Naloxone has been the focus of a big push from lobby groups across the country intent on helping friends and family members of addicts to better come to the aid of their addicted loved ones when in crisis. A drug that effectively blocks the effects of opiates in the system and allows the patient to “come out of” an overdose almost instantly when administered in time, naloxone is a lifesaver for opiate addicts, and lawmakers are taking notice.
According to The Wall Street Journal, 17 states have passed laws allowing an increase of access to naloxone over the past two years, and now doctors can legally prescribe the drug to friends and family members in 24 states. This law also removes liability for any unintended consequences of use of the drug from the prescribing physician and the person who administers the drug to the overdose victim.
The Benefits of Naloxone
Increased access to naloxone means an increased chance of surviving a heroin or painkiller overdose for the addicted person. Though it can’t bring someone back who is already gone, if it is administered in a timely manner, it can mean a complete reversal of the overdose and the gift of a second chance.
For many, this second chance and the experience of overcoming overdose are enough to encourage the addicted person to enroll in opiate detox and addiction treatment and leave drug dependence in the past forever.
The First Step Toward Sobriety
Detox is the first step necessary to overcoming drug dependence. When opiate drugs like painkillers or heroin are the drugs of choice, detox is a significant step in the addicted person’s recovery. There are a number of different options in opiate detox. These include:
- Methadone maintenance: Methadone is a drug used to immediately replace the use of heroin. The initial dose is determined based on the dose of heroin used at the time that the patient entered treatment, and slowly, that dose is lowered until the person is drug-free.
- Suboxone treatment: Buprenorphine, prescribed as Subutex and Suboxone, is used in much the same way as methadone. Over time, the dose is lowered until the patient no longer needs any medication at all.
- Medicated detox: Rather than being prescribed ongoing maintenance medication, patients receive directed medication assistance to treat overwhelming withdrawal symptoms and decrease discomfort.
- “Cold turkey” detox: With no medication at all, patients power through withdrawal symptoms under the medical supervision of addiction treatment professionals.
Which opiate detox option is the best choice for your addicted loved one? There’s no one answer that will suit everyone across the board, but there is a good fit for everyone based on their experience in addiction and their goals for recovery. Contact us at Palm Beach Detox today to learn more about how we can help your loved one overcome heroin addiction or painkiller dependence right now.
The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.