What Interventions Can Be Used in Treating Opioid Addiction?

Opioid abuse, dependency, and overdose has risen to astronomical levels in the United States over the past decade. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has listed several effective medications that can be used to treat opioid addiction, including: methadone, buprenorphine, naltrexone, and a combination of both buprenorphine and naltrexone. If you are currently in a treatment program, it could be beneficial to speak with a member of your treatment center’s healthcare team to discuss various interventions and which may be the most effective for you. When it comes to interventions, they can typically involve medication, behavioral therapy, and most often, a combination of both. Ultimately, it’s important for you and your healthcare team to move forward with an approach that will work best for you as a person.

A 2016 study published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine involved a in-depth analysis of literature to determine a general consensus of what’s most effective for opioid addiction. The following are just a few of their findings:

  • Contingency management – providing individuals with a reward (such as vouchers or movie tickets) for completing positive behavior, such as a clean drug screening
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) – self-monitoring, goal setting, and coping skills are a major focus, which helps individuals work towards their recovery goals
  • Behavioral drug and HIV risk reduction counseling – participants address concerns with certain members of the healthcare team, which is linked to helping them maintain abstinence and work towards longer recovery goals
  • Motivational interviewing – reduction of drug use is reported as individuals discover the benefits of recovery versus the consequences of continuing addiction behaviors
  • Methadone maintenance – in conjunction with psychosocial treatments such as the ones listed above, significant outcomes were found

Of course, there are many other medications and psychosocial interventions that can be used to help those in recovery from opioid addiction. Much of the time, recovery takes time and patience as you uncover what works best for you. If you aren’t in a treatment program currently, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center to start your journey to recovery today.

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