Drug replacement therapy, also known as replacement therapy, refers to the practice of prescribing one drug to treat an addiction to another substance. The most well-known replacement therapy is the use of methadone to treat opioid or heroin addiction. In fact, decades of research by various organizations like the World Health Organization, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), unequivocally establish that methadone replacement therapy is the most effective treatment for opioid addictions.
Nevertheless, drug replacement therapy remains controversial. The concept of swapping one drug for another does not necessarily align with most people’s idea of what treatment is or should be. Some also caution against the use of replacement therapy in young people, those who have only been addicted for a short period of time, and where other methods can be just as effective.
In some cases, drug replacement therapy is used only during the detoxification period to help lessen the symptoms of withdrawal. This should only be done under professional supervision that can manage the patient’s intake of the replacement drug and ensure that they can be gradually weaned off of it during the first weeks of treatment.
The Asana Recovery Center offers a supervised detoxification and residential treatment program in a supportive, relaxing, and inspiring environment. Call us at (949) 438-4504 to learn more about our comprehensive drug and alcohol addiction treatment program today.