Essay about Abstinence Based Treatment For Opioid Addiction

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Abstinence-based treatment for opioid addiction is a fancy way of saying that treatment should not involve the use of medications. To provide abstinence-based treatment, various therapeutic regimens are employed. Typically, the addict undergoes detoxification in an inpatient medical facility to rid the body of the opioids, typically over a 3 to 5-day period. After detoxification, the addict either enters into intensive one-to-one counseling on an outpatient basis (perhaps meeting with a therapist several times each week) or goes into a long-term treatment center (rehab) that advocates for abstinence-based treatment of opioid addiction.
It is should not be a surprise that the treatment of opioid addiction is strongly turning away from abstinence-based treatment towards medication-assisted treatment with methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone. Each of these treatment options are outlined in detail in separate chapters in this book.
The concept of abstinence-based treatment comes from the groundbreaking work of Alcoholics Anonymous, which advocates for abstinence-based treatment for alcohol addiction. However, abstinence-based treatment is a poor option as a means of obtaining long-term abstinence from opioids. As outlined in this book, withdrawal symptoms and cravings represent two of the most powerful factors promoting relapse. Abstinence-based treatment cannot protect against withdrawal symptoms and cravings; the best one can do is to provide options to help the person…

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