A new study by the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Wisconsin found that a patient’s length of treatment is directly tied to lower risk of overdose.
In particular, treating opioid addiction with medication for at least 60 days generated a 61% reduction in the incidence of overdose.
Numerous other studies over the last two decades have shown that positive outcomes are tied to longer duration in outpatient addiction treatment. Not only does greater length of time in treatment allow for physical stabilization with methadone or buprenorphine, but it provides each patient with time to develop improved coping skills and relapse prevention capability.
Higher levels of functioning are able to be achieved, such as gainful employment and improved parenting, when a patient is able to remain in addiction treatment for longer periods of time.
Marguerite Burns, who led the Wisconsin study, found that recovery success and overdose prevention are enhanced the longer that patients take medication over a 12 month period. Medication-assistance plays a key role in helping opioid addicted patients find long lasting recovery.
Impressively, the study was based on treatment outcomes recorded for 293,160 Medicaid patients diagnosed with opioid use disorder.
The need for social support in recovery is a significant factor. Not only is successful recovery an ongoing challenge, but it is a journey which is greatly helped through positive connection with others.
Others who offer acceptance and encouragement during “rough days” can sometimes make the difference between relapse and successful coping.
It is important to realize that support can come from anyone. It does not necessarily have to be one’s family or from the 12 Step community. The love, support, and involvement of others in your recovery can actually come from a much wider variety of contacts and positive influences.
It’s particularly beneficial when your supports are accepting of medication-assisted treatment. Physicians and counselors are generally much better informed on the benefits of methadone or buprenorphine in managing opioid withdrawal. If your spouse, partner, or friend does not understand the value of medication-assistance, it can make a difference to invite them to one of your counseling sessions or to direct them to this website.
Opioid treatment programs (like the ones featured on Methadone.US) generally offer group therapy, individual counseling, and education sessions where other patients can offer support. Some programs also provide assistance for coping with psychiatric issues like anxiety, depression, PTSD, or bipolar disorder. Managing these co-occurring disorders is really key in strengthening your overall recovery from opioids or other drugs.
Always remember, addiction is an illness that grows in darkness & isolation. So step out into the light. Seek professional help and support. This is where solutions begin. There are others who will walk with you on the path of recovery. If you feel stuck in addiction presently, that is temporary. That can change.
Acadia Healthcare is one of America’s leading psychiatric and chemical dependency treatment providers. Headquartered in Franklin Tennessee, the company operates an extensive network of behavioral health facilities many of which focus specifically on the treatment of opioid use disorder.
Acadia’s CTC (Comprehensive Treatment Center) clinics specialize in helping patients who are struggling with an opioid addiction. Across Acadia’s network the company employees over 20,000 staff who serve about 70,000 patients on a daily basis.
Acadia’s dedicated CTC clinics utilize the best practice medication-assisted treatment (MAT) model which aims to stabilize patients using FDA-approved medications. These medications include methadone, buprenorphine, suboxone, and vivitrol.
Medication management allows Acadia patients to successfully ease their distressing withdrawal symptoms such that long-lasting addiction recovery can be established.
Because addiction can be a very individualized experience from one person to the next, Acadia’s treatment staff strive to individualize each patient’s treatment plan in a commitment to help each person meet their personal recovery goals.
Featured here on Methadone.US are 148 CTC clinics that Acadia provide across the United States. Feel free to browse Acadia’s network to locate a treatment facility near you, and make a new start! A great quote that we believe in goes like this “Today is the first day of the rest of your life”.
It’s no secret that many addicted people resist recovery or treatment, sometimes for years, before eventually deciding to make a change. The mental stress of addiction often paralyzes a person with fear and indecision.
Making a commitment to change can be intimidating, even scary. But many people who enter treatment look back and say “Why didn’t I do this sooner!”
What that tells us is that treatment and support actually work. Particularly medication-assisted treatment (MAT) like that which is typically provided to those trying to overcome years of opioid addiction.
The mindset for recovery begins with an openness and a willingness to try something new. To reach out for guidance. There are many stories of addiction where the individual cuts ties with family and friends, and retreats into isolation. This makes people sicker … and stuck. Often times, “stuck” is a self-imposed but temporary state of mind.
The mindset for recovery is picking up the phone and calling your local treatment center, or a counselor, doctor, or even a friend to say “I’m ready for help”. Every day is an opportunity to reset, and to go in a new direction. We are not promised an unlimited number of days. So don’t procrastinate.
Opioid addiction can be pretty relentless. But you do not have to face it alone. Methadone, suboxone, buprenorphine, vivitrol are supportive medications that make the journey easier. For many people, these medications have opened the door to recovery. And for many, it has saved their lives.
While it is fairly common knowledge these days, it bears repeating that fentanyl is leading to dramatic increases in drug overdose deaths. The Families Against Fentanyl group, using three years of CDC mortality data, recently concluded that fentanyl overdose had caused more deaths than the corona virus, automobile accidents, or suicide in the 18-45 age group.
Fentanyl is finding its way into other dangerous street drug combinations, and is consequently posing serious risks to both experienced and unexperienced users.
A December 2021 Wall Street Journal article mentioned that there were 100,000 fatal overdoses in the United States between April 2019 and April 2020. Fentanyl is making its way across the U.S. southern border smuggled in by Mexican drug cartels in a stream of drug trafficking that is yielding a constant challenge to U.S. law enforcement authorities.
Fortunately, community-based drug prevention programs across the country have begun including extensive discussions of the dangers of opioids and fentanyl as a common additive.
Opioid addiction in America will remain a chief concern for many more years to come. Securing local treatment and support has never been more important than it is right now.