Several articles recently addressed a study which found that providing buprenorphine after an overdose significantly increased the likelihood of individuals accessing opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment.
The current protocol for paramedics and emergency departments in treating opioid overdose is to administer naloxone in order to reverse the effects of overdose. A recently published study showed that also providing buprenorphine immediately afterward reduced withdrawal discomfort and increased outpatient addiction follow-up care.
A separate article referenced data showing a nearly six-fold increase in patients accessing outpatient addiction treatment within 30 days of the overdose event.
These are highly encouraging finds which demonstrate the far-reaching effectiveness of medication-assistance in the treatment of opioid addiction. Saving a life through overdose reversal is obviously a critical benefit, but increasing motivation for follow-up treatment is a huge step in helping addicted individuals plug into a long-term solution.
Structured treatment which utilizes medication-assistance provides so much to those aspiring to face their addiction challenges. Naloxone, buprenorphine, and methadone have saved countless lives, and these medications have provided an unrivaled opportunity for those in opioid addiction to plot a new path in life.
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.
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.
Behavioral Health Group (BHG) currently provides 58 top flight opioid addiction treatment centers in the United States. The company specializes in medication-assisted treatment using methadone, buprenorphine, and buprenorphine/naloxone.
BHG takes a patient-centered approach to treating addictive disorders offering counseling as a fundamental component of the overall treatment model. Because of this individualized treatment approach, 97% of patients surveyed indicate they would recommend BHG Recovery to a friend or family member suffering from opioid addiction.
Additionally, 99% of patients report that their mental health and quality of life improved since their BHG admission. 60% of unemployed patients were able to obtain employment after one year of treatment.
Hope, Respect, and Caring are tenets of BHG’s treatment program, and their staff strive to provide this from the moment a patient first walks in to receive help. All of BHG’s treatment centers provide care in an outpatient setting.
In 2019 and 2020, BHG Recovery added (10) additional U.S. clinics to the Methadone.US national directory list …
1. Franklin, VA – BHG Franklin Treatment Center
2. Chesapeake, VA – BHG Chesapeake South Treatment Center
3. Glen Allen, VA – BHG Glen Allen Treatment Center
4. Mobile, AL – BHG Mobile Treatment Center
5. Cullman, AL – BHG Cullman Treatment Center
6. Washington, DC – BHG Washington DC Treatment Center
7. Colorado Springs, CO – BHG Colorado Springs Treatment Center
8. Grand Bay, AL – BHG Grand Bay Treatment Center
9. North Little Rock, AR – BHG North Little Rock Treatment Center
10. Savannah, TN – BHG Savannah Treatment Center