The Advantages of an Office-Based Opioid Treatment Plan

Research from 2018 shows that in the United States, 128 people die every day due to opioid overdoses.

In the US, addictions to pain relievers, heroin, fentanyl, and other such opioids have evolved into a national health crisis. Public health, as well as social welfare, bears the brunt of this burden.

Furthermore, the US is dealing with a $78.5 yearly economic burden due to this crisis, according to the CDC. That cost is split between elements such as healthcare, productivity loss, addiction treatment, and criminal justice.  

Why Effective Treatment Plans Are So Crucial

In a perfect world, addictions wouldn’t happen in the first place. But there are an array of factors that have led to this nationwide addiction problem.

A crucial facet of offsetting this surging crisis would be through helping addicted individuals get clean and healthy. Vulnerable citizens throughout the country have fallen victim to this disease, and they require empathy and support.

That entails providing accessible treatment programs that give people with opioid problems the best chance to recover.

One method that’s showing positive results in successfully mitigating the damage of these addictions is office-based opioid treatment plans (OBOT).

Let’s delve deeper into this highly effective opioid addiction treatment plan:

What Happens During an Office-Based Opioid Addiction Treatment Plan?

Anybody undergoing OBOT will first be medically and physically examined by a doctor.

After this assessment, patients will be treated for withdrawal symptoms via prescribed medicines such as buprenorphine, buprenorphine/naloxone combination, or naltrexone.

These prescriptions will not only ensure a safe withdrawal period but also help fight the urge to abuse more drugs.

While receiving these treatments, patients won’t be forced to visit a clinic every day while receiving their prescriptions. Patients will work alongside a counselor to establish a recovery plan specific to their needs while receiving their medically assisted treatments (MAT).

The term used to describe this methodology is “whole-patient.” Meaning, it’s a team approach to treatment, where a group of specialists ensures a patient will thrive.

Below are some further benefits of this kind of treatment program:

Office-Based Treatment is Highly Accessible

Going to traditional rehab means taking one’s self away from his or her life and putting everything on hold. Beyond that, there’s a stigma associated with going to drug treatment facilities, and many users are too ashamed to come forward for help.

These factors could potentially make many programs seem intimidating and can put a barrier in front of someone obtaining help.

Whereas an office-based approach gives people an alternative where they can continue with their lives, receive buprenorphine, and be monitored through periodic visits.

Beyond that, office-based treatments go a long way in removing the stigma of opioid addictions. Patients will be treated like they’re experiencing any other ailment through their visits—removing that feeling of shame.

As such, those who are stricken with addictions are far likelier to seek out help.

OBOT Also Targets Comorbid Disorders

Mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety, are also commonly afflicting those struggling with opioid addictions. Without treating these conditions, it becomes much more challenging for patients to successfully overcome their addictions.

Generally, mental illnesses are a contributing factor in patients relapsing. Or, a patient’s past drug-use stemmed from such a condition.

OBOT empowers doctors to use medication to treat other issues effectively alongside the addiction, to manage symptoms.

On top of that, therapy and counselors are available for addiction patients. These medical professionals can hone in and soundly treat disorders that might be contributing to addictions.

woman in counseling

This philosophy looks at the opioid addiction from all angles. It does everything possible to handle the root cause of these problems. As such, OBOT gives patients a higher chance of recovery.

Doing Away with the “Addiction” Stigma

This specific benefit was touched upon already, but the stigma and resulting shame that’s associated with opioid addiction prevent people from getting treated. Beyond that, it also causes denial because people don’t want to appear ‘weak.’

However, opioid addiction is like any other sickness or disease and should be treated as such. While traditional rehabilitation centers certainly provide a safe space in which patients can recover, these places have their own stigmas that scare people away.

With OBOT, patients can keep treatments as discreet or as public as they’d like, as they’re just visiting for periodic appointments. They don’t have to “go away” as though they must hide from society. Life can keep going on, while patients receive the necessary support to recover from their addiction.

OBOT Gives Opioid Addiction Patients the Best Chance at Recovery

Compared to other rehabilitation methods, the OBOT plan is more robust in its practices and accessibility to patients. At the same time, it also removes the stigma of addictions.

This type of recovery should be considered by those struggling as a truly viable option to end their addictions once and for all.



About the Author

Paula Nicola, M.D.
Dr. Nicola is the Facility Director at Renu. She is a trained and board certified medical doctor with specialized training in addiction medicine.

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