Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a highly effective solution for treating opioid addiction. It is effective because it combines medication with counseling and other behavioral therapies to create an effective treatment plan. The combination of these treatments has been proven effective in reducing opioid overdose deaths by nearly 50%. MAT treatment can help reduce opioid cravings, lessen opioid withdrawal symptoms, and improve an individual’s overall quality of life. MAT can also help individuals regain hope and remain committed to their recovery goals. If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid dependence, do not hesitate to reach out for help and explore MAT as a treatment option. With the right support and resources, it is possible to achieve successful long-term recovery.
Medication-assisted treatment is a form of therapy that uses specific medications to achieve the following goals:
The medication-assisted treatment brings a wide variety of advantages, such as:
In 2018, it is estimated that around 2.15 million people in the USA have an opioid use disorder which includes addiction to prescription pain medications, heroin, and other opiates. Fortunately, opioid treatment programs, such as medication-assisted treatment, are highly effective when it comes to treating opioid dependence. MAT has been exceptionally successful at significantly reducing the need for costly inpatient detoxification services.
The primary purpose of a MAT program is to help individuals completely recover and become self-sufficient. MAT treatment has enabled people with substance use disorders to:
Scientific studies have clearly demonstrated that therapies and medications can drastically reduce an individual’s chances of contracting hepatitis C or HIV, by decreasing opioid use and associated risky behaviors through the use of drug injection.
The Food and Drug Administration has endorsed various forms of medication-assisted treatment to help individuals with opioid use disorder manage withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. MAT medications correct the chemical imbalance that leads to psychological cravings and symptoms, providing long-term relief without replacing one drug with another. Evidenced-based MAT treatments are clinically proven to be successful in the treatment of opioid use disorder, which guarantees safe and powerful treatment options for individuals facing such a condition.
Disulfiram, naltrexone, and acamprosate are the most common medications for individuals with alcohol withdrawal symptoms. MAT program medications do not provide a cure for alcohol use disorder, but they are the most effective at helping individuals manage their alcohol withdrawal symptoms.
Methadone, naltrexone, and buprenorphine are three medications that can be part of a Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program. These drugs have been proven to effectively treat withdrawal symptoms in individuals who are dependent on opioids such as heroin, codeine, and morphine while also helping those who use semi-synthetic opioids like hydrocodone or oxycodone. Not only is it safe to use these MAT medications for short periods but they can even be used over extended durations – months, years, or indefinitely!
Naloxone is a life-saving medication used to prevent opioid overdose by reversing the drug’s harmful effects. The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified naloxone as one of the most essential medications in any functional healthcare system, blocking euphoric feelings and intoxicating effects caused by opioids.
Naloxone is an invaluable asset for individuals struggling with alcohol use disorder, providing them with the necessary tools to:
Acamprosate is an effective medication-assisted treatment for individuals in active recovery who have quit drinking and wish to maintain sobriety. It efficiently stops individuals from drinking alcohol, yet it, unfortunately, doesn’t guard them against withdrawal symptoms after they consume alcohol. This form of therapy proves effective for people still taking illicit drugs, misusing prescription medications, and even continuing to drink alcohol.
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To ensure maximum efficacy, individuals should begin taking acamprosate on their fifth day of abstaining from substance use. The medication reaches its full effectiveness in about five to eight days and it can be taken in oral tablet form three times a day around the same time each day for optimal results.
The principal side effects of this medication are as follows:
Disulfiram tablets offer a reliable treatment for chronic alcoholism, but they are most effective when taken by individuals who have recently gone through detoxification and at the early stages of alcohol abstinence. However, it’s important to note that those under intoxication must never take this medication as it will be rendered ineffective.
Disulfiram produces an unpleasant reaction, including;
People can experience a range of withdrawal symptoms from drug use, which is why medications are an integral part of many medical detox protocols. Medication-assisted treatment helps to manage these uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous effects, as they differ depending on the following aspects:
Withdrawal symptoms may range from minor to unbearable and sometimes even life-threatening. People react differently based on which substance they use and other psychological elements.
In particular, those with extreme alcohol addiction may suffer severe side effects such as:
MAT treatment is an effective way to reduce withdrawal symptoms, making the detox process safer and easier. In addition, these programs can immensely reduce the impact of such symptoms by helping people slowly reduce how much of a drug they are taking.
When treating addictions in a clinical setting, even though FDA-approved medications might not be available yet, practitioners often employ the MAT treatment approach. For instance, clonidine can be used to help reduce withdrawal symptoms associated with alcohol and opioid abuse while anticonvulsant medications are more suitable for benzodiazepine withdrawal management.
The traditional method for weaning off benzodiazepines is to gradually reduce the dosage though, this may not always be feasible. In such cases, additional measures may need to be taken in order to manage withdrawal symptoms like irritability and seizures.
Several different medications are being studied as potential treatments for Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) to deal with symptoms of benzodiazepine withdrawal. Some addiction treatment centers may even dispense prescription drugs to help with the distressing symptoms of benzo withdrawal.
When someone is suffering from a substance use disorder, their safety remains the utmost priority when deciding on treatment. Fortunately, medication-assisted therapy offers an effective solution that doesn’t result in increased highs due to the correct usage of medications prescribed for opioid withdrawal. Doing this can help to reduce the chances of becoming addicted to drugs or alcohol.
Several medications used for medication-assisted therapy block the effects of drugs, and help to manage withdrawal symptoms. Most notably, Suboxone is composed of naloxone – an opioid receptor antagonist that has a low risk of overdose when taken correctly. As such, it is generally deemed safe and effective in treating those suffering from opioid dependence or addiction.
Misusing Suboxone by injecting it can bring about intense withdrawal symptoms, however when taken properly and in conjunction with medical supervision, the drug is known to be safe and effective. Just like Suboxone, methadone – a full opioid agonist- has been utilized for many years as an addiction treatment solution while being carefully monitored and dispensed under appropriate circumstances.
Suboxone and methadone are both reliable for long-term detoxification treatment. However, many people recognize that Suboxone is the more secure option with fewer chances of medication interactions and side effects.
Before settling on medication-assisted therapy, it’s wise to consult with your healthcare provider. Your doctor will be able to assist you in selecting the optimal form of treatment that best meets your needs and assess the associated benefits and drawbacks of medication-assisted treatment. Additionally, they can help give you a detailed overview of all available options so that you may make an informed decision.
Looking for lasting relief and recovery from opioid dependence?
Let Live Free Recovery provide you with the Medication-Assisted Therapy you need to find freedom from addiction. Live Free treatment centers offer Medication Assisted Treatment as part of outpatient treatment. It is a very good place to start when it comes to opioid treatment programs, as they provide quality services and individualized care. It provides adults struggling with opioid addiction access to medication-assisted therapy (MAT) and a full range of integrated services that are uniquely tailored to each client’s needs.
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) has proven to be a much better and safer way of addressing substance use disorder than traditional methods. Our highly trained, friendly staff at Live Free Recovery can help you determine if MAT is the best option for your particular situation.
Get in touch with us now to begin the journey toward sobriety!