Pharmacotherapy refers to the practice of treating health issues with drugs that are prescribed by doctors. When it comes to treating drug addiction, this method involves using a legal, prescribed drug to replace the one causing the addiction.

Incorporating prescribed medications into a broader treatment strategy can significantly aid in managing withdrawal symptoms, reducing cravings for the drug and decreasing the likelihood of its use. Specifically, opioid pharmacotherapy combines medication with counselling and behaviour therapies to address opioid addiction.

There are several terms associated with opioid pharmacotherapy, including Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependence (MATOD), Opioid Substitution Treatment (OST), Opioid Maintenance Program (OMT), Opioid Replacement Therapy (ORT), Opioid Agonist Medication (OAM) and Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT).

Opioids, which can be natural or synthetic, are derived from the opium poppy. They encompass a range of substances from prescription painkillers, known as opioid pain medications to illegal drugs like heroin. Common opioids include codeine, fentanyl, heroin, morphine and oxycodone. The misuse of opioids, whether through the non-prescribed use of pharmaceutical opioids or the use of illegal opioids like heroin, often leads to significant harm.

Pharmacotherapy in terms of addiction refers to the use of medications to help individuals overcome their addiction. Medications used in pharmacotherapy can work in various ways. Some medications help reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms making it easier to abstain from drug or alcohol use. Others block the euphoric effects of certain substances or deter its usage by inducing unpleasant side effects when combined with the substance. Each medication targets a specific type of addiction, such as opioids, alcohol or nicotine.

Medication use in addiction treatment, backed by extensive research and clinical evidence, is a long-established practice. However, it is typically part of a broader treatment plan that includes counselling and behavioural therapies.

The decision to include pharmacotherapy in treatment is made after consulting with addiction medicine specialists, taking into account the individual’s specific addiction, medical history and personal needs to determine the most suitable medication and dosage. It’s important to understand that pharmacotherapy isn’t a standalone cure for addiction; it’s a supportive tool. Successful long-term recovery also depends on commitment to the treatment plan, ongoing support and lifestyle changes.

    Addiction & Mental Health

    Treatment Services

    Founded in 2008, WeDoRecover has evolved from an advisory service for addiction treatment into a comprehensive provider of care, following its 2019 merger with Changes Addiction Rehab in Johannesburg. Specialising in connecting patients to top-tier addiction treatment centers in the UK, South Africa and Thailand, WeDoRecover supports individuals globally, including those from the United Arab Emirates and Europe. Accepting both South African medical aid and international health insurance our organisation facilitates access to high-quality treatment for substance and alcohol use disorders, offering individualised care that addresses the physical, mental and social needs of patients.

    Our team, led by Gareth Carter, offers empathetic and professional support, guiding you through every step of the treatment process. Whether you're in South Africa or abroad, our acceptance of various insurance plans makes quality care accessible, providing a platform for lasting recovery and a healthier future.

    Inpatient Rehab

    Rehab care is a good option if you are at risk of experiencing strong withdrawal symptoms when you try stop a substance. This option would also be recommended if you have experienced recurrent relapses or if you have tried a less-intensive treatment without success.


    If you're committed to your sobriety but cannot take a break from your daily duties for an inpatient program. Outpatient rehab treatment might suit you well if you are looking for a less restricted format for addiction treatment or simply need help with mental health.


    Therapy can be good step towards healing and self-discovery. If you need support without disrupting your routine, therapy offers a flexible solution for anyone wishing to enhance their mental well-being or work through personal issues in a supportive, confidential environment.

    Mental Health

    Are you having persistent feelings of being swamped, sad or have sudden surges of anger or intense emotional outbursts? These are warning signs of unresolved trauma mental health. A simple assesment by a mental health expert could provide valuable insights into your recovery.

    Finding the right rehab close to you is simple with WeDoRecover. Our network includes the finest rehab centers, ensuring personalised, quality care for your recovery needs. Let Gareth Carter and our empathetic team help guide you to a center that feels right for you, offering expert care and support. Start your healing today by choosing a rehab that's not just close to you, but also that truly cares about your loved ones recovery.

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