Addiction is a highly fatal disease that claims the lives of millions of people around the world on a regular basis. Even though this particular disease impacts people regardless of their income, gender, sexual orientation, or religion, it is still commonly misunderstood that addiction is, in fact, a disease and not a choice.
The initial use of a mind-altering substance like heroin may be a choice, but within a short period of time, a person’s brain begins to change in ways that make it difficult if not impossible to control his or her behaviors and actions. This loss of control is one of the many reasons why opioid addiction is deadly because, without the conscious effort to get sober, those who abuse these substances can suffer fatal consequences, including overdose.
Approximately 130 people die each day from opioid overdose in the United States. Places such as Ohio, West Virginia, and Tennessee are experiencing significantly higher rates of opioid addiction than any other states in the nation.
In Ohio, 14 people lose their lives every day due to opioid overdoses, while in West Virginia, there are 49.5 opioid overdose deaths per every 100,000 people.
Opioid addiction currently has such a stronghold on the United States and its people that despite the several initiatives, laws, and approaches that have been put in place, they are still not enough to fully stop this epidemic. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had enacted a five-point strategy that focuses on access to treatment, stronger data, improved pain management, opioid overdose-reversing drugs, and more research. First responders and citizens throughout the country are carrying and learning how to administer Narcan to reverse an overdose, and health insurance companies are expanding their coverage to support the need for mental health treatment.
While these and other initiatives are helping, the opioid crisis still rolls on. This is a perfect indicator of just how powerful opioid addiction is and serves as a reminder of how easy it can be to suffer a fatal overdose.
Thankfully, there are many different scientifically proven treatment approaches, including medication-assisted treatment (MAT), that can save the lives of those in need.
Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines medication-assisted treatment as “the use of FDA-approved medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders.”
For decades, medication-assisted treatment has provided life-saving benefits to those addicted to opioids. In fact, this treatment approach has also been proven effective in the treatment of alcohol use disorders and smoking. It is an evidence-based, professionally backed form of treatment that can help individuals prepared to end their opioid abuse better manage the physical and psychological symptoms that could otherwise stand in their way of recovery.
When clients begin medication-assisted treatment, they will be prescribed either methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone. Both methadone and buprenorphine work to activate the opioid receptors in the brain without producing the sense of euphoria and detachment that being high offers. Naltrexone, on the other hand, prevents individuals from experiencing a high if they relapse and use again. Either way, when one of these medications is being incorporated into a client’s medication-assisted treatment plan, he or she will immediately reap the benefits of them upon beginning detox.
These medications help to reduce the number and intensity of withdrawal symptoms, as well as help to curb cravings for continued opioid use. Automatically, these medications offer life-saving benefits to clients, as helping to make the process of detox easier can help to erase the desire to go back and use just to experience relief from symptoms. Instead, clients often continue on with their care, which only increases the likelihood of staying sober for the long-term.
The benefits do not stop when detox is over, as medication-assisted treatment can continue to help address post-acute withdrawal syndrome, which is better known as PAWS. Several people in recovery develop this condition, which occurs when specific psychological withdrawal symptoms continue long past the normal time period. These symptoms include depression, anxiety, and even suicidal ideations. When these symptoms continue, it can only make one’s mental health worse. However, when already prescribed a medication like methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone, these symptoms will not go away completely but can be easier to manage.
Medication-assisted treatment continues to prove its effectiveness in those clients who have successfully completed the program and have gone on to live a happier, drug-free life.
Medication-Assisted Treatment in Knoxville
It might be easy to think that these medications are only available in private rehab centers, are not covered by insurance, or not available enough to help you in particular. Fortunately, medications like buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone are available now more than ever before and can be found in nearly all addiction treatment centers in the country.
If it is determined that you will begin a medication-assisted treatment plan in order to most effectively treat your opioid use disorder, then you will get moving quickly. Medication-assisted treatment in Knoxville begins as soon as possible so that you can get through detox comfortably and begin therapeutic work.
It will be up to the team who is providing the medication-assisted treatment in Knoxville how long you will remain on the medication and what dose you will be taking, among other factors. Some clients utilize this program for the duration of their time spent in rehab, while others continue on medication for months to years after.
Get Help at JourneyPure Knoxville Today
Medication-assisted treatment in Knoxville can provide you with the help that you need so that you can finally put an end to your opioid addiction. There is absolutely nothing to be ashamed about upon reaching out for help. The disease of addiction is extremely complex, making it nearly impossible to get sober independently. Medication-assisted treatment in Knoxville can help.
Do not wait any longer. Call JourneyPure in Knoxville right now to get started on getting sober. We can help.