Medication Assisted Therapies

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

It has been discovered that medication-assisted therapies are effective in slowly easing a person into a successful, long-term journey to sobriety and away from an addiction to opioids or alcohol.

The combination of FDA-approved medications with various therapies is known as medication-assisted treatment or MAT. In this treatment, qualified doctors administer medications to patients. When these medications are used according to professional instruction and under supervision, they do not create a new addiction.

At Silver Linings Recovery Center we offer the option of medication-assisted treatment and help to plan your steps to recovery from opioid or alcohol addiction.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Defined

When medication is combined with various forms of therapy, it is defined as medication-assisted treatment or MAT. The type of FDA-approved medication varies according to the type of addiction a person has.

The prescription medication aids in recovery by reducing the cravings that come along with the detoxification process. The longer and less stressful the recovery process is, the better the chance that you or your loved one will remain addiction-free. 

The therapy piece of medication-assisted treatment focuses on educating individuals on how to manage in an everyday world with many temptations. Therapy also concentrates on self-esteem issues, negative behavior, and the development of coping skills.

Overall, effective medication-assisted treatment (MAT) consists of:

  • Education
  • Evidence-based behavioral therapies
  • Relapse prevention programs
  • FDA-approved medication

MAT for Alcohol Addiction

FDA-approved drugs used in MAT to treat alcohol dependence include:

  • Acamprosate
  • Disulfiram

Acamprosate is used in medication-assisted treatment of alcohol addiction to assist in preventing you from having a setback. Acamprosate decreases the cravings associated with alcohol abuse. Without intense cravings, you will have more time to concentrate on the recovery process. Side effects that are common with the use of acamprosate include headaches, diarrhea, and dizziness.

Another medication that MAT uses to combat alcoholism is disulfiram. Disulfiram works by blocking the way alcohol is processed by the body. If a person consumes alcohol while taking this drug, unpleasant effects may occur. (These may include headaches, nausea, vomiting, respiratory difficulties, chest pain, and more.) After the individual uses alcohol, these side effects take approximately 10 to 30 minutes to appear and typically last for an hour. This helps to discourage further consumption.

MAT for Opioid Addiction

There are various FDA-approved drugs that can be used in medication-assisted treatment of those who are addicted to opioids. A few of these medications include:

  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Probuphine

The use of methadone in medication-assisted treatment creates a reduction in cravings and can also reduce the effects of withdrawal from opioid addiction. However, it is highly important to avoid using these medications without the supervision and guidance of a professional. There can be serious side effects with the use of methadone. Those side effects include such things as seizures, hallucinations, and difficulty breathing.

Buprenorphine may also produce some serious side effects if individuals do not use the medication according to directions. Some of the side effects of buprenorphine may be nausea, constipation, and irritability.

Another drug used in medication-assisted treatment is probuphine. Probuphine is an actual implant that is placed in the upper arm. This implant allows continuous medication to be dispersed with no worry of a missed daily dosage.

This treatment lasts for up to 6 months, and medical professionals can insert a second implant if necessary. The treatment should not continue for longer than 12 months. Side effects of probuphine include dizziness, itching, pain, or redness at the insertion site, constipation, or headache. The possibility of the inserted implant being rejected is also a concern.

For all of these reasons, those who desire to go through a medication-assisted treatment process should seek professional guidance. Without this necessary component, the recovery process could prove to be quite difficult and problematic. Thankfully, however, our team is dedicated to your safe and healthy recovery. So, we will strive to make the entire process seamless, always keeping your health and needs in mind.

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Can Medication-Assisted Treatment Address All Types of Addiction?

Medication-assisted treatment is a form of treatment for those who are suffering from opioid or alcohol use disorders. In the case of opioid addiction, MAT can help decrease the chance of an overdose. It can also help bring back a balance in an individual’s mental health.

For those who are struggling with alcohol addiction, MAT can help decrease the urge to consume alcohol. This substance abuse treatment approach can also help to minimize the side effects of the symptoms of withdrawal. Also, MAT can decrease the pleasurable effects an individual experiences when drinking alcohol, helping to discourage alcohol use. 

Overall, the medications MAT uses can help to break a person’s physical dependency on alcohol or opioids. This treatment approach can also lower the stress of the withdrawal, making the process much more comfortable for those who are working to end addiction in their lives.

The Benefits of Using MAT for Addiction Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment brings with it many benefits and advantages. Those who go through this type of treatment may find that it is a most helpful approach.

One significant beneficial factor is that the FDA-approved drugs that are administered in this type of treatment are found to be safe. This form of treatment is also a cost-effective way to manage opioid and alcohol addiction. Also, the risk of overdose is reduced, and there may also be an increase in treatment retention.

Our team at Silver Linings Recovery Center includes many qualified staff members. These individuals are ready to help you take the first steps to recovery from opioid misuse or alcohol addiction. We are here to help you discover whether medication-assisted treatment is the right choice for you. 

MAT and recovery
MAT for addiction

The Use of Naltrexone in Medication-Assisted Treatment

One other drug, naltrexone, can be administered via a pill or as an injection for those undergoing medication-assisted treatment. Naltrexone can be used in the treatment of both opioid addiction, as well as alcohol addiction. 

The injectable form of naltrexone is also known as Vivitrol and is administered monthly. The pill form of this drug is taken on a daily basis. The benefit of the injectable form of naltrexone while undergoing MAT is that there is no fear of missing a dosage, whereas a missed dosage is a possibility while taking naltrexone in pill form.

The overall benefit of using naltrexone in MAT is that it does not have any contributing factors that would further either alcohol or opioid abuse. This FDA-approved drug blocks the opioid receptors that cause the “high” associated with consuming drugs and/or alcohol. Naltrexone decreases the desire to take opioids or consume alcohol. It also interferes with the urge to consume alcohol, helping to prevent relapse.

Some of the side effects of using naltrexone include headache, increased anxiety, difficulty sleeping, and joint and muscle pain. So, as mentioned before, individuals should never attempt to detox alone, use more medication than prescribed or directed, or go against medical guidance in any way.

What Factors Make Someone a Candidate for Medication-Assisted Treatment?

To determine whether or not you are a candidate for medication-assisted treatment, there must be a series of evaluations. Once the initial intake evaluation occurs, the next step determines if you are a qualified candidate for MAT. 

An individual may need to go through a medication-assisted treatment program for addiction if:

  • An official diagnosis has been made of an addiction to opioids or alcohol.
  • He or she has the willingness to fully comply with prescribing instructions.
  • The individual has no physical health conditions that the FDA-approved medications for MAT could cause an increased health risk.
  • The candidate understands and is fully educated about alternative treatment options.

MAT may not be the best for an individual if:

  • They have a history of medication abuse.
  • They have an addiction to a substance that MAT cannot treat.
  • He or she has a co-occurring mental health or substance use disorder.
  • There is a severe physical condition (lung or heart condition) that the medication may complicate.
  • The individual’s motivation to become sober is non-existent or low.

Silver Linings Recovery Center combines behavioral therapy with FDA-approved medications to assist you or your loved one in overcoming an addiction to opioids or alcohol. This treatment is one path to recovery for the long term. 

MAT treatment

At Silver Linings, we fully understand that our clients have varying and differing needs. Each individual is unique and requires an individualized approach to treatment. Bearing this in mind, we work to offer the best quality of services and resources to each individual, including MAT and other addiction treatment approaches.

Please contact us by visiting this web page to learn more information. Reach out to us today to find out if medication-assisted treatment at Silver Linings Recovery Center is a viable option for you!

Medication Assisted Treatment, in combination with counselors and behavioral therapies, has proven to be effective in the treatment of opioid use, alcoholism and other substances. Furthermore, MAT can help sustain long-term recovery in many patients. Most must be done to facilitate treatment options and the development of therapies to address OUD (opioid use disorders) as a chronic disease with long-lasting effects. For more information in Silver Linings Recovery Center’s MAT program, please call 844-546-4644 to speak with one of our highly qualified and skilled intake personal or clinical staff members.

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