Suboxone and methadone are medications prescribed to help minimize painful withdrawal symptoms and cravings associated with addiction to heroin, morphine, hydrocodone and other opioids. The medications, which are thought to be safer than heroin, aren’t intended to be long-term solutions. Ideally, the purpose is for users to gradually reduce use of suboxone or methadone until medically assisted recovery is no longer needed.
Although medically assisted recovery using suboxone, methadone and other medications can be helpful, some addiction professionals are adamantly opposed to their use. Because methadone and suboxone are narcotics, there is concern that addicts are simply trading one addictive substance for another. However, others say that risk of overdose is greatly reduced because unlike heroin, user of suboxone and methadone are carefully monitored.
Is Medically Assisted Recovery really True Recovery?
TheFix.com recently posted an article submitted by written by a physician who specializes in addiction medicine. Medically assisted therapy, he writes, may not foster true, stable recovery because addicts aren’t compelled to face the issues that contributed to addiction in the first place. Because feelings and emotions are suppressed, individuals are unable to face the real consequences of their addiction, thus preventing necessary emotional and behavioral changes required for true recovery.
He writes that at some point, users of suboxone and methadone will be required to face reality, possibly resulting in “a flood of people coming off the drugs” that the medical community isn’t equipped to treat. Health care providers haven’t addressed the difficulty involved in weaning users off suboxone and methadone, he says, suggesting that pharmaceutical companies, which profit greatly from medically assisted recovery, have played a role in the over-reliance of the medications.