Opioid use and abuse has increased along with the number of deaths associated with them. Unfortunately, the rate of residential treatment accessibility has not increased. Instead, public-access beds continue to have long wait lists of more than four months.
The growing concern of addiction in Canada doesn’t just touch one demography. Young, old, rich and poor suffer from the epidemic. The problem is the rich have more resources available, particularly private treatment centres, simply because they can pay for it.
Those who do not have the funds to pay for private addiction treatment are at the mercy of the government, which continuously tries to get ahead of the demand for addiction recovery services. Despite their multiple initiatives targeting distribution networks, the work really needs to be with the person suffering from addiction.
Arresting and admitting addicts into mental institutions seemed to be a solution, but only created additional issues within those settings. While prisons and psychiatric treatment centres reached capacity, the problem continued to grow outside of them, indicating that isolation isn’t the way to combat addiction.
Treating Beyond the Walls
Taking addicts out of their environment doesn’t help addiction problems in the country. Effectively treating addicts who can move on to becoming productive, responsible community members is the way to solve the addiction problem. But how can this happen when facilities for treatment are full or too expensive?
Outpatient treatment options can make recovery possible for anyone who wants to recover from their addiction. Methadone, suboxone, and ibogaine are proven addiction recovery aids that have helped many people live their life free from drug abuse.
Methadone clinics can serve a large number of people who are addicted to opioid-based drugs, such as heroin or prescription painkillers. Effects of methadone include a reduction or avoidance of opioid withdrawal symptoms and blocking opioid effects and cravings.
Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, and it blocks opioid medication effects, decreasing cravings to use. This takes addicts away from their drug of choice while they work on their mental and emotional dependence on it. Once they learn how to live life without their drug of choice, they wean off the suboxone to become drug free.
Ibogaine is a psychoactive substance derived from plants. It adjusts brain chemistry that may have changed due to their addiction, causing them to crave the drug. The most sought after result of this treatment is the avoidance of intense withdrawal symptoms that often come from reducing or eliminating opioids from the body.
Methadone, suboxone, and ibogaine have the potential to open the door to recovery for people who are not able to gain entry into treatment centres when they are ready. By interrupting the addiction process with the above, addicts can start the recovery process as soon as they want to, instead of waiting until they can get into a treatment program.
Addiction treatment does not have to mean isolation, and access does not have to be limited. It can be offered to thousands of Canadians, so addicts can quickly and effectively get the help they need while living in the community inspiring others to avoid addiction or seek help as well.