MEDICINE FOR ADDICTIONS?
There is an ongoing conflict between the old treatment-as-usual addiction treatment model versus the new evidenced based, human research-based approach regarding Medications for Addiction Treatment (MAT).
For example, on the surface it seems contradictory to give a patient with an opioid addiction an opiate medication like Methadone or Buprenorphine (suboxone) to help them with their addiction disease, however, when we remove our opinions and prejudices and look at controlled behavioral health studies, patients who receive the (MAT) plus counseling, 12-Step and/or Peer Support, do much better long-term than those who do not receive the medication. This is important because when a patient/spouse/sibling/child or loved-one relapse on opiate drugs like Heroin, Oxycodone and Fentanyl it can and will lead to an overdose-death.
Now, having said that, I do not believe that the (MAT) alone will treat the addiction disease, especially during the early phase of recovery, meaning the first 1 to 2-years. It is the combination of the addiction counseling (individual and group) 12-Step and Peer-Support, along with the (MAT) that proved to be the most helpful. Studies show that patients who remain in “active” treatment, for five (5) consecutive years, at least on the outpatient level, tend to maintain life-long recovery.
I belong to several professional organizations; they all recommend the use of (MAT) as part of the treatment of addiction disease. Therefore, that makes (MAT) the Standard of Care for patients with addictions.
Those memberships include the following organizations:
- The American Psychiatric Association (APA)
- The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)
- The American Academy of Addiction Psychiatrists (AAAP)
Currently there are no Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved medications for Cocaine, Cannabis or Methamphetamine addictions but research is exploring
Table of Medications used for Addiction Treatment (MAT):
Buprenorphine (Opiate replacement)
Naloxone (Opiate blocker)
Suboxone (sublingual film)
Zubsolv (sublingual film)
Both Opiate & Alcohol
Revia (oral tablet)
Vivitrol, (IM Injection)
Nicotine (Nicotine replacement)
Nicorette (gum, patch, inhaler)