In the face of the present opioid addiction crisis there has been a scramble to find reliable therapeutic solutions to treat dependence on opioid painkillers. There has been a lot of controversy over MAT or Medication-Assisted Treatment. The theory behind MAT is to use a prescription drug to mitigate the withdrawal symptoms and cravings in order to create the space for counseling and behavioral therapies to work.
Critics of MAT say that it is just substituting one drug for another, and since most MAT drugs are opioids, that it doesn’t solve the core problem of “pill mills” where overprescription leads to the sale and spread of opioids.
A New Solution
There are answers to these critiques however. For example one common drug prescribed in MAT is Buprenorphine. While it produces effects associated with opioids such as euphoria and respiratory depression, it has a “ceiling effect” meaning that its effects level off even with additional doses. This prevents an abuse cycle of continually pushing for more of a drug because there is a cap on the addictive effects. It is also weaker than most other MAT drugs like Methadone and has a longer effect meaning that many users don’t even need to take it every day. In 2016 the FDA approved a six month subdermal implant for drug addiction that releases a consistent low dosage of Buprenorphine, further combating concerns about secondary sales. A patient cannot be moved to the implant until they have had a stable Buprenorphine regimen for 6 months.
We as a nation are struggling to grips with the deadliest overdose crisis in our history and while treating an opioid addiction with another opioid can seem counterproductive, it may be necessary for some people to fight fire with fire.
At FHE we offer an excellent drug detox program and opiate rehab in Florida. We are here to help you through your opiate withdrawal symptoms all the way through rehab and have aftercare programs to help you transition back into your everyday life. Call us today to hear more. You can reach us at (855) 441-2449 or through our contact page.