Harmony House


Medications for Opioid Addiction Treatment**

Faced with an epidemic of severe drug addiction, we believe that recovering people need 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.  Fortunately medications are now available to support recovery efforts.  Treatment with Suboxone or Methadone greatly reduces the risk of overdose and death among opiate addicts!  Utilization of any medication treatment is not required at Harmony House.

Why do medications help with opioid addiction?

In short, addiction medications provide treatment of extreme physical cravings and other intolerable ongoing symptoms. 

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! There is a false belief that medication treatment is inferior because they are just substituting one drug for another.  These medications are treatment and have been repeatedly studied and proven to be more effective than a drug free approach.  Even the Surgeon General urges medication treatment of opioid addiction.

The person attempting recovery is often made to feel like a failure if they are not able to withstand the effects of chronic withdrawal.  They are told to “tough it out.” People are dying while they tough it out.  Or they return to detox and rehab over and over.  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 a premier treatment program in the world, the Hazelden/Betty Ford Foundation, now provides medication treatment.

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:

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.

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