The two main categories of treatment for those suffering from addiction are behavioral treatments, or medically assisted treatment. Behavioral treatments help patients stop drug use by changing unhealthy patterns of thinking and behavior. Teaching strategies to manage cravings and avoid cues and situations that could lead to relapse; or, in some cases, providing incentives for abstinence.
The second, medically assisted treatment has been used within the medical field for the greatest amount of time and statically shows the best results. It also has the most solid scientic data to backup the statistics and studies done over the years, specifically over the past 10-20 years. There are several variations of medically assisted treatment programs being used world wide and within the U.S today. Methadone, suboxone, and subutex are just a few. So.. Which is better? In my opinion it is a combination. Behavioral treatments; i.e counseling with therapy and the correct medications. This method provides stunning success.
In the U.S "treatment centers / rehab centers" typically use what is called the 12 steps. This idea revolves around abstinence. When this theory was implemented in the early 1900's alcoholism was the main issue. Since then narcotics have become the main killer of our youth surpassing accidents and disease. When a narcotic (typically opioids) user is clean then relapse they use the amount they are used to; which results in death. This formula doesn't work for the current environment. But it is VERY profitable because it keeps patients coming back as long as they stay alive. Whats the alternative if you still want to rely on this older technique? Every patient is different. Most states now allow Narcan over the counter. It can be a nasal spray or injectable like an EpiPen. Suboxone is another alternative, this is a Rx provided by a licensed M.D. The issue with this method is the ability for a new addict to sell their meds. Lastly methadone (the oldest) treatment. You must go daily to receive your medication and also supplement it with therapy, meetings, and urine screens. Methadone provides the best results but its a commitment. So?