NET STEPS offers a comprehensive cluster of therapeutic interventions that are grouped around medication, such as methadone, which is prescribed to an addict for the treatment of heroin and other opiate addiction. The Recovery model of pharmacotherapy puts the counseling interventions as primary services and the medication protocols as supportive. Baseline services include, at minimum, medication maintenance/dosage weaning/detoxification administered by a licensed professional, observed toxicology testing, annual physical examination with laboratory studies, physicians services (i.e. medication checks, medical follow up, etc.), HIV/AIDS services and spiritually centered structured counseling interventions.
Heroin/Oxycondin/Opioid addiction is a “brain disease” that has a profound and in many cases a life long impact upon the individual. “Opioid dependence is defined as a cluster of cognitive, behavioral and physiological symptoms in which the individual continues to use opiates despite significant opiate-induced problems. Opiate dependence is characterized by repeated self administration that usually results in opioid tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, and compulsive drug-taking.” (NIH Consensus Statement, Volume 15, Number 6).
Many research and treatment experts postulate that there is a receptor system dysfunction in the brain of heroin addicts that is present at birth or brought on by chronic heroin abuse. This belief may explain the extraordinary high rate of relapse among these individuals. The National Institute of Drug Addiction states that heroin relapse presents nearly a 100% chance of relapse within the first 90 days of heroin or opioid discontinuance. The challenge for treatment professionals is determining which of the clients have the brain dysfunction and which can achieve total and meaningful sobriety. NET STEPS Program will assume all clients can achieve total sobriety from which ever modality they engage. Sobriety is considered freedom from illicit abuse while remaining on pharmacotherapy. NET staff will work to reduce dependence as soon as it is medically and clinically possible, baring relapse behavior and symptoms.
The core structure or framework for an individualized treatment process is the program's treatment plan that is developed for each patient and is specifically tailored to address that patient's unique set of needs and resources.