Benefits Of Pharmacotherapy
Drug and alcohol treatment must involve a variety of therapies for addiction because it is so rampant. One of the most prevalent addictions involves alcohol. This is no surprise because it is readily available and highly addictive. A pharmacological approach to treatment can have positive results.
Treating Opiate, Tabacco and Alcohol Abuse
- Reverse the effect that a substance has on an individual
- Manage withdrawal symptoms
- Minimize cravings
- Treat psychiatric symptoms brought on by substance abuse
- Address co-occurring disorders
Pharmacotherapy uses various medications which are specific to the drug of abuse, whether it be an addiction to alcohol, opiates or tobacco. If a person is addicted to opiates, pharmacotherapy may involve the use of the following drugs:
Methadone is a long-acting synthetic agonist. It is effective in treating cravings and symptoms associated with withdrawal. When used with a maintenance program, this drug is most effective when paired with behavioral therapies for addiction. Methadone can be addictive so it can only be administered through a prescription and closely monitored by a doctor.
Buprenorphine is similar to methadone in that it reduces cravings and lessens the intensity of withdrawal symptoms. This medication is a partial agonist. This basically means that the euphoria and respiratory depression is less than other abused drugs.
Naltrexone is a drug that works to block the euphoric feelings and cravings associated with substance abuse. It is administered after detoxification is complete.