Treating Opioid Dependence

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Opioid addiction is a serious issue in the United States, and it requires careful management and treatment. One of the most important aspects of treating opioid dependence is finding the right medications and treatment. There are many options available, so it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the different types of opioid use disorder (OUD) medications that are available to treat opioid addiction. Finally, we will discuss treatment options for you or a loved one struggling with substance abuse.

What Are Opioids?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), opioids are a group of pharmaceuticals that include heroin, as well as numerous other prescriptions like oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, and fentanyl. These drugs can be used to treat pain, but they can also lead to addiction and misuse.

Opioid dependence is a serious medical condition that requires proper treatment and recovery. Opioids, when misused or taken in large doses, can create a feeling of intense euphoria, which can lead to physical dependence and psychological addiction. Detoxing from opioids can be especially difficult and can have adverse effects on your health. This makes finding addiction medication and treatment all the more vital.

Different Types of Opioid Dependence Treatment Medications

Various medications can help you or your loved one on your journey toward recovery. Medications like buprenorphine and naltrexone are two commonly prescribed OUD medications. They work differently depending on how severe your addiction is. Buprenorphine helps reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Naltrexone works by blocking opioid receptors in the brain, thus preventing opioid use from producing a high.

Methadone is another medication commonly prescribed for opioid addiction recovery. It helps to replace an opioid with a safer alternative that has similar effects. However, it does not produce a high or cause withdrawal symptoms when taken properly.

Lastly, Vivitrol is another OUD medication that helps reduce opioid cravings by blocking opioid receptors in the brain for up to four weeks. Each medication has its own set of advantages and disadvantages depending on your needs. Ultimately, it’s important to have an open dialogue with your doctor to find out which OUD medication would work best for you during your recovery process.

What to Expect When Starting an Opioid Treatment Program

Starting a treatment program can be a daunting prospect. Understanding what to expect is important for ensuring a successful recovery. Before beginning any treatment plan, it is important that you understand the overall process. According to StatPearls, when beginning an opioid treatment program, several steps typically take place.


The first step is a comprehensive assessment. An assessment will involve gathering information about your history of opioid use. This includes any other substances you may have used. All the information gathered will help the clinician understand the best approach to your recovery.

Once the assessment is complete, the clinician will then create a treatment plan tailored to your individual needs. This plan will include medical and psychosocial treatments to address the physical and psychological aspects of opioid dependence. It may also involve medication-assisted treatments (MAT) such as buprenorphine or methadone. These medications can aid in managing cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Psychosocial Support

It is important to remember that treatment will involve more than just medications. Psychosocial support can also be beneficial in helping you stay on track with your recovery. This could involve cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), group counseling, or peer support groups to provide additional support and encouragement throughout the process.

Ongoing Testing

Finally, opioid dependence treatment programs often require patients to submit to drug testing to monitor their progress. Drug testing can help identify if there is any continued substance use. It can also determine whether or not the patient is taking their medications as prescribed. Drug testing is also used to ensure patients are not abusing any other substances.

By understanding what to expect when beginning an opioid dependence treatment program, you can have a better idea of how to make your recovery successful. With the right combination of medications and psychosocial support, you can make great strides in your recovery from opioid addiction

How to Choose the Right Treatment Program for You

When deciding to seek help for opioid addiction, it is important to find a treatment program that meets your unique needs. At First Steps Recovery, we understand that each person’s situation is unique and requires tailored care. That’s why our experienced team of counselors and clinicians creates a personalized plan for each client. We believe that having a personalized treatment plan increases the chances of long-term success in recovery.

Our program focuses on providing evidence-based treatments. This includes MAT, CBT, group counseling, individual counseling, and more. Our compassionate and experienced staff provides personalized care and support to ensure each client is comfortable and receives the best treatment possible. We also have access to resources such as health insurance specialists, legal specialists, medical professionals, nutritionists, and psychiatrists. Our team wants to help free you from the pain of addiction. Through recovery, you can find happiness. 

Opioid addiction takes a dangerous and destructive course. When embarking on addiction recovery, the choices for rehabilitation can feel overwhelming and scary. At First Steps Recovery, we are aware of the need for guidance and instruction when deciding to choose a better life. We offer a safe place to gain a deeper understanding of addiction and begin a journey toward healing. We offer evidence-based, trauma-informed, and holistic therapies. This includes any necessary medication to see you through. Although it is not an easy path, you’ll find the happiness you lost amidst the chaos of substance abuse. Please contact First Steps Recovery at (844) 489-0836 for more information about how we can serve you in your pursuit of long-term sobriety. 

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