Substituting one addiction for another does not break the fundamental chains of addiction. It is well-known in the addiction field, that if we do not master to rewire our brain to find new paths of pleasure, relapse is only a feeling away.
We cannot drug our way out of addiction.
That said, instead of going cold-turkey (which taps right into our black-white addictive thinking), it might prove very useful to take it step-by-step and beginning our journey into recovery by substituting our primary drug of choice for a secondary. Substitution can be an important player in helping us not getting overwhelmed by the intense withdrawal that often leave us completely drained, lethargic and quite often suicidal.
But what does the science say about what we can expect from medication-assisted treatment for addiction?
Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, says, “Studies have shown that outcomes are much better when you are on medication-assisted therapy. For one, it decreases risk of relapse — significantly. Second, MAT has also been shown to be effective in preventing infectious diseases like HIV. Third, medication-assisted therapy has been shown to be effective in preventing overdoses,”.
A full overview of the science references behind medication-assisted treatment for addiction is available on STAT here.