Upwards of 75 percent of our clients suffer from addiction. As September is National Recovery Month, we seek to acknowledge the devastating impact of the opioid crisis, as well as direct those suffering from addiction to clinically-based treatment.
Please consider sharing the New Jersey Reentry Corporation’s social media graphics and write-up below to spread the word. The official hashtag is #NationalRecoveryMonth.
New Medical Approaches to Treat Addiction:
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the gold standard when it comes to treating addiction. It involves combining medications – such as methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone – with counseling and related supports to keep relapse at bay.
What is Working and What Might Be Needed:
MAT is working. And its impact on the reentry population in particular is striking. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that adhering to medication-assisted therapy reduced the likelihood of violent re-offenses by 44%.
Three types of medications that are available:
1. Opioid reversal agents to prevent overdoses
2. Opioid addiction treatment (currently methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone)
3. Nonaddictive treatments for chronic pain so that the role of opioids in medicine can be dramatically limited
Differences between various Medication-Assisted Treatment Options:
Methadone and buprenorphine are often used after a patient has undergone detox. They work by preventing opioid withdrawal and reducing cravings for opioids. Both are proven treatments for preventing opioid dependence and can significantly reduce the risks of addiction and overdose.
Naltrexone works by blocking the effects of opioids as well as the euphoric effects of drinking alcohol, thus, reducing cravings for both and helping to keep relapse at bay.
What Can People Do When a Loved One is Struggling?
Learn how to use naloxone. Naloxone is an easy to administer antidote for opioid overdoses. It is now available under a blanket prescription at most pharmacies in New Jersey, and learning how to administer it only takes a few minutes. Having it on hand and giving it to a loved one during a suspected overdose can save his or her life.
It’s important to remember that addiction—like high blood pressure and diabetes—is a chronic disease. It requires constant treatment and vigilance. Often, the journey is two steps forward and one step back, but providing support over the long haul—as challenging and trying as it may be—is critical for those you love.