Harm Reduction

Each recovering person has a unique history of drug use. Depending on the type of drugs used, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) may be used to prevent a relapse or to block the drug’s effects if it is consumed after detox. Drugs used in MAT can also make withdrawal symptoms more manageable and reduce drug cravings.

MAT is often used for an opioid use disorder, including drugs like heroin and prescription painkillers. The FDA has approved three prescription drugs for use in medication-assisted opioid treatment: methadone, naltrexone, and buprenorphine. Although these drugs are available, it is important to note that not all outpatient programs provide MAT. Those who suffer from an opioid use disorder will need to inquire with the treating Orlando outpatient program to see if MAT is available.

An outpatient program that offers MAT can be beneficial, as these programs have been found to reduce illicit drug use, keep patients in treatment and reduce the risk of death.

Benefits of Harm Reduction

  • Reduces the risk of death due to overdose
  • Facilitates safer withdrawal by relieving symptoms and controlling cravings
  • Increases retention in treatment with safer, controlled medications
  • Decreases illegal drug use and, with it, the potential dangers and legal consequences
  • Prevents relapse when integrated with counseling and behavioral therapies

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