16 Apr Medication-Assisted Opiate Dependency Prevention

Opiates and opioids are medications prescribed for inducing sleep and relieving pain. When used correctly, they can offer the healing qualities they were made for, but when these medications are abused for their euphoric effects, it can lead to dependency and even addiction. Such addiction can be extremely difficult to overcome due to the heavy withdrawal symptoms associated with suddenly stopping opiate use after a prolonged period of abuse.
For those suffering from dependency on, or addiction to, opiates and opioids, medication is often a necessary part of treatment. A prescribed medication during dependency or addiction recovery is essential for helping battle withdrawal symptoms and reducing the likelihood of relapse during recovery. Read on to learn about Renaissance Ranch’s approach to medication-assisted addiction prevention for opiate dependent clients.
Naltrexone is a medication used to treat opiate and opioid dependency. It helps those dependent on opiates regain the mental stability they had prior to all of the drug-induced highs and lows. It is an opioid blocker, or opioid antagonist, which means it blocks the opioid receptor sites in the brain. This stops those taking the medication from getting “high” on the problem drug.
Oral medication
Naltrexone is often prescribed in pill form, which is available as a lower cost generic or as one of two trade name medications—ReVia® and Depade®. This pill is taken every 1 to 3 days.
Extended-release medication
There is also an extended-release form of this medication available called Vivitrol®, which is injected in the buttocks. An injection of Vivitrol is administered by a physician or other treatment provider once a month. This form of extended-release medication is an especially good choice for those suffering from opiate dependency because the opioid-blocking effects last for a month without interruption, and the patient receiving treatment is not required to take new medication every 1 to 3 days. We prefer this method and recommend it to all of our clients during both Residential and Outpatient programs.
Naltrexone treatment can begin once a person recovering from opiate dependency has completed the detox process, as the body must be free of opioids before starting naltrexone. Treatment will then last as long as it is needed and prescribed by a physician to prevent relapse. When used properly under the supervision of a trained professional, naltrexone will play a central role in recovery from opiate dependency.
HR Brown is the founder and President of Renaissance Ranch and a Advanced Substance Use Disorder Counselor. He has worked in the substance abuse field for the last 12 years as well as an additional 15 years of finance and business management experience. Through his personal experience in recovery, HR has developed a passion for helping people understand and overcome the disease of addiction.
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