Opioid Dependence is a substance use disorder caused by a brain abnormality that results in the need to continue to take drugs to avoid withdrawals. Patients that have been on long-term pain medications have a high probability of developing opioid dependence; remaining on the drug even after pain has subsided. This is seen often in individuals who have suffered workplace accidents, vehicle accidents or invasive surgeries with long recovery periods.
Opioid Addiction is a substance use disorder caused by a chronic disease resulting in intense drug craving and compulsive use. (The difference between opioid dependence and opioid addiction are behavioral withdrawal symptoms that present themselves with opioid addiction). For many affected individuals, the physical cravings and compulsive behaviors are uncontrollable without the help of Medication-Assisted Treatment and behavioral counseling, and often drive people to conduct themselves in a manner outside of their norms as well as societal and legal standards. Consequently, opioid addiction, when left untreated, will many times result in those affected by the disease isolating themselves from others, and finding common ground with those that suffer from the same ailments.
While the statistics are daunting, there is a solution. Pathway Healthcare’s proprietary approach, MATPlus®, addresses the disease at all levels using a multi-disciplinary approach that incorporates medical and behavioral therapies. By combining medication-assisted treatment and focused, patient-specific counseling in an outpatient setting, MATPlus® uses the latest evidence-based treatments to produce the best outcomes.
Buprenorphine and Naloxone Treatment
Because opioid dependence is considered a chronic, relapsing condition, treatment options are long-term and include a high level of patient support. Patients classified as having an opioid dependency who enrolled in our opioid-management program, (as well as those that are opioid addicted,) will benefit from the medications used to treat their indicated symptoms.
Our treatment usually begins with Suboxone, Zubsolv, or Bunavail, all of which contain a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine mimics other opioids like heroin, codeine, or morphine, but produces a less euphoric effect, which can make it easier to discontinue use. Meanwhile, the naloxone works to dissuade intravenous misuse. This combination allows for a more convenient, sustainable approach (as compared to methadone) with less abuse potential and reduced risk for overdose.
In 2016, there were more American deaths from drug overdoses than there were Americans killed in the Vietnam War. Opioids, a class of drugs that includes illegal substances like heroin, but is mostly associated with pain medications such as Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, and Fentanyl, (know also by their brand names OxyContin®, Vicodin® or Norco®, Percocet®, and Actiq®) were responsible for two-thirds of those overdoses.
Opioid pain medications have proven very effective in the short term for moderate to severe pain relief. However, consuming opioids daily for even 30 days can lead to dependence which, if not treated, can develop into an opioid addiction.
- In 2015, 20.5 million Americans 12 or older had a substance use disorder
- Opioid overdose deaths have increased 4 times over the last 15 years
- Two-thirds of all drug overdose deaths are opioid linked
- 3 million Americans are in treatment for addiction
Accidental Deaths in 2015
- Falling- 31,959
- Guns- 33,169
- Traffic Accidents- 38,300
- Drug Overdoses- 52,404 (33,091 Opioid/Heroin)
Counseling is an integral part of Pathway Healthcare’s MAT Plus® treatment program. Medication alone is helpful, but positive outcomes are improved when paired with individual, patient-specific counseling. Patients will benefit from our ongoing behavioral counseling through our out-patient services. Additionally, through our partner network, patients will have access to a community, faith-based, and intensive out-patient services.
Suboxone is a buprenorphine/naloxone film that is generally administered under the tongue. Suboxone should be used as part of a complete treatment plan to include counseling and psychosocial support.
To learn more about Suboxone, click here.
Zubsolv is a buprenorphine/naloxone tablet that is administered sublingually, much like Suboxone. Zubsolv is a prescription medicine used to treat adults who are addicted to opioid drugs (either prescription or illegal) as part of a complete treatment program which also includes counseling and behavioral therapy.
To learn more about Zubsolv, click here.
Bunavail is also a buprenorphine/naloxone film, but it is administered to the inside of the cheek (buccal delivery). It sticks to the inside of your cheek to deliver the medicine you need efficiently.
To learn more about Bunavail, click here