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Medical Approach to Addiction

What to expect in this episode:

 

  1. The medical approach. Treating addiction as a medical condition. The primary tool that we use for a medical condition is medicine.
  2. There are also non-harm-reduction, medical approaches to addiction.
  3. Predicting more and more complex pharmaceutical approaches to addiction in the future.

 

The Medical Approach to Addiction

 

The future of recovery I see it in 4 strands, 4 different areas. We’ve covered traditional recovery.

 

One that we’ve been in, but I think will become more sophisticated, is the medical approach. Treating addiction as a medical condition. The primary tool that we use for a medical condition is medicine.

 

A great example is Methadone, for opiate addicts, methadone is a substance that is similar to opiates, but reduces a lot of the harm that comes along with an opiate addiction.

 

So if you are using heroin, you need a drug dealer, you have to break the law. You don’t know exactly what you’re getting when you are buying a bag of black tar or powder from somebody’s probably not that trustworthy and you’re putting it in a needle and shooting it in your arm – its and incredibly harmful or dangerous habit to have, often deadly

 

The thought was, “can we come up with something  that is like heroin, but people can still function better, that we can distribute legally, to stop people from dying & falling apart?”

 

Methadone, in many ways, has been effective. There are huge downsides, whatever, it’s a medical harm reduction approach.

 

There are also non-harm-reduction, medical approaches to addiction.

 

Antabuse is an alcohol deterrent substance. If you’re taking Antabuse and you drink, you violently throw up. And it deters you from drinking – without getting you drunk.

 

Vivitrol is a blocker. Its been around a couple of decades, it’s not widely publicized enough.

 

But if you are an opiate addict and you are on Vivitrol, then even if you use opiates you can’t get high. It just blocks the effects of drug usage. It’s actually a great tool in the world of addiction.

 

I see more and more complex pharmaceutical approaches to addiction in the future.

 

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