Narcotics addiction is a potentially deadly disease that often requires more than just counseling and therapy to treat. Many narcotics such as opiates or opioid based pain medications are highly addictive physically and are best treated using various medications in combination with counseling and therapy.
The most common medications used in narcotics addiction treatment include:
The most frequently used medications today in the treatment of narcotics addiction include methadone, Naloxone and Buprenorphine. The drugs Naloxone and Buprenorphine are also marketed under the brand names Suboxone and Subutex.
While LAAM, an oral solution that was FDA approved in 1993 was once widely used in narcotics addiction treatment, the drug is not used in the treatment industry today as it was found to cause increased risk of cardiac arrhythmia in some patients. In 2004, the maker of LAAM announced that it would no longer produce the drug and as the current stocks of the drug were used up this medication in addiction treatment eventually would become obsolete and completely unavailable.
Buprenorphine is a medications that is a partial mu opioid agonist which can be administered in a doctor’s office, outpatient treatment program or similar health care setting. This medication is sometimes marketed under the brand name SUbutex and it is typically in the form of a sublingual tablet. Approved in 2002 by the FDA, Buprenorphine is widely used in medically supervised withdrawal treatment as well as opiate addiction maintenance treatment.
Suboxone is another commonly used medication in narcotics addiction treatment that is relatively new to the treatment industry. This medication combines a mixture of Naloxone and Buprenorphine to help control cravings and prevent pleasurable effects of using various narcotics especially opiates such as heroin or prescription painkillers. This medication was approved for use by the FDA in 2002 and continues to pick up market share being widely used in the outpatient treatment of substance abuse.
Another medication that is sometimes used to treat narcotics addiction is called Naltrexone. This drug is available in an oral tablet and has been widely used in the substance abuse treatment industry since the mid-1980s. Naltrexone is a Mu opioid antagonist which stops the effects of opiates such as heroin, morphine or other narcotics and does not produce withdrawal symptoms nor does it have a potential for abusive use which makes it a widely acceptable medication in narcotics addiction treatment.