Finding the right treatment
Everyone is different
Opioid dependence is a chronic condition in need of long-term management, but there is no single treatment that is right for everyone. Before treatment begins, or following a relapse, people with opioid dependence should work with their doctors, counselors, and any others involved with their treatment to develop a plan based on their individual treatment goals. An effective treatment plan should include support and/or counseling that is designed to meet that person's specific needs and may also include medication.
The most common ways to receive treatment for opioid dependence:
Benefits of outpatient treatment
Types of treatment
Two important elements of treatment for opioid dependence, which can be used separately or in combination, are:
Support and counseling
An active support network and counseling are key parts of an effective treatment plan. There are a number of different kinds of support and counseling available for the treatment of opioid dependence.
Cognitive behavioral therapy
Personalized support programs
Treating opioid dependence with medication
Opioid dependence can be treated
Medications for opioid dependence are available. This means that people with opioid dependence do not need to go "cold turkey" without the help of medication when they decide they want to be treated.
How medications for opioid dependence are used
Maintenance medication can help reduce cravings without making the person feel "high." These help give people a chance to change their habits and to avoid relapse.
Because opioid dependence is a chronic disorder, it is never really cured. Maintenance treatment is about managing the disorder so that people are able to regain control of their lives.The goals of maintenance treatment are to:
Some medications for the treatment of opioid dependence are controlled substances; therefore, doctors have to become eligible to prescribe them.
The Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000, commonly referred to as DATA 2000, enables doctors who meet certain qualifying criteria to receive a waiver to prescribe these medications for opioid dependence. Find a doctor in your area that can provide more information on treating opioid dependence.
Relapse is common and not a failure
Opioid dependence is a relapsing disorder
Relapse is a part of opioid dependence, just like symptom breakthrough is with other chronic conditions.
Relapse can happen for several reasons:
Triggers are things that can cause cravings for someone who had stopped taking opioids. If these cravings are acted upon, they may result in relapse. Triggers may include
When people have a relapse, they sometimes feel they have failed. But that isn't always the case. Everyone has different needs, and a relapse can simply mean that a person isn't getting the support and/or counseling he or she needs or may need to try a different medication. Sometimes finding the right combination of support and/or counseling and medication can make the difference needed for a successful recovery.
Current treatments for opioid dependence offer options
Everyone is different...so why should treatment plans be the same?
Medications are available that offer advantages in
Some people lean on their friends and family during their recovery process while others prefer the confidentiality of a therapist or counselor. Some like to share their experiences, while others seek help privately.
Personalized support programs allow people with opioid dependence to customize their experiences to meet their specific needs and goals. Learn more about support and counseling.
The importance of a support network
People don't have to go through treatment for opioid dependence alone.
Involving people who address different social, emotional, and medical issues during the recovery process will help someone in treatment cope with difficulties, such as triggers and relapse, that may arise.
A support network may include:
A person's recovery from opioid dependence may require a variety of support and/or counseling and medical options. For someone with opioid dependence, it may help to have an open line of communication among his or her doctors, counselors, friends, and loved ones. Some support programs provide ways for people with opioid dependence to include their support networks. This may allow people with opioid dependence to share their thoughts and progress with their support networks, including their doctors, and for friends and family to gain a better understanding of what their loved one with opioid dependence may be experiencing.