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Dr. Ananthakumar Thillainathan Explains Medication-Assisted Opioid Addiction Treatment

By: Get News

Dr. Ananthakumar Thillainathan is an internal medicine doctor. He is a primary care provider. In addition to standard primary care treatment, he specializes in addiction treatment and patient advocacy. Today, he explains medication-assisted opioid addiction treatment.

The Opioid Epidemic

More than 2 million people in the U.S. have opioid use disorder, also known as opioid addiction. Addiction has negative consequences for the individual and their family, including damaged relationships, financial instability, and the risk of overdose.

Addiction and Withdrawal

Opioids are highly addictive. They provide potent pain relief. However, they also make the user feel good by releasing certain chemicals into the brain. When they are misused, this increases the number of chemicals released, creating a feeling of euphoria.

Unfortunately, the body quickly becomes dependent on the substance. When the person stops taking it, they experience withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms can include severe pain, anxiety, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

In addition to the symptoms of withdrawal, Dr. Ananthakumar Thillainathan explains the brain sends intense craving signals because it believes it must have the substance to continue functioning.

The person will then seek the substance out to get rid of the withdrawal symptoms, even if they want to stop taking it.

Medication-Assisted Addiction Treatment

Research has made several breakthroughs in recent years. Today, addiction is seen as a disease rather than a choice or a moral failing. If opioid addiction is a disease, what is the treatment?

There are a few medications that are FDA-approved to treat opioid addiction. One is methadone, and the other is buprenorphine, better known as Suboxone.

These medications help ease the withdrawal symptoms when a patient stops using opioids and reduce the cravings associated with withdrawal. In addition to these medications, the patient often receives behavioral treatment to help them with their recovery.


Methadone was the first medication used to treat opioid addiction. In addition to relieving withdrawal symptoms, methadone is also considered a pain reliever.


Buprenorphine is typically combined with another medication, naloxone, in the same medication. Naloxone is used to reverse an opioid overdose and can be lifesaving.

When combined with Buprenorphine, naloxone helps prevent misuse of the medication and potential overdose.

The Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment has been shown to have some important benefits. It reduces the risk of death due to overdose by 50% among those with opioid addiction.

90% of patients who receive opioid replacement medication maintain their sobriety for two years. On the other hand, relapse rates are as high as 90% without medication-assisted treatment.

In addition, medication-assisted treatment reduces the rate of infectious disease transmission, including HIV.

Because these medications prevent withdrawal symptoms, the patient can function normally. This can help them get back to normal life quickly.

Ananthakumar Thillainathan

Dr. Ananthakumar Thillainathan is the owner and founder of MD Care Now. He believes that offering compassionate and individualized care is essential. MD Care Now allows walk-in patients. They provide urgent care, primary care, and addiction treatment.

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Contact Person: Dr. Ananthakumar Thillainathan
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Country: United States

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