Medication Options

Community Medical Services provides medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for individuals with opioid use disorder. MAT uses a holistic approach to treat the “whole-patient” with the use of FDA-approved medications, counseling, and behavioral therapy. Medication helps to alleviate withdrawal and cravings, allowing the patient to focus on positive behavior changes.

There are 3 FDA-approved medications to treat opioid use disorder, methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. The goal of MAT is to find the lowest possible dose of a medication that will relieve withdrawal symptoms and cravings for a 24-hour period. The medications used in MAT, at a stable dose, do not have any adverse effects on an individual’s ability to work, drive, care for their children, or otherwise live a healthy life.

Methadone:

  • Long lasting, allows for daily dosing
  • Most affordable medication
  • Alleviates withdrawal symptoms, prevents cravings, and blocks euphoric effect of other opioids
  • No abstinence of opioids required prior to staring treatment
  • Synthetic opioid that attaches to the opioid receptor in the brain
  • Full agonist that fully activates the opioid receptor

Buprenorphine (Suboxone®/Subutex®)

  • Long lasting, allows for daily dosing
  • Good control of cravings and withdrawal
  • Alleviates withdrawal symptoms, prevents cravings, and blocks euphoric effect of other opioids
  • Synthetic opioid that attaches to the opioid receptor in the brain
  • Partial agonist that activates some of the opioid receptor

Naltrexone (Vivitrol®)

  • Long lasting injectable medication that is administered every 28 days
  • Requires 7-10 withdrawal of all opioid medications
  • Not recommended for pregnant women
  • Will not alleviate withdrawal symptoms
  • Antagonist that blocks all effects of the opioid receptor

Choosing the right medication for you and your lifestyle is a decision made by you and your medical provider. 

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