Just as addiction comes in many forms, so does the therapy used to combat it. Counseling, rapid detox, hospitalization, and residential treatment are all common when dealing with substance abuse of any kind. However, drugs that create severe physical dependencies such as heroin and prescription medications sometimes require a more intensive approach called pharmacotherapy.
When a person uses a substance regularly, they usually have some awareness of what the limit is. However, when someone who has been sober for weeks or even months, and uses again for the first time, they are more likely to overdose accidentally. Treatments like pharmacotherapy prevent tragic occurrences like these from happening.
What is Pharmacotherapy?
Some addicts are unable to quit “cold turkey,” and suddenly removing the drug from the body of a person who is physically dependent upon a substance can sometimes do more harm than good. To help ease the physical pain and illness that occurs when your brain and nervous system are trying to function without any drugs present, patients in recovery are prescribed a substitute.
Methadone, Subutex, and Naltrexone are some of the more common substitutions you’ll see in pharmacotherapy. Each one is specifically designed to mimic the relief that alcohol, opiates, and other forms of drug use temporarily provide.
How is it Used in Addiction Recovery?
Unfortunately, opiate and alcohol withdrawal can become severe enough to the point of being fatal. Medications are prescribed in rounds, once a dosage has been completed the body has acclimated the prescription will be reduced until it can eventually be eliminated.
In some cases, mothers who use narcotics or opiates while pregnant also give birth to babies who are addicted to the substance. Pharmacotherapy has been incredibly useful in helping infants survive the physical symptoms of withdrawal.
Pharmacotherapy for Prescription Pills
Oxycodone and Hydrocodone are prescribed to those who suffer injuries, but they’re also highly addictive and come with uncomfortable physical withdrawal. In 2014, more people died from prescription opioid overdose than both cocaine and heroin combined. These substances are habit-forming, and the user still needs them even after the pain subsides. Once the prescription runs dry or becomes too expensive, some users actually turn to streets drugs as a solution for pain management.
Pharmacotherapy works oppositely, offering a supervised and restricted prescription that is meant to keep users from relapsing.
Mental Health Issues
People with schizophrenia may experience visual hallucinations, hear voices, and sometimes turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to escape these unpleasant psychological problems. Since the symptoms are so difficult to treat, doctors aren’t always able to get the dose correct on the first round.
Pharmacotherapy benefits those who are suffering from mental illness by allowing doctors to observe patients during prescription use and adjust the dose or chemical balance accordingly. This way, they don’t go through as much discomfort or look for relief elsewhere, more importantly, they won’t relapse.
The Need for Pharmacotherapy is Serious
If you’ve reached a point where you think you may need pharmacotherapy, your life depends on it! You need to seek help, and Southern California Addiction Center is here to do just that. Call us right now, we’ll set up a consultation and give you the necessary professional assistance that you’re looking for.
Even when you want to be strong and kick the habit on your own, physical withdrawal is not something you should attempt to take on alone. If you have a loved one who needs help but won’t seek it, don’t hesitate to contact Southern California Addiction Center right now! We provide support for family and friends as well.
Contact us today!
If you or you’re loved one is in need of help with addiction, contact us today. Our team is standing by, ready and willing to talk about your problems, and help you find the best solution.