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November 25, 2022

What Makes The Best Opiate Addiction Treatment in MA

Treating drug addiction, especially opiate addiction, is a long and challenging process. It shouldn’t be done alone—luckily, there is help. Learn about the best opiate addiction treatment in Massachusetts and how you can support your loved one on the journey to recovery. 


Understanding Opiate Addiction in Massachusetts

What Makes The Best Opiate Addiction Treatment in MAOpioids are a group of drugs that include heroin, fentanyl, and a variety of prescription and off-label pain medications, such as Codeine, Norco, Percocet, Vicodin, and Oxycontin. These drugs are highly likely to cause dependency, even when initially prescribed by a doctor. Dependency often turns into an addiction with the possibility of overdose or death. Opiates are one of the more difficult drug addictions to overcome. 


Although some teens, young adults, and older adults develop a dependency because of a prescription following an injury or surgery, many people try off-label or misused opiates to get high, as an alternative to drinking, to cope with life stressors, or to manage emotional pain. Often, whoever is using them is getting them from family, friends, or acquaintances—with that person’s knowledge or through theft. 


Tragically, prescription opioid use is often a gateway to heroin addiction. Heroin is usually cheaper and easier to access than prescription pills because it can be made in people’s homes. Heroin is one of the most addictive substances available—and thus, one of the hardest to recover from. 


Using opioids, especially frequently and over long periods, changes brain functioning and tricks the body into thinking that one needs the drug to survive. Most addicts feel that they have no control over these urges, so they can’t refuse the drug even if they want to get sober. 


Thankfully, there are several treatment options for opiate addiction, the most successful of which is medication. It should be understood, though, that detoxing from opioids can also be incredibly dangerous because of the body’s level of dependency on the substance, often putting the body into severe shock. Therefore, it should always be done under the supervision of a licensed medical professional. 


Medication as an Addiction Treatment Option in Massachusetts

Scientists have developed several medications used for addiction treatment in Massachusetts. These include naltrexone (known by Vivitrol), buprenorphine (known as Suboxone, Subutex, and Zubsolv), and methadone. These medications help to lessen the withdrawal symptoms of opiates as well as hamper the cravings that make relapse more likely. Much research has been done regarding these medications, showing that using them is the best step toward maintaining long-term sobriety. 


Many people balk at using another prescription medication to help cure an addiction to prescription medications. However, opioid addiction is a unique substance use disorder. In these cases, taking medication to help get to and continue sobriety should be viewed along the same lines as taking medication to manage any other chronic disease. However, these medications should, of course, only be used under the care of a medical professional. 


Using Medication to Prevent Overdose

Overdose from opioids is not only possible, but it is also tragically common. Thankfully, there is also a medication that can help prevent death if someone is overdosing on heroin, fentanyl, or another prescription pain medication. This medication is called naloxone, known by the brand name Narcan. It comes in a nasal spray or an injection. During an overdose, the opioids fully block the brain’s opioid receptors, which causes breathing to slow and eventually stop. Naloxone removes these opioids from the brain and keeps them from returning, allowing breathing to return to normal levels. What Makes The Best Opiate Addiction Treatment in MA


Anyone can purchase naloxone from any pharmacy without a prescription. If you have a child, spouse, partner, or loved one who struggles with opioid addiction, carrying naloxone could help save their life. Alternatively, if you or someone you know has been prescribed painkillers, ask about carrying naloxone during the time they are taking them because anyone can overdose, whether they are currently addicted to opioids or not. 


Someone who is overdosing on opioids will exhibit any of the following symptoms within 20 minutes or up to two hours after consuming the drug:


  • Clammy face with a lack of color 
  • Blue lips or fingers
  • Non-responsive to their name or sternum pressure 
  • Slow, erratic, or lack of breathing 
  • Deep snoring or gurgling
  • Slow or stopped heartbeat 


If you suspect an overdose, call 911 immediately. Administer naloxone if it is available and conduct rescue breathing. Comfort and support the person once breathing resumes and until help arrives. 


Wrapping It Up

If your loved one shows signs of opioid addiction, is at risk of overdose, or has been prescribed opioids as pain medication, you should have as much information as possible about potential side effects, the risk of addiction and overdose, and possible treatments. Remember that medication-assisted recovery under the supervision of a doctor has been proven to have the best success for opioid treatment.

Meta has two locations in Massachusetts. Our Reading, MA PHP and IOP provide outstanding outpatient drug and alcohol therapy.

[author] [author_image timthumb='on']/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/img-ed-480x572.jpg[/author_image]  [author_info]Reviewed by Ed Lepage, Executive Director

Ed Lepage completed the drug and alcohol certificate program at the University of Massachusetts Boston and has been working in the substance abuse dependency field for the past seven years. He has also worked extensively in peer recovery-based programs offering “real-world experience” to those that suffer from substance use dependency. Full Bio [/author_info] [/author]