People generally start taking acamprosate on their fifth day of abstinence. The medication reaches its full effectiveness in about five to eight days. People typically consume acamprosate in tablet form three times a day, preferably around the same time each day.
The medication’s main side effects are the following:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Upset stomach
- Appetite loss
This medication treats chronic alcoholism and is the most effective in individuals who have already completed the detoxification process and are in the beginning stages of abstinence. People take disulfiram in tablet form once every day. People who are intoxicated should not take disulfiram.
The unpleasant side effects of disulfiram are the following:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pains
These side effects can occur as soon as ten minutes after individual drinks even a tiny amount of alcohol and it can last for over an hour.
What Are the Withdrawal Symptoms That a MAT Program Helps Treat?
There are many withdrawal symptoms that medication-assisted treatment helps treat. That’s why medications are a vital aspect of numerous medical detox protocols. The withdrawal symptoms that people experience due to drug use can vary due to the following things:
- How long was the drug used for
- The substance used
- The severity of drug use
- Length of drug use
The severity of withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to uncomfortable, to severe, to fatal. Individuals experience withdrawal differently based on the type of substances that they use as well as many other psychological factors. For example, for individuals with severe alcoholism issues, it’s possible to experience dangerous complications such as:
- An altered consciousness
MAT treatment can eliminate the above-mentioned withdrawal symptoms and make detox much safer. Also, MAT programs can reduce the entire impact of withdrawal symptoms by assisting an individual in the tapering off of a given substance.
Can Medication-Assisted Treatment Be Used for Other Addictions?
A MAT treatment approach can be used in clinical settings for many other addictions, even though FDA-approved medications aren’t available currently. For example, individuals might use clonidine to help them manage opioid and alcohol withdrawal. Benzodiazepine withdrawal management, on the other hand, might warrant the use of anticonvulsant medications.
The current protocol right now when detoxing from benzodiazepines is to slowly wean off the medication. However, this might not always be an option. Additional management for withdrawal complications such as agitation and seizure might be required.
Various medications are being studied as possible options for MAT treatment to manage symptoms relating to benzodiazepine withdrawal. Some addiction treatment facilities might prescribe medications to manage bothersome benzo withdrawal symptoms as they arise.
Is Medication-Assisted Treatment Safe?
When an individual has an active substance use disorder, the safety of treating it through medication-assisted therapy is always a major concern. If people take their medications for opioid withdrawal correctly, it shouldn’t result in a strengthened high. So the ingrained abuse potential is significantly lowered.
Many of the medications that people utilize in medication-assisted therapy block the full effects of substances. These medications are intended to treat substance withdrawal symptoms. They also have a low risk of overdose when used according to the parameters that were prescribed. For example, Suboxone, which alleviates opioid withdrawal symptoms, is composed of naloxone, an opioid receptor antagonist, and is generally safe.
If someone intentionally misuses Suboxone by injecting the drug, that person can experience intense withdrawal symptoms. Methadone is a full opioid agonist and it has been safely used for managing opioid addiction for several years by being carefully monitored and dispensed. Similar to Suboxone, methadone is typically safe to be used under medical supervision.
Both Suboxone and methadone are effective for long-term withdrawal treatment and detox. In particular, Suboxone is well-known to be a safe medication with a lower risk of medication interactions and side effects.
Before deciding on medication-assisted therapy, it’s advised that you discuss your choices with your doctor. Your doctor will be able to help you do the following:
- Decide on the most effective form of treatment that can meet your needs
- Weigh the pros and cons of medication-assisted treatment
- Understand your options
Medication-Assisted Therapy Awaits at Live Free Recovery
After doing diligent research on medication-assisted therapy for your needs, it’s time to decide on which treatment choice will be the most effective. MAT treatment has completely emerged as a more effective and safer way to address troublesome substance use disorders than most. Still, our knowledgeable and compassionate staff here at Live Free Recovery can help you decide if medication-assisted treatment is the best option for you. Contact us today to get started.