Buprenorphine Versus Methadone for OxyContin Addiction

Which is a better treatment option for OyxContin addiction: buprenorphine or methadone? The answer to this question depends strongly on the needs of the specific patient and the intensity of the treatment required for a safe and effective recovery. If you are looking for a rehab program that will suit your needs, call 800-994-1867Who Answers? now, and let us match you with the best option for your recovery.

Medication Maintenance for Opioid Addiction

Medication maintenance is one of the best treatment options for opioid addicts because it provides them with a daily routine as well as with safe, professional treatment for addiction. In addition, most maintenance programs also provide more than just the medication itself and instead give patients a well-rounded treatment program that also includes behavioral therapy and additional options.

But which is more effective for a patient’s safe recovery from OxyContin addiction: methadone or buprenorphine?

Methadone Maintenance

Buprenorphine Versus Methadone

Both buprenorphine and methadone reduce drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Methadone is an opioid agonist that is dispensed daily to patients from licensed clinics. It minimizes the withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid abuse, as well as cravings, and it blocks the opioid receptors in the brain, allowing users to live their daily lives without experiencing the serious issues of recovery.

According to the National Institute of Justice, these programs usually provide additional treatments, like behavioral therapies and HIV prevention and testing. Patients must receive treatment for at least a year before considering whether or not they would like to stay on the drug. Some stay on methadone indefinitely while others are slowly weaned off it after they become more stable.

Buprenorphine Maintenance

Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that works similarly to methadone in many ways. It also minimizes cravings, reduces withdrawal symptoms, and blocks the opioid receptors in the brain. However, it has certain aspects of its use that protect it from abuses, including the ability to produce a ceiling effect that minimizes one’s chance of overdose and the fact that it is often prescribed with naloxone to precipitate withdrawal in those who attempt to crush and snort it.

Buprenorphine can be prescribed and dispensed by licensed physicians in their offices, which makes it much more accessible than methadone (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). And because the drug has safeguards that protect it from abuse, it is not as intensely regulated as methadone.

Which Is Better for OxyContin Addiction?

Unfortunately, there is no one treatment method that is right for every individual, and this applies to buprenorphine and methadone. As such, it is important to consult a doctor when you are planning on beginning your treatment regimen for opioid addiction and consider the different aspects of your personal situation in order to choose the best option. However, it is important to also have some facts about each medication and how they are best utilized.

  • Buprenorphine can be as effective as moderate doses of methadone, but optimal dose methadone is more effective than buprenorphine. As a result, someone who already has a severe dependency on opioids may need to be treated with methadone instead of buprenorphine.
    • This is often most likely to affect heroin addicts, but some individuals can become extremely dependent on prescription opioids like OxyContin.
  • Buprenorphine can be easier to obtain and has less of a stigma surrounding it, which makes many individuals lean toward using it as their maintenance medication. However, many people require methadone because of the daily routine the treatment creates and because of the intensity of the medication.
  • Those who are hoping to receive their medication from a doctor’s office may want to choose buprenorphine. The safeguards put in place to protect patients from abusing the drug can also be extremely helpful. Still, someone who does choose this option must make sure to attend behavioral therapy as well, even if they cannot receive it from the same doctor’s office or clinic where they receive their medication.

Many OxyContin addicts find buprenorphine to be a suitable solution because of its safeguards against abuse and easy accessibility. But because some individuals respond better to methadone, it is always important to talk to a doctor and to consider your specific needs for treatment before choosing an option.

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