How Medications Are Used to Treat Substance Abuse Disorders
The treatment of certain psychiatric disorders often requires that both medications and therapy be used at the same time. This is most often the case with substance abuse disorders where the goal is for addicts to both recover from their addictions physically and to also learn coping mechanisms to more effectively avoid abusing substances in the future.
The Goals of Medication-Assisted Addiction Treatment
Medications that are prescribed for addiction are meant to normalize the chemistry of the brain. It prevents the body from experiencing the euphoric effects of consuming a substance so that you will feel less of a temptation to consume it.
One of the goals of medication-assisted treatment is to make it easier to remain in treatment. Medications make the withdrawal symptoms easier to cope with. This approach to treatment is also meant to make it easier to find gainful employment so that you can improve your life.
Medications Used to Treat Substance Abuse
In addition to treating drug addiction directly, there are some medications that play a role in treating psychiatric disorders indirectly. For example, antipsychotic medications can play a role in treating mental health disorders that are linked to substance abuse. Alcohol addiction can be treated with anticonvulsants. Beta-blockers can be used to prevent heart attacks and other disorders.
If you are suffering from opioid addiction, clonidine can be an effective method of treatment. It has the ability to reduce withdrawal symptoms and can effectively reduce anxiety that you might use to self-medicate yourself when coping with opioid addiction. It is able to reduce the amount of time that is necessary to detox.
Methadone is a common drug used to treat opioid addiction. It is able to activate the opioid receptors in the brain without having the other harmful effects of an opioid. However, it is a drug that should only be used with a doctor's supervision. Methadone also has the potential for abuse. Therefore, if you believe that you cannot avoid abusing methadone, there are other alternatives that are less likely to be abused such as buprenorphine.
The Road to Recovery
There are numerous other medications that might be prescribed. Therefore, it's important to make sure that you talk to your therapist about the impact that your treatment is having on you. This will allow you to receive the therapy you need while also having your medication adjusted so you can achieve a better outcome.
To learn more, contact a center that offers medication-assisted addiction treatment in your area.