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Opioid Agonist Treatment

by HealthCare Resource Centers Clinical Team

There are two main prescription drugs used in opioid agonist therapy: methadone and buprenorphine. Both medications replace the need for short-acting opioids during an addiction. Opioid agonists prevent feelings of withdrawal for 24 hours or more, which is helpful for individuals in all stages of recovery. The following details explain the main differences between methadone and buprenorphine:

1. Methadone Opioid Agonist Therapy

Methadone is taken by mouth in either a liquid or wafer form. The amount of time someone uses methadone is based on the nature of their addiction and the intensity of their opioid withdrawal symptoms. Methadone is ultimately prescribed to restore the brain’s chemical balance, and it offers patients the benefits below:

  • Is safe for use during pregnancy
  • Prevents the effects of other opioids and reduces the likelihood of misuse
  • Can be prescribed for long-term use without health risks

2. Buprenorphine Opioid Agonist Therapy

Buprenorphine opioid agonist treatment methods are tailored to patients experiencing minor withdrawal symptoms. This medication is considered a partial opioid agonist, which means it activates brain receptors but not as heavily as methadone. Buprenorphine prescriptions are administered in smaller amounts compared to full opioid agonists.

A “ceiling effect” occurs with buprenorphine. Taking more buprenorphine than intended by a doctor will not result in an increased effect. There is also an extremely low risk of overdose when taking buprenorphine.

Counseling and Opioid Agonist Therapy

Some medication-assisted treatment plans for opioid use disorder include patient counseling. Health Care Resource Centers provides a personalized experience based on compassion and support for patients. Set goals as a part of your recovery process with counselors that are trained, certified and dedicated to your cause.

Individual, group and family counseling sessions give patients time to talk about life stressors relating to their disease. Counseling is often the missing component to an effective treatment plan, as counselors help patients recognize the underlying causes of addiction.

Start an Opioid Agonist Treatment Plan With Health Care Resource Centers

HCRC combines substance abuse counseling services with methadone and buprenorphine treatments to manage opioid addictions. We have been operating in the New England states for over 25 years. Reach out to us today to start your recovery journey.

Medically Reviewed By:

HealthCare Resource Centers Clinical Team

HealthCare Resource Centers Clinical Team

HealthCare Resource Centers Clinical Team

The Clinical Team at HealthCare Resource Centers is our team of physicians and medical directors within the organization. HCRC is a CARF accredited organization and has been providing addiction treatment services for over 32 years in the New England area.

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