Medication-Assisted Treatment is the gold standard when it comes to helping people get clean and sober. Yet many treatment centers and detoxes are hesitant to make use of these tools for their clients. Unfortunately, the drugs are not widely available yet, but more treatment centers are incorporating them every year. Medications like Sublocade are helping opioid users get and stay clean, with far better outcomes than people who do talk therapy alone.
75% of people who chose Sublocade as their Medicated-Assisted Treatment option for twelve months remained sober in a recent study. This drug may help you attain long-term sobriety if you are considering treatment for an opioid use disorder.
Who Needs Sublocade?
Sublocade is a new version of the popular treatment drug buprenorphine, also known by its brand name Suboxone. People who have an opioid use disorder take this life-changing drug to stave off cravings and prevent relapse.
The medication is available as a shot, rather than a tablet or strip dissolved under the tongue like Suboxone. Many people who are new to recovery prefer to use Sublocade because it is available as a shot rather than a treatment you must administer daily.
Because of this, it is ideal for people entering long-term treatment, those with busy schedules, and people who also live with mental health disorders or others who may have trouble remembering or adhering to a medication schedule.
Sublocade is appropriate for anyone who lives with an opioid use disorder.
How Does It Work?
Sublocade and other types of buprenorphine are considered partial opioid agonists. This function blocks other opioids from special receptors in your brain - so if you try to get high, it just won’t work. At the same time, the drug can also suppress withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Because it is administered as an injection, it must be given and monitored by licensed medical staff.
Sublocade is injected into the stomach, which may sound a bit scary, but it is still a simple pinprick and minimal pain. (It usually just stings a bit, like any drug injection.) The medication is also only administered once a month, so you won’t forget to take it.
Getting Help for Addiction
Medication-Assisted Treatment is considered to be the highest standard for people with opioid use disorder. Many treatment programs aren’t prepared to offer this option, but here at Present Moments Recovery we can help you decide if MAT is right for you and provide you both therapy as well as medication options. Give us a call to learn more about how we can help at 619-363-4767.
Vivitrol, also known as naltrexone, is a form of medication that is used in Medication-Assisted Treatment to block the effects of opioid drugs. This means that if you’re taking Vivitrol, and use an opioid, you won’t feel any pain relief or feelings of euphoria. People usually get an injection of Vivitrol while they are also in drug treatment. This allows them to focus on their recovery and not any uncomfortable, longer-term withdrawal symptoms or cravings.
More recently, Vivitrol injection has also been used to treat alcoholism by reducing the urge to drink. Some people have been able to maintain long-term sobriety, although this type of treatment is still in its beginning stages. The drug should always be coupled with drug and alcohol treatment to be most effective.
How Does Vivitrol Prevent Relapse?
Vivitrol injection is used to prevent relapse for people in recovery from an opioid use disorder. It isn’t meant to help people begin detox; it’s given after a withdrawal period to prevent future cravings. Most people get the shot after they have been entirely sober for two weeks or more. For people who drink, Naltrexone helps reduce cravings but it cannot be used with a person who has alcohol in their system.
Vivitrol makes it easier for people who have started on their recovery journey to continue. Opioids are an especially addictive substance and have a high relapse rate, even for those who have detoxed completely. Vivitrol helps calm cravings for opioids or alcohol. It also blocks the effects of drugs – so if you get high, there won’t be any “reward” or elation.
Vivitrol injections are meant to be used as a part of a complete treatment program. Without behavior modification and therapy, few people achieve long-term sobriety. Vivitrol helps lessen the intensity of a desire to use, giving a person “breathing space” between their addiction cravings and their desire for recovery.
How Is It Taken?
The drug itself is typically injected and can be taken once a month. Some people prefer a daily pill, which is also available. Once they have acclimated to the drug, there is a maintenance dose required to continue to prevent cravings.
A doctor will typically be the one who prescribes and administers your prescription. Treatment centers also have trained medical professionals that can do this for you.
Getting Help for Addiction
Addiction, also known as substance use disorder, has severe effects on the body, mind, and spirit. We want you to know that you don’t have to get high anymore if you don’t want to! There are hope and help available to help you reclaim your life and begin a journey to recovery. Contact us for more information on our Medication-Assisted Treatment options at 619-383-4767.
Suboxone, also known by the drug’s generic name, buprenorphine, is a drug that is used to help people with opioid use disorder get and stay sober. Often it is an integral part of Medication-Assisted Treatment programs. This type of treatment includes medication as well as therapy and behavior modification. This helps people make the life changes necessary to achieve long-term sobriety.
MAT is underutilized in the treatment industry, but it is vital for opioid use disorder. Studies show that it is an important and exciting tool for people addicted to opioids. In fact, without MAT, at least 90% of OUD patients will relapse. When people are using medication like Suboxone to aid their recovery, their chances for relapse or overdose is just 50%.
How Does Suboxone Work?
Buprenorphine helps people get sober from opioid addiction through a couple of functions. For one thing, Suboxone is a partial opioid agonist, meaning it partially activates the opioid receptor. The drug also suppresses withdrawal symptoms and opioid cravings.
Unlike some of the other medications used for similar purposes, buprenorphine doesn’t cause severe side effects or euphoria. It is a long-lasting medication that helps the person’s system that is only needed once a day.
How Long Does a Person Take Buprenorphine?
Buprenorphine is a drug that is safe and doesn’t cause harmful side effects for most people. Doctors tend to view the drug as similar to other drugs for mental health disorders – some people will probably need to take it for years or even for life to ward off opioid cravings. It is not addictive and does not get the user high. It helps stop the nasty withdrawal effects, and compulsion to use.
People don’t develop a tolerance for the medication, but it can have interactions with other drugs. A physician or other qualified medical staff will help determine if Suboxone is a good fit. They can also help a person with an opioid use disorder to determine the length of time they may need to use the medication.
Getting Help for Addiction
Medication-Assisted Treatment works, study after study shows. But you need a provider that is willing to prescribe it and help you plot your next steps to stay in recovery. Learn more about our options, and how we can help by calling us at 619-363-4767.
Gabapentin is a drug that not everyone has heard of, but it’s becoming abused more regularly and available on the street. Understanding this drug, its side effects, and the consequences of abuse are important to understand. People in recovery should be aware that this drug can be abused alongside other drugs, and is becoming more popular among people who abuse opioids.
What is Gabapentin?
Gabapentin is a drug that is used primarily in the neurological field. Doctors use it to control epilepsy and to treat neuropathic (nerve) pain. Sometimes it’s prescribed off-label for other conditions such as restless leg syndrome and other neurological issues.
Doctors believe that Gabapentin increases the GABA (a calming neurotransmitter in the brain) by the firing of neurotransmitters, scrambling pain signals in the brain. Gabapentin also slows down the production of glutamate, the agent that causes nerve excitement leading to seizures.
While gabapentin is often prescribed for its original intentions (seizures), about 95% of prescriptions for the drug are considered off-label uses. Doctors prescribe the medication for mental health issues such as severe and difficult-to-treat anxiety disorders and bipolar disorder. People also take the medication for attention deficit disorder, diabetic neuropathy, attention deficit disorder, and migraines.
Gabapentin has also been used as an alternative to opioid therapy for people with moderate to severe nerve pain.
Gabapentin Abuse and Its Consequences
Unfortunately, many drug users who are already addicted to drugs have started to abuse Gabapentin. One side effect of Gabapentin is that it can cause other drugs taken concurrently to be much stronger, including opioids. This type of misuse can cause overdoses as the body is not prepared to handle the extra opioids in the bloodstream.
The US government has begun to create new legislation affecting Gabapentin because of its popularity on the street.
Gabapentin Misuse and Addiction
The highest Gabapentin dosage prescribed is about 3200 mg a day. After this dosage, there is a possibility of damage to kidney and other organs.
The drug acts as a depressant when taken in large quantities, which can slow breathing and other body functions. Opioids also slow breathing which is why it is easy to overdose when they are combined. Other symptoms of Gabapentin misuse include:
- Drowsiness and lethargy
- Muscle weakness
- Drooping eyelids
- Gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea
When combined with opioids, Gabapentin can cause an overdose. Using Naloxone can help reverse an overdose of opioids.
Getting Help for Addiction
Addiction, also called substance use disorder, is a disease that affects the body, brain, and life. We offer a safe, compassionate road to recovery for every individual who walks through our door. Learn more about how we can help by calling at 619-363-4767.