Treating addiction sometimes requires the use of medication and behavioral or psychotherapy to treat all aspects of this complex mental health disorder. Before enrolling in an addiction treatment program, there are several pros and cons of pharmacotherapy that you should be familiar with. Knowing what is involved with the recovery process can ease any worries about starting the program. It can show people that recovery is possible no matter how severe the addiction is.
At Arkview Recovery, we help individuals struggling with an addiction to alcohol, methamphetamines, prescription opioids, and other addictive substances. When patients first arrive at our facility, we run a full assessment of their health to develop a comprehensive treatment program that combines medication and behavioral and holistic therapies. Therapists will work with patients in group and private therapy sessions to build their confidence in staying sober no matter how stressful life gets. To discover the benefits of our pharmacotherapy treatment program, call 717.744.0756 today to schedule a tour and meet our compassionate team.
What Is Pharmacotherapy?
A pharmacotherapy program provides medicinal and behavioral support for individuals in an accredited addiction treatment program. When you take drugs or alcohol, it causes chemical changes in your body that can lead to a physical dependence on the substance. Without a steady supply, people will begin to experience a wide range of withdrawal symptoms that can be life-threatening.
In addition, they will experience powerful cravings that can lead to a relapse and a potential overdose. Pharmacotherapy provides medication to ease withdrawal symptoms and cravings and allow patients to safely get through the withdrawal phase with minimal risks of relapse.
To treat the mental aspect of addiction, patients will participate in group and private behavioral therapy sessions. This type of psychotherapy has proven to be effective in treating addiction and the underlying cause behind the abuse. The most common types of behavioral therapy to treat addiction include:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
- Motivational interviewing (MI)
At Arkview Recovery Center, we will discuss the pros and cons of pharmacotherapy with you as we create a tailored treatment program to treat your addiction. As you progress through the program, our team will continue to evaluate your progress and make adjustments to the program to ensure you are making forward progress.
Pros and Cons of Pharmacotherapy
Using medication to treat addiction is safe when the person sticks with the program and abstains from abusing more drugs or alcohol. These medications are not meant to replace the substance of choice but only to support patients through the worst of their withdrawal symptoms.
Here are some of the pros and cons of a pharmacotherapy program:
Medication to ease withdrawal and cravings can significantly improve a person’s chances of recovery. One of the biggest reasons for relapsing is due to intense cravings that intensify the longer a person abstains from their drug of choice. Cravings typically peak 48-72 hours after quitting and can continue for several weeks or months.
During a pharmacotherapy program, medical staff will administer medications that ease cravings for drugs and alcohol while patients participate in behavioral therapy to develop new coping skills to manage their symptoms and triggers.
Some additional pharmacotherapy advantages include:
- Increases patient survival rates
- Improves retention in the program
- Reduces cravings and the risks of relapse
- Improves the outcome of pregnancies affected by substance abuse
As withdrawal symptoms begin to fade, medical staff will slowly decrease the amount of medication until no longer necessary. This is a required step to avoid any withdrawals from the medication.
The medications used to treat substance use withdrawals do come with some risks, but they are minimal compared to the program’s advantages. Some of the common pharmacotherapy disadvantages include:
- The medications are opioid-based and come with a risk of addiction and withdrawal when the patient does not follow the rules and guidelines of the program.
- There is a risk of immediate withdrawal symptoms if the patient drinks or uses drugs while on the medication.
The advantages of a pharmacotherapy program far outweigh these risks, and it has a positive track record of helping people reach their recovery goals and maintain long-lasting sobriety.
Arkview Recovery: Pharmacotherapy Treatment to Support Addiction Recovery
What is pharmacotherapy, and how can it benefit your recovery from drug or alcohol abuse? Arkview Recovery Center’s programs provide a comprehensive approach to treating addiction using proven medicinal and therapeutic techniques. Each program is tailored to the individual’s severity of symptoms and promotes long-lasting recovery and other beneficial life skills. We are a full-service treatment facility with residential and outpatient treatment programs and aftercare programs to see you through every stage of your recovery.
To learn more about our pharmacotherapy and other treatment programs, call 717.744.0756 or message us online today, and we will get back to you within 24 hours.