Alcohol and Drug Treatment Medication
The use of medication in treating drug and alcohol addiction is formally known as “Medication Assisted Treatment” or MAT. MAT is used to treat opioid addiction as well as alcohol addiction. Each addiction medication offers a specific type of relief for the patient working to become and remain sober.
Recovery Delivered is proud to offer numerous medications to our patients around the country. Read below for more information about what we offer. Most of these addiction medications can be delivered directly to your door, although Vivitrol® must be sent to a healthcare professional – a process we are happy to manage. If you are looking to learn more about a medication for the treatment of addiction, click on the “Learn More” button to be taken to a page specially about that medication.
How Addiction Medication Helps with Treatment
Each medication works in a specific way to aid the prescribed with their addiction. Most medications are used to either aid in the detox/withdrawal process or to help patients remain sober by diminishing the strength of cravings. Some medications simply block the effects of opioids or alcohol, while others provide the patient a very eventful, unenjoyable experience if they consume alcohol.
Medication for Drug Withdrawal and Detox
The first step in recovery is removing the drugs and/or alcohol from the body. This is referred to as the detox phase of recovery. Depending upon the drug and the daily use habits, the detox period could last from 3 days up to a few weeks. During this time, the patient may feel a multitude of physical and emotional withdrawal symptoms such as:
- Muscle aches
Different medications are used to treat each of these symptoms and help the patient ease into recovery rather than facing it alone and cold turkey. The most commonly used medications are:
– Benzodiazepines: Recovery Delivered does not prescribe this medication for our at-home detox as “benzos” are highly addictive. However, in an inpatient setting, benzodiazepines treat the anxiety and irritability that is associated with the withdrawal from opioids and alcohol.
– Antidepressants: When an individual has used drugs or alcohol for an extended period of time, the body is unable to produce the correct amounts of serotonin, the happiness chemical our brain naturally creates. This can cause someone going through withdrawal to experience deep depression. Antidepressants can help with this while the brain returns to its former self during sobriety.
– Clonidine: This withdrawal medication works to diminish many symptoms such as sweating, muscle cramps, headaches, and anxiety. It also helps stop tremors and seizures. Clonidine is prescribed in our at at-home detox kit.
Alcohol Addiction Medications
Alcohol addiction detox can last weeks or even months. The long term use as well as quantity of consumption can determine detox time, as each individual is different. However, there is medication for alcoholism that can lessen the urge to drink and also provide an unenjoyable experience if the patient does drink.
– Naltrexone (Vivitrol®): Naltrexone (brand name, Vivitrol®) is given by injection every 4 weeks. This medication for alcoholism will reduce the urge to drink while blocking any receptors that give the feeling of being drunk. Recovery Delivered is pleased to offer this medication to our patients nationwide at a fraction of the regular price.
– Acamprosate (Campral®): Acamprosate (brand name Campral®) is used after the detox period of alcoholism. This medication works by relieving some of the emotional stress placed on those recovering from alcoholism. By reducing emotional stress and negative feelings, Acamprosate can reduce the urge to drink.
– Disulfiram (Antabuse®): Disurlfiram (brand name Antabuse®) is considered a deterrent medication because if a patient drinks alcohol while on this medication it causes stomach pains and vomiting. The idea is that these reactions will help to deter people from drinking.
Heroin and Opioid Addiction Medication
Heroin and opioid addiction medication is the vast majority of the medication our professionals prescribe. As an online opioid recovery program, the Recovery Delivered team has seen first-hand how well these medications work to fight cravings and deter our patients from using opioids and heroin.
Medications for opioids and painkillers are:
– Methadone: Methadone is used in a clinical setting and is provided to patients on a daily basis. It replaces the opioid or pain killer by activating the same part of the brain. Methadone is used for those with stronger use cases and is monitored heavily by professionals, because it is shown to be addictive for many patients.
– Buprenorphine: Buprenorphine is frequently prescribed by Recovery Delivered. Buprenorphine can be taken home for use on a weekly basis with follow-ups each week. This medication works like methadone, however it is not as addictive.
– Naloxone (Vivitrol®): Naloxone (brand name Vivitrol®) is used for opioid addiction similarly to how it is used in alcohol addiction. Naloxone is offered in pill form for daily use or the brand name Vivitrol is injected every 4 weeks by a medical professional. Naloxone will block the receptors in the brain and is reported to reduce opioid cravings.
– Suboxone® (Buprenorphine and Naloxone): Suboxone combines two of the best medications to fight opioid addiction: Buprenorphine and Naloxone. The makers of Suboxone® offer this combination, because it will not only curb cravings, it will also block the receptors in the brain that receive the high. Finally, because of the combination of the two medications, there is an increased safety in cases of overdose. Suboxone® is prescribed by Recovery Delivered and delivered directly to the patient.