How is opioid addiction treated?
Treatment for opioid addiction is different for each person, but the main goal of treatment is to help you stop using the drug (this is called detox) and avoid using it again in the future (this is called avoiding relapse).
To help you stop using the drug, your doctor can prescribe certain medicines to help relieve your withdrawal symptoms and control your cravings. These medicines include methadone (often used to treat heroin addiction), buprenorphine, and naltrexone.
After detox, behavioral treatments such as individual counseling, group or family counseling, and cognitive therapy can help you learn how to manage depression, avoid the drug, deal with cravings, and heal damaged relationships.
What should I do if I think I'm addicted?
The first step in breaking addiction is realizing that you control your own behavior. The following steps will help you fight your addiction:
- Commit to quitting. Take control of your behavior and commit to fighting your addictions.
- Get help from your doctor. He or she can be your biggest ally, even if you're trying to quit a drug he or she prescribed. Your doctor may be able to prescribe medicine that will help ease your cravings for the addictive drug. Talking with your doctor or a counselor about your problems and your drug use can be helpful, too.
- Get support. Certain organizations are dedicated to helping people who have addictions. They want you to succeed and will give you the tools and support you need to quit and move on with your life. Ask your family and friends for support, too.
See a list of resources used in the development of this information.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff