Opioid Antagonist Therapy & Aftercare Support in Abstinence-based Treatment

At a moment when our province is being absolutely ravaged by the opioid epidemic, it’s no secret that we need an approach that gets the best results. But the best approach for some is not the same for all, and the use of Opioid Antagonist Therapies remains a heated topic. While we are not going to debate the pros and cons of each treatment option, we have found a way to bridge a stressful gap that an opioid addict often has to deal with during their recovery.

One of the major goals of recovery is for people to find contentment, connection, and to feel at home in the world. We start this healing process by addressing the traumas of our past in order to participate fully in the human experience. It’s work, and it’s hard, BUT, it’s worth it.

Whichever method an addict uses to gain recovery (12-step model, SMART recovery, abstinence-based treatment, etc) doesn’t matter. What matters is spiritual and emotional growth and repairing the damage done by the traumas that lead most addicts to drug abuse in the first place.

In the case of opiate addicts, in order for one to move from using to recovery, a bridge is often used in the form of medications like Suboxone or Methadone. These medications help to reduce withdrawal symptoms, cravings, and help to gently ease a person into the recovery process with the maximum chance for success. Proper monitoring of these medications is key for being able to focus on the behavioral changes that will bring them redemption, solace, and relief.

One of the difficulties an addict faces in the recovery process, is that during the transition from a treatment center to a sober-living facility, they often lose the general physician they had in treatment and therefore have to find a community doctor. This can be stressful because they already have a professional who knows their story and their struggles in treatment. Going through the work to find a new doctor (have you ever had to find yourself a family doctor in a metropolis? Not a task.) can be extremely daunting, especially if you live in a large city.

Consider this example: anyone who has ever been physically injured in a car accident and has to go through an insurance company for help to get back on their feet, knows how complicated life gets when so many professionals are involved in the rehabilitation process. There are often physiotherapists, massage therapists, chiropractors, and a family doctor guiding the process. Now imagine you have done some of each therapy, and are just starting to feel better, more confident, and the acute pain is lessening. You are feeling hopeful about getting back to work after being off work recuperating for months. Then, suddenly you lose the doctor who has guided you through the rehabilitation process and have to explain the story all over again to another professional. It’s irritating, inconvenient and stressful.

That scenario applies as well to a recovering addict using Opioid Antagonist Therapy. They are often working with a doctor in treatment for their prescriptions, someone who knows their struggles and has followed their recovery journey. When they leave treatment and move to a sober living facility, they often lose that valuable resource and are forced to find a community doctor. A new-to-them professional who doesn’t know their story or their struggles. With all the difficulties navigating the first year of recovery, we feel we have found a way to help minimize one of those stressors for our clients.

By partnering with Rise Wellness, clients will now continue to access the same doctors that they are already comfortable with, who know their journey to recovery, from the start of their treatment. They will be able to continue their doctor-patient relationship to ensure continuity within their recovery plan. With one less concern, clients are able to focus more on their recovery, and lessen the burden on hospitals, family physicians, and other community resources.

For more information, read our press release: Click Here
For information on Rise Wellness, visit their website: Click Here

David Penny

David Penny is Together We Can's Marketing and Media coordinator. Learn more about him & read his articles here.

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