May | The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse

May

There are currently over 2.5 million Americans who have an opioid use disorder. Those who receive medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction are prescribed methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone. While these medications have been proven to be effective treatments for opioid addiction, they do have side effects and are not completely risk-free. Is there another medication out there that can treat opioid addiction without such risks? Is there a quick fix to help relieve the withdrawal symptoms? Some in the medical subculture believe the psychedelic drug ibogaine may be a potential treatment for opioid addiction. 

In October 2016, Donald Trump addressed a group of supporters in Maine on his plan to end the opioid epidemic in America. During this speech he asserted, “A wall will not only keep out dangerous cartels and criminals, but it will also keep out the drugs and heroin poisoning our youth.” 

Naloxone, or Narcan, is used by first responders across the country to save lives when someone overdoses on opioids like heroin or prescription pills. Naloxone is an overdose reversal drug, but it is not treatment for addiction. This fact is often misunderstood: many people confuse naloxone as a treatment for opioid addiction. Rather, naloxone is more like a defibrillator – jump starting the heart after a heart attack. When people only use naloxone after an overdose without treatment, they are very likely to continue using opioids, and are at high risk of overdosing again

You may know of ketamine by its street name “Special K,” and you may be aware that it can produce dreamlike and hallucinogenic effects. You may also know that ketamine is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an anesthetic. But did you know that ketamine is now being prescribed to treat mood disorders like depression?

Dr. Foote, Co-Founder and Executive Director at the Center for Motivation and Change (CMC) in New York, spoke during our Addiction Speaker Series about the organization’s national peer-to-peer parent coaching network for treatment of substance use, compulsive behavior disorders and trauma. We had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Foote about CMC’s work. 

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