In the year 2014, as reported by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration:
- 4.3 million people misused prescription pain medication
- 61% of deaths caused by drug overdose were from opiate use
- 12.7% of new illicit drug users began with prescription pain relievers
For individuals seeking recovery from opioid addiction, withdrawal symptoms are severe and few can successfully overcome their dependence without help. For more than 50 years, medication assisted treatment with methadone has been the most successful treatment modality when accompanied by counseling and support.
When opiates are used regularly, the brain becomes conditioned to expect their presence in the reward centers of the brain. When the opiates are suddenly not present, withdrawal symptoms can be painful and debilitating. Add to that the presence of constant cravings and relapse triggers, and it is easy to see why it is very difficult to succeed in an abstinence based treatment program. These symptoms can be significantly reduced when medication assisted therapy combined with counseling is used to control them.
The FDA has approved three medications for the effective treatment of opioid addiction:
What is Methadone?
Methadone is a synthetic opioid agonist that blocks the receptors in the brain that are affected by heroin and prescription opiates such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and codeine. Methadone, when prescribed and monitored by an experienced physician, has been shown to eliminate painful withdrawal symptoms and relieve cravings, without creating the sense of euphoria associated with the use of opiates. By stabilizing the physical well-being of those in recovery, they are able to then focus on addressing the underlying causes of addiction through counseling.
What is buprenorphine?
Buprenorphine is an opioid partial agonist. This means that, although buprenorphine is an opioid, it can block the effects of opiates while stopping the cravings one typically has. At low doses, buprenorphine produces sufficient agonist effect to enable opioid-addicted individuals to discontinue the misuse of opioids without experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
Recovery of the Whole Person:
At BayMark we understand that addiction impacts not only the health and happiness of those struggling with it, but also the entire network of family members, loved ones and concerned friends. This is why we offer individual, group and family counseling that helps to address the physical, mental and emotional needs of our patients.
While in active addiction, many individuals suffer the loss of jobs, housing, food and other basic requirements for a healthy and stable life. In addition to a comprehensive clinical intervention program, BayMark provides:
- Health Assessments
- Individual and Group Counseling
- Addiction Education & Relapse Prevention
- Mental Health Services
- Case Management
- Coordinated Pregnancy Treatment Program
- Referrals to Community Resources
- Discharge Planning