Opioid Addiction 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. Opioid addiction medication options help to alleviate withdrawal and cravings, allowing the patient to focus on positive behavior changes.

How do opioid treatment medications work in the brain?

Opioids alter the brain chemistry by attaching to opioid receptors. When opioids attach to these receptors, it reduces the perception of pain. As time goes on, it takes more and more opioids to achieve the same effect.

Taking opioid addiction medication options block these receptors to varying degrees. They can help stabilize, giving the person time to work through the psychological aspects of substance disorder and focus on recovery.

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. Normally, this will lessen cravings for 24 hours. The medications used in MAT do not have any adverse effects on an individual’s ability to live a healthy life.


  • Long-lasting, allows for daily dosing.
  • Is one of the more affordable medication options.
  • Alleviates withdrawal symptoms, prevents cravings, and blocks the euphoric effect of other opioids.
  • No abstinence from opioids is required before starting treatment.
  • Synthetic opioid that attaches to the opioid receptor in the brain.

Buprenorphine (Suboxone®/Subutex®/Sublocade™)

  • Long-lasting, allows for daily dosing.
  • Good control of cravings and withdrawal.
  • Alleviates withdrawal symptoms, prevents cravings, and blocks the 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 withdrawals 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

Alternative Treatments of Opioid Dependence

Community Medical Services offers several other forms of addiction treatment programs, support groups, and alternative treatment options for substance use disorders. These include, but are not limited to:

Counseling & Peer Support

It’s important to understand you’re not in this alone. Millions of Americans have had their lives impacted by opioid use disorder and have stood exactly where you stand now. Community Medical Services knows addiction is much more than the sum of its symptoms.

Through sessions with professional addiction counselors and peer support groups, we provide opportunities to learn methods to cope and recover from people who have been through addiction before. We identify and help resolve the underlying causes of addiction so you can get and stay clean with confidence.

Pregnancy & Women’s Health

We know one of the most frightening places to be is struggling with addiction while pregnant. Community Medical Services has whole teams of addiction recovery specialists dedicated to helping you recover while protecting the health and well-being of your unborn child.

We use research-backed treatments that are safe and effective for mom and baby alike to reduce the chances of relapse and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). CMS works closely with your OBGYN to ensure you have a healthy birth free of the complications of opioid use disorder.

Correctional Facility Support

Community Medical Services wants to help everyone conquer their addictions and reclaim their life, regardless of incarceration status. That’s why we’ve teamed up with correctional facilities to ensure inmates have access to the treatments they need.

This includes medication assisted treatment, telemedicine, in-reach peer support counseling, pregnancy support, and more. If you are incarcerated in a federal or state prison and need help overcoming your addiction, Community Medical Services is here for you.

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