Treatment for Opioids

Medication-Assisted Therapy for Opioid Addiction

What are opioids?

Opioids are a class of drugs. Some opioids can be prescribed to relieve pain while some are also commonly used as drugs of abuse.

Examples of opioids are:

  • Heroin
  • Hydrocodone (Vicodin)
  • Oxycodone (OxyCotin, Percocet)
  • Morphine (Kadian, Avinza)
  • Codeine

Addiction to Opioids

Opioid addiction is a treatable medical condition. It is caused by changes in the chemistry in the brain. When someone is addicted to opioids, the need to satisfy cravings or avoid withdrawal symptoms can be intense and difficult to manage alone. That’s where medication-assisted therapy for opioid addiction can help.

How can Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services help?

Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services now offers a Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Program for opioid addiction. The program combines medication, counseling, and social support to help patients overcome their opioid addiction. Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services provides care and prescribes Vivitrol to patients who are a part of our MAT program. MAT services can be provided through our behavioral health program and/or through our primary care services.

What is Vivitrol?

Vivitrol is a once-monthly medication that blocks the signals to the brain’s rewards system that create a feeling of pleasure which can lead to addiction. Vivitrol is used in combination with intensive outpatient therapy. When combined with counseling, it has shown to be effective in preventing relapse to opioid dependence. Patients must stop taking opioids or medications containing opioids prior to taking Vivitrol. Other benefits of Vivitrol are that it:

  • Is not addictive
  • Is not a narcotic
  • Will not prolong dependence on opioids
  • Does not act like a substitute to opioids
  • Will not cause withdrawal when it is stopped

Side effects of Vivitrol may include nausea, headache, dizziness, drowsiness, anxiety, tiredness, loss of appetite, and mild opiate withdrawal symptoms such as abdominal cramps, restlessness, bone and joint pain, muscle aches, and runny nose.

What is Suboxone?

Another form of medication-assisted therapy now being offered by Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services is Suboxone, an oral medication used to help curb the cravings of opioids. Unlike Vivitrol, someone does not have to be off the drugs or alcohol for a certain amount of time – Suboxone can begin immediately.

The most common side effects of Suboxone may include:

  • Respiratory problems
  • Sleepiness, dizziness and problems with coordination
  • Dependency or abuse
  • Liver problems
  • Allergic reaction
  • Opioid withdrawal symptoms such as shaking, sweating, feeling hot or cold, runny nose, watery eyes, diarrhea, vomiting, and muscle aches
  • Decrease in blood pressure

Who is eligible for the program?

Opioid-addicted patients who are:

  • Seeking assistance for prevention of relapse
  • Open to receiving counseling at Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services
  • At least 18 years of age

Eligibility for the MAT program is based on an assessment conducted by a Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services counselor and primary care provider.

For more information about the medication-assisted therapy program or to see if you are an eligible candidate for Vivitrol or Suboxone, find the location nearest you and give us a call today.

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