Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder
As one of the longest-serving medication assisted treatment networks in Texas, WTCR specializes in methadone and buprenorphine treatment and counseling for individuals suffering from Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). Our mission is to enhance the quality of life of our patients so that they may disrupt the cycle of OUD and have their best chance for a long-term meaningful recovery.
ADDICTION IS A CHRONIC BUT TREATABLE MEDICAL ILLNESS
Opiate addiction is a chronic, treatable medical illness defined by physiological dependence on opiates (pain killers, heroin, and others) with continued use despite the destruction caused by the substance on the individual's life. Patients who have this illness cannot stop taking the opiate even when they know it is hurting their health, destroying their personal and social lives, or causing legal problems. This does not mean patients lack the will power to stop, but that the opiate has caused changes in their bodies over time that make them need the drug (neurobiological adaptation of the nervous system to drugs of abuse), and so patients restructure their lives around obtaining the drug.
Evidence in the medical literature and our decades of treatment experience have shown that medication-assisted therapies including methadone and buprenorphine are among the most effective treatment modalities in patients suffering from OUD. At WTCR, our goal is to help the addicted individual gain control over the constellation of behaviors that define opiate addiction and that have led to the destruction of the essential stabilizing elements of the patient’s life.
OUR TREATMENT PRINCIPLES
Patients will be treated with respect and encouragement to manage their OUD to the best of their abilities.
There is strong medical evidence validating the use of methadone and buprenorphine as opiate agonist therapy, and medication provides an important stabilization for the patient.
Counseling and therapeutic interventions help foster life change, restructure patient thinking, and promote behavioral change.
Medication and counseling interventions in combination are far superior for addiction treatment than either modality alone.
The patient’s willingness to engage in treatment planning can help him or her gain insight into their illness and improve outcomes.
We will facilitate medically supervised withdrawal from opiate agonist therapy when appropriate, but we recognize that OUD is a chronic medical illness that may require long-term (sometimes lifelong) treatment.
OPIATE AGONIST THERAPY WITH METHADONE OR BUPRENORPHINE
WTCR offers outpatient treatment for OUD using opiate agonist therapy with methadone and buprenorphine. Generally, these medications are used for their properties as agonists or partial agonists to offer patients long-term stabilization of objective and subjective withdrawal and symptoms of craving, as part of a broader service offering that includes counseling and therapeutic interventions. Giving these medications allows patients to feel “normalized” and engage in counseling and other interventions to address the behavioral disruptions of addiction.
At WTCR, we believe that the provision of any medication alone is insufficient to secure long-term recovery for addiction. Patients must make a dramatic change in their lives to avoid the stimuli for their prior drug use and embrace a new way of thinking about themselves and their illness. Counseling helps people with OUD change how they think, cope, react, and acquire the skills and confidence necessary for recovery, and can provide support for people who take medication to treat their OUD.
Our treatment team consists of only licensed practitioners, including counselors and physicians, and we maintain a formal treatment plan as a primary component of our opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment service offering. The treatment plan is the written vision for the patient’s treatment episode as developed by the patient, physician, and treatment team together. The counselors and physicians at WTCR assist the patient in development of the plan and monitor patient progress on the work they have accomplished.