessary for those who can no longer control their use of opium. While the drug is a natural substance, it is also very addictive and people do not always realize how strongly they are affected by it until they need professional treatment. Luckily, there are many methods of opium addiction treatment.
Partly because of the rise in prescription opioid addiction, there are many medications that treat opioid dependence and addiction. These same medications can be used for opium addicts, as the drugs all have similar effects. Some of the most commonly used medications in opium addiction treatment are:
According to the NIDA, “Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist (i.e., it has agonist and antagonist properties.” It can be administered in a certified physician’s office or at a rehabilitation clinic. Buprenorphine is a great medication for opium addiction, and many patients have been successful with its use.
Methadone is a synthetic opioid that comes in small doses so that a recovering opium addict can take the medication and still go on with life. “A single dose lasts 24-36 hours, and there are few side effects” (Harvard Medical School). It is a beneficial medication for those who can go to a clinic every day and who have been long-time opium addicts.
The least popular of the three main options, naltrexone’s “use for addiction has been limited due to poor adherence and tolerability by patients” (NIDA). Because naltrexone perpetuates withdrawal symptoms if opium or other opioid-based drugs are in the person’s system, many patients refuse to use it. On the other hand, those who do use the medication seriously have a low relapse rate.
Medications are not the only treatment for opium addiction. Without the use of behavioral treatment, addicts do not change the way they think about the drug, which is often the most important aspect of recovery.
There are many types of behavioral therapy which are useful in opium addiction treatment. Some of the most commonly used types are:
- Group therapy
Allows patients to share their feelings with others who are dealing with similar issues
- Family therapy
Works to repair broken relationships and allows patients to view their addictions through the eyes of loved ones
- Contingency management
“Involve[s] giving patients tangible rewards to reinforce positive behaviors such as abstinence” (NIDA)
- Cognitive-behavioral treatment
Teaches patients strategies for recognizing their triggers, cravings, and dangerous situations where they might do drugs and how to rethink and avoid these issues
Which Method is Best?
The best method of opium addiction treatment is the one which works best for the patient. Many times, more than one option should be explored and changes should be made to the treatment plan whenever necessary. Patients can receive nearly all of these methods at either an inpatient clinic or an outpatient center, and the choice between the two should take into account all of the patient’s needs. Because there are so many methods of opium addiction treatment, patients should not feel limited and allow themselves to explore their options.