Opioids are often found in the form of prescription medications for pain relief; however, some illegal opioids include heroin and fentanyl. This class of drugs can be highly addictive, and withdrawals can be intensely uncomfortable if undergone without assistance.

Withdrawal symptoms can be a significant barrier to full recovery from addiction, but medications can often help to make withdrawal an easier process. Common medications used for opiate replacement include Methadone and Buprenorphine.

What Does Opiate Replacement Therapy Do?

Medications like Methadone and Buprenorphine are meant to prolong the withdrawal period, lessen symptom severity, relieve drug cravings, and reduce the likelihood of relapse by acting as opioid agonists in the brain. Opioid receptors are usually activated by the drugs themselves, but these medications will take their place without producing euphoric effects.

Who Is Opiate Replacement Therapy Good For? 

Some medications, like Naltrexone which blocks opioid receptors instead of activating them, require a gamut of conditions to be met before a prescription can be written. While not as extensive in their restrictions, Buprenorphine and Methadone still have requirements.

Those who are seeking opiate replacement therapy options must be able to:

  • Undergo 12 to 24 hours of opioid withdrawal
  • Consistently take the medication in accordance with prescription and doctor guidance
  • Refrain from drug and alcohol use while receiving treatment

While these conditions might seem steep, someone who has struggled with maintaining sobriety in the past has a lot to gain from medically-assisted treatment (MAT) using opiate replacements.

While this form of treatment may soon become a standard and is suitable for anyone suffering from opiate use disorder, it is also a good option for those who have had trouble staying in recovery through other methods.

Medication Is Best Paired With Therapy

Opiate replacements have been known to increase the likelihood of sustained recovery even without therapy. Still, those who participate in a treatment program are more likely to continue treatment and stay in recovery after treatment is completed.

At Alta Loma, we believe that addiction is a result of untreated mental illness. Our dual diagnosis focus will help treat opioid addiction while also focusing on the emotional and behavioral triggers that sustain an addiction. Our life skills training, medication management training, therapy, and group participation will give you the information and support you need to stay in recovery long after you leave our facility. To learn about opiate replacement therapy and our medication management training, call us today at (866) 457-3843.