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Research suggests opioid addiction be treated with prescription medication

New guidelines suggest opioid addiction should be treated with prescription medication rather than detox programs.

The guidelines were published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal and advise against detox programs. Clinical Director of the Thorpe Recovery Centre Suzie Le Brocq says that research in the addiction field is looking into maintenance programs that allow people to take prescription medication and not go into significant withdrawal, as well as reducing relapses.

“It’s a great harm reduction tool. It’s not the tool that is used by the Thorpe Centre in terms of its abstinence based model, but it’s certainly something that is gaining recognition and a lot of research is being done into the positive affects of it.”

The centre has a 12 bed medically supported detox center that allows people to stay for five to 12 days depending on their withdrawal process. Le Broq says that they use different protocols in regards to treating their patients based on the Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale.

“It depends on the severity of their withdrawals, it depends on the type of drugs that they were using and the stage of addiction they were at will dictate what detox protocol they used.”

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She adds that not all people addicted to opioids have the same symptoms or withdrawal process and therefore more research has to be done in the addiction field.

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