Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Dealing with Long-Term Drug Addiction Issues

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Dealing with Long-Term Drug Addiction Issues

Article excerpt

Dear Doctor K: I recently heard about a monthly injection that can help people overcome addiction. Can you tell me more about this?

Dear Reader: The problem of addiction to opioid prescription painkillers (and illegal narcotics) is growing worse. You are correct: There is a relatively new treatment, called Vivitrol, which has helped some people.

The opioid painkillers include drugs such as Vicodin, Percocet and OxyContin. With continued use, a person can develop a physical dependence on these drugs. These drugs can also cause a "high." Both of these effects contribute to addiction.

Detoxification can help a person get through the initial, intense withdrawal symptoms.

There are three FDA-approved, long-term medications for treating opioid addiction: methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone. …

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