5 Drug Addiction Treatments Options Explained!

In 2012, an estimated 2.2 million people in the United States were reported with a drug dependency or addiction. It is now said that prescription drugs and opioids cause more deaths every year than traffic accidents and firearms. If you or someone you know is suffering from a drug addiction problem, here are some treatment options available at Cognitive Psychiatry for addiction.

Buprenorphine (Suboxone)

This is a medication prescribed by specially trained doctors who see patients in their normal office setting. This medication is a replacement therapy, acting like an opioid to prevent or minimize the physical symptoms that result from withdrawals. Buprenorphine contains special properties that make it a good and safe choice for replacement therapy.

  • Pros: With this treatment, you can keep going to work, take care of your kids, and pursue your normal daily activities as you recover, vs. the more time consuming option of rehab.
  • Cons: Unless it is mixed with a drug like or called naloxone, the safety of suboxone can decrease and misuse is more likely.


Methadone is another therapy that replaces opioids. However, this particular prescription is given only through certain programs at clinics which require daily attendance.

  • Pros: It is a commonly used form of treatment, and the requirement of daily clinic visits ensures that you stay on the path to recovery.
  • Cons: This requires consistent monitoring via daily clinical appointments, and Cognitive Psychiatry does not utilize Methadone for treatment.


This medication blocks opioids so they have no effect if you try to use them again. This is often a form of treatment used by someone who has not used opioids for an extended period of time, or has recently tapered off replacement therapy and they are wanting to reduce their risk of relapse.

  • Pros: This is available in a pill or a shot form, making it easier to administer to yourself if you do not like injections. If you choose injections, it is a once a month shot that is very low maintenance for those attempting to carry on a normal life.
  • Cons: Cognitive Psychiatry can prescribe you either the shot or the pill, but we do not administer in our offices, so you would have to coordinate this elsewhere.

Inpatient detoxification (detox) programs

These programs are designed to help you stop using opioids quickly in a medically supervised setting. In this program, you will stay at a hospital, forcing you to come off of opioids quickly. Withdrawal symptoms are more likely, but the staff there can give you medications to help ease the discomfort of the withdrawal.

  • Pros: You get the benefit of medical attention and supervision throughout your detox, eliminating the possibility of relapse when trying to detox alone.
  • Cons: You will go through withdrawals which can be painful and uncomfortable.

Rehabilitation (rehab) programs

These programs are often a second phase of treatment, recommended after you go through a detox program. Typically, in a rehab program, you live away from home and are surrounded by others in the same or similar program as you. You attend groups and individual therapy sessions which are meant to help you understand and cope with your dependence.

  • Pros: You get the benefit of group support and camaraderie throughout your rehabilitation.
  • Cons: Rehabilitation is a lifelong process that will often have many temptations and distractions.

Each person is different and our doctors work with our patients to find the right treatment plan that will work best for them and their lifestyle. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact us at: 919-636-5240.

We are ready and waiting to help you get your life back.

Live Mentally Healthy,
Cognitive Psychiatry of Chapel Hill

On February 27rd, our current electronic health system will transition to a new and advanced system to better serve you: Athena. Prior to the transition date, you will be sent a registration link to create a new patient account in Athena. If you have any immediate questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your therapist, or call our office to speak to a staff member.