Opiates Are the Best Treatment for Opiates?

opiates to treat opiate addiction

It’s a strange paradox that the mainstream way to fight opiate addiction is to make take more opiates. With the epidemic as big and massive as it is, new ways to get clean, combat addiction, and get help are always popping up and being created, with scientists designing new “miracle cures” on an almost regular basis. You’ve got Medication Assisted Treatments or MATs, you’ve got the Vivitrol injection and a host of drug rehabilitation practices promising to get addicts clean and off drugs. While inpatient drug rehab is honestly the best way to go, why is the mainstream method of handling opiate addiction and dependence to put the person addicted on another drug?

Methadone, Suboxone, and Naltrexone are the 3 most popular medications used to get people off of opiates. Methadone and Suboxone are opiates themselves, while Naltrexone is an opiate blocker that prevents a person from getting high if they were to take opiates. The idea is that once a person is addicted to opiates, their brain chemistry is altered to the point where it needs to be altered, yet again, to get the addict back to the point where they feel like they can live life without the drugs. Scientifically speaking, when a person takes opiates, the drugs activate the Mu opioid receptors in the brain while also hitting the brain’s reward centers, thus creating the addiction because the person gets a “chemical reward” every time they take the drug.

I’m not disputing the fact that, chemically, this is what happens in a person’s brain. However, I am disputing the handling for it. Drugs are not the answer to drugs! Period. You can’t use that type of logic when treating addiction because it’s completely illogical. I understand chemical alterations take place in the brain, but at the end of the day, you have to handle the reason why a person uses drugs, not just the fact that they are taking drugs. The awful part of all of this is doctors and other professionals believe medications like Suboxone or Methadone are the best method of handling addiction. Funny how the doctors who tout MAT as the best way to handle addiction are the very doctors who got the person addicted to opiates in the first place.

Seems like some strange conflict of interest, doesn’t it?

The only way I see to handle addiction is by handling the reason addicts take drugs in the first place. I know I’ve said it over and over again, but drugs are a solution to a problem for people. The drugs help them cope with life. Yes, they get cravings, but the cravings are caused by the drug residues that apparently get stuck in a person’s fatty tissue and are released into the bloodstream each time a person burns fat, which is anytime their heart rate increases. Cravings don’t seem to be created by “chemical alterations” in the brain. A person needs to detox out the drug residues while handling the reason they abuse drugs. Then, and only then, does the addict stand a fighting chance to kick their addiction once and for all.

They don’t need more drugs on top of the ones they are addicted to in order to get clean.


Jason Good

Jason has been working in the field of addiction and recovery for over 10 years. Having been an addict himself he brings real-word experience to the table when helping addicts and their families, while also offering a first-person perspective to the current drug crisis. Jason is passionate about educating the public about what’s currently going on in our society, and thankfully, offers practical solutions. Jason is also the co-host of The Addiction Podcast—Point of No Return. You can follow Jason on Google+, Twitter, or connect with him on LinkedIn.