Opioid agonist therapy (OAT) is an effective treatment for addiction to opioid drugs such as heroin, oxycodone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), fentanyl and Percocet. The therapy involves taking the opioid agonists methadone (Methadose) or buprenorphine (Suboxone). These medications work to prevent withdrawal and reduce cravings for opioid drugs. People who are addicted to opioid drugs can take OAT to help stabilize their lives and to reduce the harms related to their drug use.
Opiod Agonist Therapy (CAMH)
Methadone is among the most effective medications used in the first-line treatment of opioid addiction. When taken under the care of a qualified practitioner — in optimal dosage and on regular intervals — it can serve as an effective and safe treatment for opioid addiction.
Buprenorphine (“Suboxone®”) is an effective alternative to methadone in the treatment of opioid addiction, offering advantages which may be more appropriate for certain patients.
Sublocade® is a “depot” form of Suboxone® that is given once per month and is designed to control opioid withdrawal symptoms for the entire time. This is especially convenient for people unable to attend the clinic or the pharmacy too often.
Probuphine® is a buprenorphine (“Suboxone®”) implant, usually placed under the skin of the upper arm. The implant delivers a steady dose of buprenorphine for six-months, after which it may be either replaced or removed. One key benefit is eliminating the need for daily dosing at the pharmacy or at home, and thus a highly convenient OAT option.
Kadian® is a new type of morphine pill that slowly releases medication over a 24-hour period. This allows for relief of cravings and withdrawal symptoms with only daily dose.
Medication-assisted detox: for some patients no methadone or suboxone is needed at all. We offer a variety of other supportive medications to decrease the severity of your withdrawal symptoms.
Understanding that no two patients, and thus, no two treatments are identical, means that what’s best for one patient may not be best for another. We will work with you to determine the best course of treatment for your unique circumstances.
It should be noted that, unlike a traditional Methadone Clinic, we believe that these medications are only one part of a patient's recovery and should be used in the lowest dose and for the shortest amount of time necessary to help somebody get back on their feet.
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