This guide to medication-assisted treatment programs is the only resource you need for exploiting medication-assisted treatment programs (MAT). MAT is one of the effective options for people seeking treatment for drug or alcohol addiction. MAT programs are especially recommended for individuals who have struggled in their recovery or gone through treatment more than once.
Medication-assisted programs are not available for every type of substance use disorder. They are typically sought for the treatment of alcohol and opioid addictions. Opioids include prescription and illegal drugs such as oxycodone, heroin, fentanyl, codeine, and methadone.
A Guide to Medication-Assisted Treatment Programs
Individuals who attend a medication-assisted program get medicines to help ease the symptoms of withdrawal. Both opioid and alcohol withdrawal symptoms can be severe, even causing life-threatening health problems. Medical supervision helps to keep patients safe and comfortable as they detox.
However, MATs have more to offer than just medication. You will also find the evidence-based therapies traditionally offered at most rehab facilities. Behavioral therapies, nutritional therapies, peer support, and family therapy are also part of the program.
The emotional and physical symptoms of withdrawal can be so severe that many people hesitate to face their addiction issues. MAT programs offer the necessary medical assistance to get through detox successfully and the treatments needed for long-term recovery.
What Types of Medical Assistance Are Provided?
Each MAT has its own protocols, but a reputable program should begin with a thorough evaluation of your physical and mental health. Your medical team will create a treatment plan to address your specific wellness needs.
Medical protocols to help withdrawal will depend on which substance(s) you are using, your medical history, and other factors. Typically, three different programs are available for opioid use disorder, which are:
- Suboxone treatment program – Suboxone is a combination of two medications, buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist. It may provide a slight sensation of pleasure or pain relief, but it will not cause a feeling of euphoria for opioid-dependent people. Naloxone is an opioid antagonist that discourages misuse of the treatment. Suboxone only needs to be taken once a day. It has a low potential for abuse, low risk of overdose and is effective in eliminating cravings and other opioid withdrawal symptoms.
- Methadone treatment program – Methadone has been used in medication-assisted treatment programs for over thirty years. Because it is an opioid, methadone is only available from clinics that are federally regulated. Studies have shown methadone to decrease overdose deaths, improve mental and physical health, and suppress the unwanted effects of opioid withdrawal.
- Naltrexone treatment program – As an opioid blocker, naltrexone prevents the pain-relieving and euphoric effects of heroin and other opioids. There is no risk of developing a dependence or addiction to naltrexone. However, it does not ease withdrawal symptoms. Naltrexone is used to prevent relapsing once a patient has been free of opioids for at least two weeks. The risk of overdose death increases with the use of naltrexone.
The Benefits of Choosing a Medication-Assisted Treatment Program
A guide to medication-assisted treatment programs names the number-one reason to choose a medication-assisted treatment program is to recover from addiction. MATs are clinically effective and provide comprehensive, tailored programs to support each patient. The second best reason is to improve your chances of survival. Overdose deaths reached a record high in 2020, and experts predict the number of fatal overdoses to continue rising through the foreseeable future.
If you’re struggling with alcohol or opioid addiction, find a medication-assisted treatment program in your area. With the proper medical assistance and behavioral therapies, you can overcome addiction and start living the life you were meant to have. Take the first step by reaching out today.