Common Opioid Treatment Programs and How They Work
Opioid addiction comes with serious consequences, but treatment is available to help people recover. There are multiple types of opioid treatment services available, and among these options, medication assisted treatment for opioid use is considered an effective choice. Ultimately, the best treatment program will depend upon a person’s individual needs and situation. Below, we detail various types of opioid addiction treatment, including online medication assisted treatment.
Opioid Treatment Programs
The term “opioid treatment program” (OTP) is an official label applied to addiction treatment programs that offer medication assisted treatment for opiate addiction. This type of treatment, often called MAT, utilizes medications alongside counseling to treat opioid addiction. An OTP provider must seek accreditation and certification according to Federal guidelines in order to dispense approved MAT drugs.
While OTPs are programs that provide medication for opioid use disorder, people may use the term opioid treatment programs (OTP) to refer to any services used in the treatment of opioid addiction.
Types of Opioid Treatment Programs
OTP services most often involve a combination of medications and counseling, but there are other options when a person seeks treatment for opioid addiction. Some common forms of opioid addiction treatment are as follows.
Medication assisted treatment is the use of approved MAT drugs alongside behavioral services like counseling in the treatment of opioid addiction. This type of treatment is beneficial because medications can treat withdrawal symptoms and cravings while a person undergoes counseling to address the underlying issues that led to addiction.
Due to changes implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, online medication assisted treatment is now available. This means that patients can access MAT drug treatment from the convenience and privacy of home.
Types of MAT
When choosing the best option among several available OTP services, it is helpful to understand that there are different types of medication-assisted treatment. Common types of MAT used in OTPs include the following:
A physician working in a certified MAT program can help you to determine the best option for you, as its medication comes with its own risks and benefits. It is usually recommended that patients participate in counseling while taking one of these medications.
Residential Treatment Services
Residential opioid treatment programs provide around the clock care to patients who live on-site at a treatment facility while receiving services for opioid addiction. This type of treatment is beneficial for people who do not have a safe living environment or who are unable to recover while living at home and being exposed to drug use triggers.
While in a residential treatment program, patients have access to a variety of providers, including opioid use disorder specialists, counselors, case managers, and medical staff. Patients may receive MAT drugs while in a residential treatment center, in addition to participating in individual and group counseling.
Outpatient OTP Services
Some patients may choose to participate in outpatient OTP treatment, which allows them to continue to live at home, attend work, and care for a family while receiving services. Patients receiving this level of care often participate in both individual and group counseling to help them learn ways to cope with drug use triggers and manage stress without turning to substance misuse.
Choosing Which Program Is For You
Choosing the best OTP provider depends upon your unique needs and situation. Some important factors to consider when selecting a provider are your financial situation, your living situation, and the severity of your addiction.
Online opioid treatment programs that provide MAT drugs are typically the cheapest option, as you will not have to pay for the cost of room and board at a residential treatment center, nor will you need to travel to a clinic for appointments. Be sure to confirm with your insurance provider and your selected program before determining the most economical option for you. Confidant Health offers our Community Payment model if you are struggling to find coverage or do not have insurance.
While online addiction treatment is convenient and often affordable, some people may benefit from choosing residential OTPs. For instance, patients who have failed to maintain their recovery while living at home, or who do not have a safe living environment, may benefit from beginning with a residential treatment program, where they will live in a structured environment while beginning their recovery.
Finally, an outpatient program may be the best option for those who prefer in-person services and who have the support they need to commit to recovery while living at home. If you are unsure of which OTP services are the best fit for you, it can be helpful to consult with program staff to determine which program makes the most sense for your situation.
What Is The Most Effective Treatment For Opioid Use Disorder?
There is no single OTP program that works for every patient, but according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the combination of counseling and MAT drugs can be the most effective option for some people.
Research has supported the benefits of opioid treatment programs providing medication assisted treatment for substance abuse. For example, a 2020 report in the medical journal PLOS ONE evaluated the results of 48 different studies. Results revealed the following:
The combination of psychosocial interventions (ie: counseling) and MAT drugs was found to be more effective than medication alone for keeping patients in treatment.
A specific type of intervention called contingency management, which provides rewards to patients for complying with treatment, was found to be more beneficial when added to MAT programs than MAT on its own.
In terms of preventing opioid misuse, there were no differences between opioid treatment programs that offered a combination of counseling and MAT and those that offered MAT treatment only.
What can be concluded from the findings above is that an MAT program is a highly effective option for opioid addiction treatment. There may be some benefit to adding counseling services to a patient’s treatment regimen, but for some patients, MAT drugs alone can help them to recover from an opioid use disorder.
Opioid Treatment Program FAQs
If you’re looking for information on OTP services, the answers to the following FAQs may be helpful for you.
What Is The First Line Of Treatment For Opioid Use Disorder?
In many cases, OTPs providing MAT therapy are considered the first line of treatment for opioid use disorder, because they have been found to be more effective than abstinence-based approaches in which no medication is used. That being said, MAT is not the best choice for every patient, and treatment should be individualized to meet a patient’s unique needs.
What Is The Most Common Form Of Treatment For Opioid Dependence?
Medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder is becoming the most common form of treatment, based upon a growing body of research showing that MAT drugs are more effective than abstinence based approaches that do not use these medications.
How Much Does Opioid Treatment Cost?
The cost of receiving services from an opioid treatment program will vary, depending upon the type of OTP services you choose and your insurance coverage. Many insurance programs cover some of the cost of opioid addiction treatment, which reduces your out-of-pocket costs. Check with your provider to verify your coverage.
In general, outpatient OTPs are cheaper than inpatient care, because outpatient programs do not require patients to pay room and board to live on-site at a treatment facility. In many cases, you can reduce your costs even further by choosing an online OTP provider.
How Does Medication-Assisted Treatment Work On Opioids?
There are multiple types of MAT medications, and each works slightly differently, but in general, these medications work by reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Some MAT drugs are used to treat symptoms during the acute opioid withdrawal phase. After acute withdrawal passes, a patient may receive maintenance MAT over the long term, sometime for months or even years, to help them stay in recovery.
As an example, Suboxone is a drug commonly used in MAT therapy. This medication contains a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. The buprenorphine works as a partial opioid agonist, meaning it activates the same receptors as opioid drugs like heroin. By acting as a partial opioid agonist, buprenorphine alleviates cravings and withdrawal symptoms. On the other hand, naloxone is an opioid antagonist, meaning that it blocks the effects of opioids and prevents patients from misusing their Suboxone.
Is Methadone An Opioid?
Methadone is another MAT drug commonly used in OTPs. People often ask if methadone is an opioid drug, and it is. Methadoneis considered a long-acting opioid drug, making it useful for maintenance MAT. Methadone is an opioid agonist, meaning that it occupies the same receptors as opioid drugs like heroin, but it is safer than illegally-obtained heroin.
Participate In An Online OTP Through Confidant Health
If you’re looking for opioid treatment programs, online medication assisted treatment through Confidant Health may be a suitable option for you. Through this virtual OTP, you will have access to physicians and counselors without leaving home. Download our app today on either the Apple Store or the Google Play Store to begin online treatment.