Medication-Assisted Treatment is a medical approach for treating substance use disorders by using FDA approved medication with behavioral therapies.
When it comes to helping people recover from opioid addiction, a medication-assisted treatment program is one of the safest options that are available. With the opioid epidemic at an all-time high, having an accessible and affordable treatment option continues to be an urgent, lifesaving, and necessary part of the communities throughout the United States. Opioids of all kinds, both prescription and illegal, are highly addictive substances and addiction to them need to be treated to ensure a long life.
What is a Medication-Assisted Treatment Program?
Medication-Assisted Treatment, or MAT, is used as a medical approach to the treatment of substance abuse disorders by using FDA approved medication with a combination of behavioral therapies and counseling. The medication prescribed bring this treatment is meant to normalize a person’s brain chemistry, block any euphoric effects of opioids, relieve symptoms of psychological cravings, and normalize the body’s function.
MAT has been known to increase retention during treatment, improve the survival of a patient, decrease the use of opioid use and any criminal activity associated with using, and provide a life free from the grips of addiction. In addition to using an MAT program, patients are encouraged to take part in individual, family, and group therapy services, attend 12-step meetings and attend other health services that serve as a way to get themselves back on their feet and focused on their life in sobriety.
What Drugs Are Used in Medication-Assisted Treatment?
There are a few different options available when it comes to choosing what kind of medication will be best for you during your medication-assisted treatment plan. The most popular and effective options include:
- Methadone: This is perhaps the most highly regulated and well-known medication used during the treatment of opioid use and addiction. It is what is known as a long-acting, full agonist. This means it will combine with the receptors in the brain and the nervous system to produce the desired effect needed. In simpler terms, it triggers the same part of the brain that opioids trigger but without the harmful effects and euphoric high.
- Suboxone (buprenorphine): Unlike Methadone, Suboxone is a partial agonist meaning it does not completely bind to the opioids receptors as Methadone does but still blocks urges. The two drugs in Suboxone, Buprenorphine and Naloxone, help limit the effects of opioids, reduce cravings, and prevent withdrawal symptoms. Since it is a partial agonist, it is less likely to cause fatigue and is easier to taper from.
- Vivitrol: This is an injectable or tablet medication that is designed to stop cravings for an extended period. Unlike Suboxone or Methadone, it can be taken every month as it is extended-release. Rather than stimulating the opioid receptors in the brain, Vivitrol blocks the effects of opioid drugs to decrease and prevent the feeling of euphoria that they produce.
You can get involved in a medication-assisted treatment program through a physician who specializes in addiction treatment or at an addiction treatment center that utilizes MAT programs. The typical treatment process includes physician consultation, determining suitability, prescribing the medication, and maintenance of the medication.
Call Treatment Offers MAT Programs
If opioid addiction is left untreated, the chances of fatality continuously increase. If you or someone you love is struggling with the disease of addiction, know that you can be treated and you can recover from your addiction and lead a happy, fulfilled life. It is time to put the pain and misery of addiction in your past and rebuild your life into something you are proud of. Now is the time to make the change. Let On-Call Treatment help you do it!