The history of opiate addiction goes way, way back. Wars have been fought over opium. From the opium poppy plant to morphine to heroin to opioids like oxycodone, it’s been a long progression. Opium has been used for pleasure, enlightenment, escape from reality and to kill pain. Opiate/opioid addiction has been difficult to treat, but new medications, like Suboxone, have changed the game for addiction treatment.
Methadone was the preferred treatment for hard core addicts for a long time, but Methadone has it’s drawbacks — Methadone is a substitute, maintenance opiate that allows professionals to regulate a person’s opiate addiction. This explains the Methadone treatment method. Methadone treatment is better than active addiction in the streets, but better ways of treating opiate addiction have developed and are evolving. With Suboxone and other Buprenorphine based drugs the addict can get a prescription to take from home, and the medicine doesn’t create the same euphoric effect as the opioid medication or heroin. Here is how Suboxone works.
Suboxone takes take care of withdrawals, but opiate/opioid dependence is not resolved by simply taking medication. Addiction is a chronic brain disease that causes the addict to return to the drug over and over until they’ve received sufficient treatment to combat the addiction and to allow the brain to heal. Some people recover without counseling or group therapy, but they are a small minority. In the past, so many so many addicts returned to active addiction the idea developed that opiate addicts don’t really recover, they just manage their condition with another drug or go back and forth from Methadone to heroin, or they have to stay on Suboxone the rest of their lives.
Opiate addicts can recover and become drug free just like alcoholics, Benzo addicts, cocaine addicts, etc. It might be a little more difficult for opiate addicts who’ve used heroin heavily for years, but it’s possible and very likely if a treatment plan is followed. With the current opiate/opioid addiction epidemic, it’s important to know that opiate addiction is treatable, and that addicts can live drug free lives. The idea that opiate addicts must be relegated to Methadone clinics is an old idea that has to be smashed.
With medicine to ease the withdrawal, with outpatient group therapy and counseling, and with follow-up, long term recovery management, an opiate addict can become drug free and live a normal, healthy and happy life. The road to recovery might be difficult and it requires persistence and sticking to the plan, but the urge to use opiates will leave a person if they stay in and practice a long term recovery management plan. The use of Suboxone should be guided and managed by a physician with an understanding of addiction medicine. NA or AA are critical tools. Nutrition and exercise are important. It takes a holistic approach, but it’s very possible and very, very worth it. Opiate addicts can be free from drugs — they can.