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Can medicine help you recover from an opioid addiction?
In the past, treatment for an addiction to opioids (heroin or prescription pain pills) was very limited. It wasn’t uncommon to think of addiction as a moral failing. Many parents believed their son or daughter could easily “just stop” if he or she wanted to.
But today, with scientific research and studies of the brain, we now know so much more about what can help lead more people to recovery.
Medication-assisted treatment — combined with comprehensive therapy and family support — can help lessen the brain’s urges to continue to use. By helping to reduce cravings and withdrawal, medication-assisted treatment such as naltrexone (Vivitrol), buprenorphine (Suboxone) and methadone can help a person stop thinking constantly about the problem drug. This allows the person to focus on returning to a healthy lifestyle.
Watch the video below to hear experts Adam Bisaga, MD, a Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University, and Alicia Murray, DO, a Board Certified Addiction Psychiatrist, explain how medication-assisted treatment is just that — “assistance” — in helping a person with an addiction maintain recovery: