A known fact is that opioid overdose kills approximately one person every 20 minutes but this does not always have to be the case because science has advanced and new methods like the use of medication-assisted treatment have come up to help combat the issue. An incredible fact to state is that medication-assisted treatment is a combo of approved medication and psychosocial therapy that has been shown to be very effective in the treatment of opioid abuse disorders compared to other methods like using medicines alone or behavioral interventions. Studies have shown that it significantly decreases illicit opioid usage compared to other non-drug methods and that an increase of access to such therapies can reduce overdose issues.
The truth is that medication assisted treatment combines non-drug methods like cognitive behavior therapy with drugs approved by the food and drug association to treat opioid dependence It is good to highlight that the legalized drugs are available in various dosages and formulations and each of them differs in how they relieve symptoms of opioid withdrawal or block the feelings of euphoria that the drugs create. It is worth mentioning that just like in the treatment of other chronic conditions like hypertension treatment plans for opioid addictions are tailor made to suit the needs of the user and information from the prescriber, patient and other members of the care team is needed. This method of treatment is supported by most major institutions that are concerned with drug abuse and one of the directors is even quoted on record stating that the treatment method saves lives and increases the odds that the person will stay in rehabilitation as they acquire the skills while also creating the networks that they to recover.
Another aspect medication assisted treatment is psychosocial treatment which is recommended to be done in conjunction with the drug therapies and scientific studies has proven that people that undergo psychosocial treatments fare better compared with those who do not.
The truth is that psychosocial treatments have many goals and one of them is that it helps to treat other existing psychiatric disorders by first of all assessing the psychological needs of the person and developing a patient-specific treatment plan which may include one or more of these elements: group or individual counseling, mutual help programs like the Narcotics Anonymous, connections to support systems like family support systems or contingency management (this is evidence-based interventions that rewards the person for acquiring positive habits like abstaining from opioid use).
During most times the use of psychosocial treatment combined with medications is superior to the use of any of the aforementioned elements independently. It is good to state that this is further backed by scientific research which shows that medication assisted treatment significantly increases adherence to treatment and decreases the abuse of opioids as compared to other non-drug treatment approaches.
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