What is medication treatment and how does it work?
Medication treatment is a term used to describe the use of medication, along with other support, to treat substance use disorders. Although the term and method are not new, medication treatment has recently gained renewed attention as a key to combating opioid use disorder (Medication First), which is a chronic health condition that can be life-threatening but also treatable. The medications approved for the treatment of opioid use disorder help prevent overdose by blocking the opioid receptor sites. It is important to remember that medication treatment is broader than just the use of medication. To be fully effective, medication treatment incorporates a multi-pronged approach that can include counseling, vocational training, psychosocial therapy, family support, and building connections to community resources.
What does recovery look like?
We know there is no one pathway to recovery. The duration of treatment that is necessary depends on the unique needs of the individual. A successful individualized treatment plan is built on a therapeutic alliance with treatment providers, and social and emotional support. Because opioid use disorder is a chronic illness, we treat it much like we would any other chronic condition. We provide clients with non-judgmental and empathetic support in the face of setbacks, which is essential for long-term recovery.