It doesn’t take long for that initial high from heroin to fade. Within hours of taking the drug, users find themselves crashing into withdrawal symptoms that only feel better if they use again.
And again. And again.
It’s the same pattern with any addictive substance, and there comes a point when people want out of the cycle of destruction. That’s when Medicated Assisted Treatment becomes an ideal therapy plan. It combines the use of therapy and prescription drugs that are designed to shut down the cravings that can derail recovery efforts. We have found that people are most successful when they are connected with others who are fighting similar battles. Getting clean and staying sober requires accountability, and a strong support network. I had my reservations at first, but I have now seen first-hand how effective this treatment is. People don’t want to live with addiction. Drugs have destroyed their lives. We want to use every resource available to help them get sober and stay sober.
First, a client needs to seek medical attention from their physician, or through an agency like Community Behavioral Health. Addiction is an illness, and like any illness, doctors are there to help make a person well. At Community Behavioral Health offices in Hamilton and Middletown, clients who walk through the doors receive an assessment that same day. Because of privacy laws, health assessments are confidential, and clients will not be turned over to law enforcement for admitting to drug use.
The next step is for a client to cease drug use for at least seven days. Comfort medications are given by a doctor, as needed, to help support the client through withdrawal symptoms, such as restless legs, inability to sleep and nausea. It’s a rough seven days, but clients are not alone. Together, with the support of social workers, counselors, a group of peers and a doctor, people learn they will be able to take back their lives one step at a time.
After seven to 10 days, clients will receive an oral dose of Naltrexone, for two to three days before receiving an injection of Vivitrol. These are medications approved by the Federal Drug Administration to treat alcohol dependence, and to prevent relapse to opioid dependence after an opioid detox. By blocking opiate receptors, clients no longer crave the drugs. Every 30 days for 12 months, clients will receive the injection. In addition, they will continue to meet with their peer group and counselor. If they need other assistance, such as help finding a job, a social worker can help arrange services and direct the client to programs available.
In November of 2015, Community Behavioral Health began using Vivitrol in its medication assisted treatment program. As of January there have been more than 100 individuals enrolled in the program. There is no shame in addiction, and there is hope for those who want help.
At Community Behavioral Health, we know that mental and behavioral issues are not always independent of one another. Often times, substance abuse is accompanied by a mental illness. That is why we treat each individual comprehensively, with mental health, substance abuse and employment services.
- Walk-In Assessments Available Monday – Friday
- No Wait Time For Treatment
- Structured Treatment Programs
- Medicated Assisted Therapy
820 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
1659 S. Breiel Blvd.
Emily Glaser February 11th, 2016
Posted In: Uncategorized