In the past, treatment for addiction to opioids (heroin or prescription pain pills) was very limited. It wasn’t uncommon to think of addiction as a moral failing. Many parents believed their son or daughter could easily “just stop” if they wanted to.
But today, with scientific research and studies of the brain, we know so much more about what can help lead more people to recovery.
Medication — combined with comprehensive therapy and family support — can help lessen the brain’s urges to continue to use opioids. By helping to reduce cravings and withdrawal, medication-assisted treatment such as naltrexone (Vivitrol), buprenorphine (Suboxone) and methadone can help a person stop thinking constantly about substance use. This allows the person to focus on returning to a healthy lifestyle.