The program provides pharmacotherapies such as methadone and buprenorphine, in addition to individual and group counseling, prenatal counseling and HIV and other communicable disease prevention education.

Short and long term detoxification and maintenance treatment are available.

Buprenorphine (Suboxone®) is a prescription medication that is used to treat opioid use disorder. Opioid use disorder can occur in individuals who have been using either prescription or illegal opioids (heroin, hydrocodone, oxycodone, etc.) for over a the span of a year or more. This also includes building a tolerance and feeling the need to take more and more for the same effects. Ku Aloha Ola Mau is offering buprenorphine treatment at all sites. When coupled with counseling, medication-assisted treatment has the highest success rate of any type of treatment for opioid use disorder.

Buprenorphine treatment works in phases. The first phase is the induction phase which must be introduced to a patient when they are in a moderate state of withdrawal. The maintenance phase consists of the individual working with their physician to find a therapeutic dosage that eliminates withdrawal symptoms and allows the individual to live a normal lifestyle without craving opioids. The taper phase comes when the physician and the individual believe that they are ready. It occurs slowly to ensure minimal withdrawal symptoms occur and chance of relapse remains low.

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Methadone has been used to treat opioid use disorder since the 1950’s.  Methadone has been proven to be such an effective treatment option that is has been included in The World Health Organization’s list of essential medications. Individuals who are prescribed methadone must come to a clinic and take their daily dose. Due to the federal and state regulations on methadone, it is a process before someone has the ability to take up to 13 days of their prescription home. These vary from state to state so be sure to look up the individual laws based on your location.

Methadone is an opioid and can lead to dependency, however being prescribed methadone and taking it daily is not the same as being addicted to other opiates. Individuals who are prescribed methadone as part of a medically assisted treatment program must also attend counseling services in order to qualify for it. One key difference is that when someone suffers from opioid dependence they spend a great deal of time searching for more, which can lead to stealing and other criminal acts. Individuals on methadone can obtain their medication regularly and can continue to do productive things such as go to school, parent, work, and live a healthy lifestyle.

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