While medication alone is not a cure for addiction, it often can help.
Research shows that a combination of medication and therapy is usually more effective than either one alone.
With regard to treating opioid addiction, the most effective medications include buprenorphine (Suboxone or Subutex) and naltrexone (ReVia, Trexan, Vivitrol). These medications work in very different ways.
Buprenorphine substitutes for other opioids. It eliminates withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings and normalizes mood without producing an opioid “high”. Naltrexone is an opioid blocker that completely neutralizes the effects of opioids.
With regard to alcohol problems, the most effective medications are disulfiram (Antabuse) and naltrexone, which also work in very different ways. Drinking alcohol while on Antabuse causes an extremely unpleasant reaction (nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting, agitation etc.). Accordingly, it strongly discourages alcohol use making it much easier to avoid drinking while taking the medication every day.
Naltrexone, on the other hand, does not react adversely with alcohol, but blunts some of the pleasurable effects of alcohol and reduces the compulsion to drink excessively.
While none of these medications are magic bullet cures, they can make it easier to get a “jump start” on dealing with an alcohol or drug problem. Many people are better able to engage in therapy and remain in it long enough to reap the benefits while taking medication that helps to keep their alcohol/drug problem under better control. Therapy can increase coping skills, teach self-control strategies, and help to resolve underlying emotional/psychological issues.
At Recovery Options, we recognize the potential value and appropriate roles of both medication and therapy.We provide both individual and group therapy and, when needed, work collaboratively with addiction psychiatrists to provide our patients with access to potentially helpful medication.
Treating many executives, professionals, and other people with demanding schedules, we offer flexible day and evening appointment times. We can usually see new patients within 24-48 hours. Everything we do here is totally discreet, private, and confidential. To schedule your initial consultation for help with substance abuse and related mental health problems please call us today or fill out our Contact form.