Harmony House


Medications for Addiction Treatment**

We believe recovery living should be tailored to each specific individual.  A one size fits all approach does not work for us.  We provide personalized support that relies on scientific research in addition to 12 step recovery.We are Suboxone and Methadone friendly.  Although many of our residents do not take medicine, we have many years of experience dealing with men utilizing addiction treatment medications.  

Faced with an epidemic of severe drug and alcohol addiction, we believe that a person entering recovery or returning from a relapse needs all the support they can get.  

Because overdose deaths are so common after a period of abstinence, we encourage the use of blockers (where appropriate) such as Vivitrol and Naltrexone, under a doctor's care.  This is not a requirement.

Too many of our loved ones are dying.  However, there is great news!  Medications are currently available to support recovery efforts and new medication treatments are under development all the time.  Treatment with Suboxone or Methadone greatly reduces the risk of overdose and death among opiate addicts!

Protracted Withdrawal

Protracted withdrawal syndromes are often the source of relapse of those with opiate addiction.  These syndromes are widely misunderstood by families, well-meaning recovering people and even addiction professionals!   Use of medications for addiction treatment is often viewed as inferior to a drug-free approach and such individuals are stigmatized because they “are not really clean.”  There is a false belief that they are just substituting one drug for another.  These medications are treatment and have been repeatedly studied and found far more effective than a drug free approach.  This is like an approach to cancer, where everyone says we don't believe in chemo.  Some people need chemo to treat cancer.  Some people need addiction treatment medication.  

The person attempting recovery is often made to feel like a failure because they do not have the ability to withstand the effects of chronic withdrawal.  They are told to “tough it out.” People are dying while they tough it out.  Each person has different needs.  By all means, if you can stay clean without medication you should!  If you can't, get help from a doctor or clinic.

Even the premier treatment program in the world, the Hazelden/Betty Ford Foundation, now provides medication treatment.

Protracted or chronic withdrawal syndromes are significant barriers to maintaining long-term abstinence and recovery for many addicts and alcoholics.  Addicts feel completely hopeless when they have attempted recovery over and over again, only to fail.  They don’t know what else to do. 

Fortunately, there are some medications that treat protracted withdrawal and make a life in recovery a possibility.  Many more are desperately needed.  The medications must be meticulously studied and investments of millions of dollars precede FDA approval.  There are no FDA approved medications to treat addiction to benzodiazepines, cocaine or marijuana yet.

Medication treatment is not a cure for addiction, but can assist the person new in recovery to engage in the recovery process.  Medication treatment is most helpful as a part of a comprehensive program of recovery, including 12 Step groups, professional counseling and other recovery supports, like recovery houses or community recovery centers.  Individual medical assessment, diagnosis and treatment are necessary in order to effectively treat addiction, just like any chronic illness.  Medications to treat addiction are specific to the drugs of abuse.  Most help by reducing cravings and/or blocking drug effects.

Additional Resources:

 Medications to treat alcoholism    

       Learn more

Medication treatments for opiate addiction, including heroin, Oxycontin, Morphine, Percocet 

      Harmony House Experience with Suboxone Supported Recovery         by Lisa D. Williams, MS, CADC, CCS

Learn more

The Case for Suboxone by Lisa D. Williams, MS, CADC, CCS

Read Article

Data Demonstrate Buprenorphine's Effectiveness

Read Article

       The medication holdouts:  Some experts charge centers that avoid drug treatments with shunning science and ethics

       Read Article

        Medications in the Treatment of Substance Use DisordersIt's Time to Overcome Pessimism About Successfully Treating Addictive Disorders

        Read Article

Additional Resources


*Accessible Recovery Services accepts most insurances for Suboxone visits in Philadelphia, including Medical Assistance

Suboxone Doctor Directory

NIDA Treatment Approaches to Drug Addiction

HBO:  Prescribed Medications can Help People Recover from Addiction

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)            

Medications Development at NIDA — April 2010           

First NIDA Avant-Garde Awards for Medications Development Research

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration     

Acamprosate Advisory

Methadone Advisory

Naltrexone Advisory

Similarities and Differences in Opioid Treatment Programs that Provide Methadone Maintenance or Buprenorphine Maintenance

**Medication supported treatment utilizing any prescription medication should be done only as prescribed and monitored by a licensed physician.  Nothing contained in this website should be considered medical advice.  Please consult your physician.

Harmony House © 2017 All rights reserved


       house rules





Harmony Notes