Medications offer relief to opioid addicts

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) —  For addicts who can’t imagine not being an addict, drugs could actually put them on the path to recovery.  There are three medications that counter the effects of opioid addiction.

When used properly, methadone and Buprenorphine reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms and decrease the chance of relapse. Another medication is Naltrexone. It works by blocking the euphoric feeling if the addict uses.

A patient could take any of these for years and gradually reduce the dosage.

Dr. Amy Maley of the Graham Medical Clinic in Newville doesn’t think enough people understand the benefits of these medications.

“We know when you utilize some type of medication to augment treatment, your success rate for abstinence will be significantly higher,” Maley said.

It can take a lot more than willpower to crush an addiction. The best method is intensive rehabilitation, and Maley wishes more doctors would prescribe the drugs that stabilize addicts’ lives so they can enter treatment. That way, our country will be one step closer to the end of the opioid epidemic.

“People compare this to the AIDS epidemic,” Maley said. “It is a national emergency.”

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