Addiction medications make the recovery process easier by easing the cravings and side effects associated with withdrawal. In the advanced stages of recovery, some people continue to take these medications in order to maintain their sobriety. Addiction medication should be taken only under a doctor’s supervision. These drugs can have serious side effects, including physical dependence and tolerance. Ironically, the medications used to treat opiate addiction have addictive properties themselves.
It’s vital to bear in mind that the process of recovery is not complete the moment you leave rehab – in fact, it is often best to work on the basis that recovery is never complete, and that it is a lifelong process at which you need to work continually in order truly to protect yourself from temptation and the chance of returning to the terrible condition of addiction.
Addiction can be terrifying. If you or someone that you care about has been struggling with a substance use disorder, then you are well aware of the devastating impact that this insidious disease can have on virtually all aspects of life. You know all about the sleepless nights, the despair-filled days, and the pervasive fear that, just when you think it cannot get any worse, it will.
Acamprosate, disulfiram and topiramate (a novel anticonvulsant sulphonated sugar) are also used to treat alcohol addiction. Acamprosate has shown effectiveness for patients with severe dependence, helping them to maintain abstinence for several weeks, even months. Disulfiram (also called Antabuse) produces a very unpleasant reaction when drinking alcohol that includes flushing, nausea and palpitations. It is more effective for patients with high motivation and some addicts use it only for high-risk situations. Patients who wish to continue drinking or may be likely to relapse, should not take disulfiram as it can result in the disulfiram-alcohol reaction mentioned previously, which is very serious and can even be fatal
It’s commonly known that even after the completion of a treatment program, the temptation to drink again is a lifelong challenge. However, in addition to coping skills and medication, treatment also gives the patient a vast network of contacts – a therapist, a sponsor from a support group, etc. – who make it their priority to talk the addict out of a potential relapse. Being accountable to someone who understands the challenge of trying to remain sober after treatment helps counter the fear and frustration that can be a part of that challenge.
Drug addiction is a chronic disease characterized by compulsive, or uncontrollable, drug seeking and use despite harmful consequences and changes in the brain, which can be long lasting. These changes in the brain can lead to the harmful behaviors seen in people who use drugs. Drug addiction is also a relapsing disease. Relapse is the return to drug use after an attempt to stop.
Insurance: Many types of insurance cover the cost of addiction treatment and rehab; in particular, the Affordable Care Act requires that insurance policies issued under the state health exchanges and through Medicaid programs under the ACA expansion must provide coverage for addiction treatment. It’s important to note that insurance coverage often still requires that the individual provide a co-insurance payment, and some require a deductible be paid before treatment will be free. Specific plans may have different coverage levels, so it’s a good idea to check the specific policy or talk to the insurance provider. What happens in rehab?
Nalmefene, an opiate antagonist that is similar in its chemical structure to naltrexone, is one of the most recent drugs being investigated for the treatment of alcoholism. Like naltrexone (sold as ReVia, Depade, or Vivitrol), nalmefene deprives the person struggling with substance use of the pleasurable feelings associated with drinking. But nalmefene is less toxic to the liver than naltrexone. As of 2013, nalmefene was still undergoing clinical trials through the U.S. National Institutes of Health before receiving FDA approval. From Rehab to a Body Bag | Dying for Treatment: VICE Reports (Full Length)