Different narcotic addictions are often treated in the same way, with a combination of medication and behavioral therapy. The difference in treatment is based on the individual’s needs, rather than the drug of abuse.
Do Different Narcotic Addictions Require Different Treatments?
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The term narcotic is often used to describe any type of drug available, when in truth, it actually covers a very specific type of substance. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, it refers to drugs that are derived from opium either synthetically or naturally. Because narcotics are all actually very similar substances that, in one way or another, come from the same point of origin, they often require the same type of treatments for their addiction syndromes under most circumstances.
As stated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Several options are available for effectively treating prescription opioid addiction.” These options are based on large amounts of medical evidence and research that has proven them to be particularly effective for the treatment of prescription opioid/narcotic addiction. However, the same approaches have been found effective for treating the abuse of illegal opioids as well, such as heroin and opium.
The most commonly used treatment options for narcotic addiction include:
- Medications: naltrexone, methadone, and buprenorphine
- Behavioral therapies: cognitive-behavioral therapy, contingency management, family therapy, group therapy
- Support groups: Narcotics Anonymous, SMART Recovery
All of these options can be used in the treatment of any narcotic addiction, but whether or not they are the most beneficial and effective choice depends on the individual, their needs (both those related to their addictions and those unrelated), and the severity of their condition. For example, some individuals may choose to attend rehab in a center that does not utilize pharmacological methods but instead provides therapy and possibly holistic options to patients. Others may prefer the freedom and flexibility of a support group but may still visit an outpatient clinic to receive medication.
Depending on your needs, you may utilize one or more of these options as part of your treatment, but these are all possible choices for narcotic addiction recovery.
Why Don’t Different Narcotics Require Different Treatments?
Some of the medications or therapies listed above may better suit someone addicted to a prescription or an illegal opioid specifically, but for the most part, a particular patient’s needs and preferences will help decide which treatment(s) they should use. Different types of opioids do not require different methods from these listed above for the most part because they all cause similar effects.
Narcotics all come from an opioid basis, whether they are naturally occurring drugs like codeine, opium, and morphine or synthetic substances like heroin and oxycodone. Considerable research has been done on these types of drugs, and the options above have all been found to be effective for opioids because they all have the same general effects. Usually, between two people who have both been narcotic abusers, the only reason their treatment regimens will be different is because they have different needs. Still, all the options listed above can be used to treat any type of narcotic addiction syndrome.
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