According to a study conducted by the National Library of Medicine, results showed that a total of 88,637 individuals we diagnosed with an opioid use disorder (OUD) and received treatment for substance use disorder and 52,926 individuals received some type of medicated-assisted treatment (MAT). This includes the medications, methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. Out of these medications only, 21.9% received non-medication-based treatment.
Medication-Assisted Treatment for people with addiction has proven to be very effective in helping with the process of getting healing from substance abuse. While it is not required to take this path of treatment it is suggested.
It’s important to note, that detox is the first step in the recovery process, but not a main form of treatment. For a chance at optimal recovery, a treatment program after detox is usually the protocol.
At Sana Lake Recovery, in Dittmer Missouri, we have professionals with years of experience to guide the individual toward a full recovery. Do not be a statistic and become a victim of substance abuse. We are here to help you.
What is Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)?
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is a part of the detoxing program that helps individuals end substance use safely and effectively. By using different methods like counseling and behavioral therapies to complement the medication individuals can prevent and reduce opioid overdose and be sober. It is usually a short-term treatment for 12 months or more, tailored to the individual’s needs and treatment plan.
Benefits of MAT
MAT is used by many people to combat opioid addiction, prescription drug addiction, and alcohol addiction. There are numerous benefits to MAT some of these benefits include:
- Facilitates safer withdrawal by reducing symptoms and controlling the cravings
- Reduces the risk of death due to overdoes
- Increases retention in treatment with safer, controlled medication
- Decreases the chance of illegal drug use and negative consequences
- Prevents relapse when integrated with counseling and behavioral therapies
Cons of MAT Detox
While there are multiple benefits to MAT, the medications used are not something to take lightly and require it to be used under certain conditions. Because of this, there are a plethora of cons that come with taking MAT, including:
- MAT requires close medical supervision at a certified facility
- There can be undesirable side effects due to the medications
- It provides the potential for misuse or abuse
- There is a risk of trading one addiction for another
Some addiction specialists believe the controversy, that medicated-assisted treatment can create further cause drug dependency, as other types of medications are given during the detox process. They believe these FDA-approved drugs used to help lessen withdrawal symptoms and stop cravings can lead to addiction and relapse. However, it has been proven otherwise, that the proper treatment and medical supervision, MAT can assist with the cessation of drug and alcohol abuse.
Treatment for Opioid Use Disorders (OUD)
Opioid use disorder is the persistent use of opioids, which can alter the brain and create a dependency on the substance. Opioids produce a sense of serenity and pleasure in the brain. Over time it may become hard to enjoy things or complete tasks without opioids. The brain would begin to crave more of the substance and anything could trigger the use of it. MAT, also known as something used mainly on people who suffer from opioid use disorder helps make detoxing easier. The struggles of opioid addiction can be a difficult time for individuals and families.
Medications Used During MAT
Food and Drug Administration approves the medications that are used to help with detoxing and the process of getting treated. Nevertheless, that does not mean that the individual can use those medications on their own without medical supervision. When properly prescribed it helps reduce cravings and prevents relapse without causing a high. Detox can help individuals regain stability in many areas of their lives.
However, if an individual chooses to self-detox it may become detrimental to their health and be harmful instead of helping. Therefore, it is best to take these medications in a professional setting, as it can reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms, and help with cravings.
Moreover, these medications are commonly treated with different kinds of therapy sessions. MAT is usually used to treat opioid addiction and alcohol addiction. Common medications for opioid addiction include:
- Methadone – Method has been federally approved and can manage cravings. It binds the same receptors in the brain as a drug like heroin or prescription painkillers. Regardless of that, it is less intense than an individual who has taken opioids and has an addiction. Thus, it does not cause euphoria or any other symptoms of being high.
- Buprenorphine – Buprenorphine makes it difficult to abuse the substance. It comes in formulations that include naloxone, which generates withdrawal symptoms if the individual attempts to dissolve or inject the medication.
- Naltrexone – This is the least common and yet most expensive medication used for Opioid Addiction. It intercepts the euphoric and sedative effects of opioids; therefore, if an individual relapse, there will not be any effects.
Common Medications for Alcohol Addiction Include:
- Disulfiram – Disulfiram helps treat chronic alcohol addiction in individuals who have successfully detoxification and are currently in the first stages of abstinence. While this medication does not reduce cravings for alcohol, it helps produce adverse reactions when someone consumes alcohol. These uncomfortable symptoms act as a barrier that discourages individuals from consuming alcoholic beverages.
- Acamprosate – Acamprosate reduces the cravings for alcohol and helps diminish some of the longer-lasting symptoms of withdrawal, which include anxiety and insomnia. Unlike Disulfiram, Acamprosate does not generate the same adverse reactions; therefore, it will not interfere if an individual decides to continue drinking.
The goal of these medications or MAT is to discourage the use of substances as an individual seeks recovery. It helps to reduce the need to relapse once the individual has undergone detoxification and prevents withdrawal. These medications allow stimulation to the brain which provides the continuation of function on a normal level, granting the individual access to participate fully in other treatments like therapy and counseling.
Treatment Programs After Detox
Detoxing will usually occur at a hospital, outpatient or inpatient facility, or a residential program facility. Detoxing is just the beginning of being treated for addiction. From there a treatment plan is created based on the needs of the individual
Along with MAT Sana Lake’s Recovery offers addiction counseling to help guide the individual with their recovery. Some of these methods of therapy include:
Group therapy gives the individuals the opportunity to speak with professionals and hear the stories of other individuals. These therapies usually consist of a safe and supportive environment. It helps those who feel alone with their substance use disorder.
Individual therapy is usually spent one on one with a psychotherapist which helps the individuals focus on themselves for some time. During this time the individual will discuss personal and private challenges. The therapist helps the individual identify their triggers and the causes of the substance use disorder, and helps healthily address those issues.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) allows individuals to figure out ways to change their thought processes when it comes to substance abuse. Usually, an individual decides to take substances based on the negative thoughts they have and believes that taking that substance can help them. However, that is not the case, this type of therapy helps them understand the power of their thoughts and allows the individual to recognize and observe harmful thought processes and replace them with positive ones.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
Dialectical behavioral therapy pushes the individual to develop a healthy way to deal with stress. Sometimes people take substances to get away from stress, whether it is work issues or financial issues. The individual may see that substance as an escape from their stress. Through this therapy, they encourage healthier approaches to deal with stress.
Most of these therapies listed above are catered toward the individual however, sometimes they have supportive family members who want to help in their process of recovery. Family therapy helps the family voice their concerns and understand how to best guide the individual towards healing.
How To Find the Right Medicated-Assisted Treatment Program
If you or a loved one are seeking treatment or navigating the process of treatment, MAT may be right for you. Here at Sana Lake’s Recovery, we provide MAT with trained professionals who have treated multiple individuals. Figuring out if our MAT is right for you may not be an easy process; nonetheless, we can help guide you through what we do and how we do it so you can understand how effective it is.
We give personalized and a well-rounded approach to recovery. Before MAT, we learn about the individual’s needs, determine how the program may benefit them, and provide them with the tools needed to be successful and to heal. We use MAT to encourage the disuse of substance abuse and use therapy alongside that to teach the individuals new tactics they can adapt to and use in their life.
We cultivate an environment based on the concept of “Doing Well by Doing Good.” By doing this we hope to empower every individual and make them feel valued, and understood while encouraging them to take a stance on their personal development throughout the program.
Our therapists, doctors, psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, nurses, and CNAs, are licensed professionals that thrive to make the environment medically safe and comfortable for withdrawal management, and recovery.
Sana Lake’s MAT Program Can Help
Sana Lake’s Recovery offers a medicated-assisted treatment that helps individuals undergo the process of recovery. Do not do this alone. Let Sana Lake’s Recovery help you. Contact Us.