What Medications Are Used To Treat Opiate Addiction


Opiate addiction treatment is highly recommended for people who wish to get off opiates safely, and resume their functional personal and social lives. Opiates are drugs that bind with the brain’s mu receptors and slow the transmission of signals to and from the body. Addiction to opiates affects people’s physiological and mental health, which, in turn, affects their (people) other spheres of life. Medications used for treating opiate addiction temporarily displace opiates from mu receptors by binding to mu receptors and producing the effects opiates produce in the brain.

Opiate addiction treatment medications and their forms

Subutex, Suboxone, Methadone, Naltrexone and levo-alpha acetyl methadol (LAAM) comprise the standard medication for treating opiate addiction. Methadone is widely used for treating opiate addiction, compared to the other drugs, and its legal use is allowed only from approved OTPs (opioids treatment programs). This drug is available in powder, diskette/ tablet, liquid concentrate and oral solution. Suboxone and Subutex are available in sublingual tablet forms and can be administered to opiate addicts from an OTP, health care center and a qualified physician’s office. LAAM is only available in an oral solution form, and its legal administration should only be done from an OTP. Naltrexone is available in an oral tablet and can be administered from a physician’s office, substance abuse treatment centers and a physician’s office.

Possible side effects

Opiate addiction treatment medications, like most drugs, have some side effects. Methadone, Naltrexone, Subutex, LAAM and Suboxone possible side effects may include nausea and vomiting, joint and muscle pains, headaches, anxiety and or euphoria, fluid retention, and slowed heart rate among others. The side effects may be worsened by an addict’s pre-existing mental/ physiological conditions or interaction of these medications with other drugs. It is paramount that the above medication be administered by highly trained, qualified and licensed professionals, and that addicts’ mental and physical conditions be assessed thoroughly before the drugs’ administration.

Opiate addiction treatment is a process that requires the safe administration of relevant medications, as well as a thorough monitoring and counseling of patients during the treatment. Recommended medications for treating opiate addiction include Naltrexone, LAAM, Methadone, Suboxone, and Subutex. These medications should be administered in their proper dosages by licensed professionals in order to minimize possible side effects. Follow us for more information and resources on drug abuse and treatment.


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