When you’re ready to make changes for the better, you will need to decide which treatment program suits your specific circumstances. Taking the time to educate yourself about the different programs available is an essential step towards a healthier lifestyle, but numerous factors can help you decide which treatment options are best for you. Do you have other commitments, like work or school? Or are you able to commit to treatment full time? Would you benefit the most from medication to manage substance misuse, or is counseling alone sufficient?
Before discussing rehabilitation programs with your healthcare provider, consider your options. Choosing the right rehabilitation program dramatically increases your odds of a successful recovery and your ability to maintain sobriety for the long haul. Start your journey towards a sober lifestyle today and evaluate your rehabilitation options with the information below.
Evaluating Your Rehabilitation Needs and Goals
One of the first conversations you may have with your healthcare provider about sobriety is whether or not medication will help you achieve your goals. Depending on your substance of choice, medication treatment may be the best and only option that you need. Others may prefer counseling, while some patients get the best results when both of these methods are combined. Whichever option you choose, know that help is available when you’re ready to make a change.
MAT vs. MOUD in Substance Misuse Treatment
Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) refers to the use of short-term medication therapy that enables patients to cease the misuse of substances. Generally, healthcare providers recommend MAT for patients that struggle with alcohol and opioid misuse. However, the primary focus remains on counseling therapy, such as the ever-popular cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which encourages patients to assess their thoughts and emotions to create positive behavioral changes. Essentially, MAT is therapy-focused, but patients may use medications for a short time to achieve their goals. For example, medical detox is a form of MAT that patients often use before they begin counseling.
However, recent research shows that some patients may benefit from rehabilitation options in which medication is the focal point of their treatment plan when a patient is struggling with opioid misuse. Healthcare providers refer to this treatment as Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD). With MOUD treatment, patients make their desired lifestyle changes with or without traditional counseling. Unlike MAT, MOUD treatment uses medication as the primary treatment option for opioid addiction in the same way a diabetic person would take insulin. Some patients may use MOUD treatment to manage their substance misuse for years, while others may use MOUD for a few months.
Why Is MOUD Controversial?
Although MOUD is proven highly effective and the best option for some patients, the stigma surrounding medication use can prevent people from seeking this treatment option. Many still believe willpower and counseling are the best ways to combat substance misuse. Furthermore, naysayers state that these medications are switching from one addiction to another. However, this belief stems from a misconception about how these medications function. There are two forms of medication that healthcare providers may use in a treatment plan, including the following:
- Agonist medications include medications like Methadone and Buprenorphine. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that people who misuse opioids cannot experience euphoria when taking these medications. Agonist medications also prevent withdrawal and cravings. However, agonist medications do have the potential for abuse if used by someone with no opioid misuse disorder.
- Antagonist medications include medications like Naltrexone and Naloxone. Antagonist medications do not have any potential for abuse because they block a cell’s activity. If taking Naltrexone, patients must be cautious not to relapse because this substance can cause increased sensitivity to opioids. However, Naloxone has no potential for abuse because it inhibits the effects of opioids to ensure that an overdose does not occur.
If you choose to incorporate MOUD within your treatment plan, you must keep your medications in a secure container to ensure that no one can obtain unauthorized access. In this case, a locked drawer or medicine cabinet may not be sufficient. Keeping your pills in a secure, locked pill bottle helps restrict access to these medications, even while transporting them from a clinic or pharmacy.
What Are My Rehabilitation Program Options?
Opioid addiction is an ongoing disease. Ultimately, people who want to stop misusing substances should choose a treatment plan that enables them to live healthy, happy lives. While some patients choose one of the following treatment options in combination with medication, others may not require counseling at all.
In outpatient rehabilitation, patients seldom spend more than nine hours a week at the treatment facility while living at home. Most programs allow patients to continue their treatment on the weekends or in the evening to tend to their other commitments. Outpatient rehabilitation is the ideal option for patients with less severe substance misuse issues because they can seek help while maintaining a relatively normal lifestyle. Typically, these patients are full-time employees or students.
Intensive Outpatient Program
An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is similar to outpatient rehabilitation. Patients attending an IOP may spend up to 20 hours a week on treatment while living at home. Healthcare providers often recommend this treatment plan if the patient struggles to reach their goals in a standard outpatient program. An IOP may be the best option for those with additional medical issues that span beyond their substance misuse but still have responsibilities in work or school.
Partial Hospitalization Program
When people with substance misuse issues require greater structure within their treatment plan, they may be more successful with a partial hospitalization program (PHP). Patients partake in PHP and spend anywhere from four to eight hours per day on treatment. Often, families prefer this treatment option for their children because it provides them with highly structured, intensive treatment.
Most people envision a residential program when they consider rehabilitation from substance misuse. Patients in a residential program could remain in treatment for as little as thirty days or up to an entire year. In most cases, patients are expected to progress through several phases of their treatment program.
Keep Your Medications Secure with Safe Rx
When you’re struggling with substance misuse, seeking help isn’t easy and staying the course isn’t easy. Regardless of your treatment plan, it’s in your best interest to have all the tools necessary to live a healthier lifestyle. If you choose to use medications on your journey towards sobriety, it’s important to keep your medications safe, secure, and out of reach from others.
At Safe Rx, we know that medication safety begins with reducing unauthorized access to prescriptions. That’s why Safe Rx locking pill bottles allow patients to protect their prescription medications with either a preset or custom 4-digit code to ensure that no one else can access them.
If you’re interested in learning more about how Safe Rx can support your rehabilitation program, contact us today!