MEDICATION ASSISTED TREATMENT (MAT)
Undergoing opioid withdrawal feels like having an awful case of the flu. Nausea, body ache, fever, and fatigue are typical withdrawal symptoms. Anxiety, depression, restlessness, and irritability are usually part of the process too. Unfortunately, treatment drop-out rates are relatively high, and if the opioid-addicted individual relapses, overdosing likely—and often deadly. At our Drug Treatment Center, we recognize the importance of keeping opioid-dependent clients in treatment. The use of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to treat opioid-dependent individuals has been shown to keep them in treatment longer and help them to engage in the program.
Our treatment program is intended to ease the detox and recovery processes when rehabilitating from addiction. From opioid treatment and anxiety medications to pain management and attention deficit disorder (ADHD), many effective, medically prescribed pharmaceutical drugs can be utilized throughout recovery to help keep patients living a life free from substance abuse.
Medication Assisted Treatment for opioid addiction utilizes buprenorphine-based medications including but not limited to:
Buprenorphine is a relatively new drug used to treat withdrawal symptoms linked to opiates, such as prescription painkillers and heroin. Headaches, nausea, muscle aches, and extreme sweating are only a few of the symptoms lessened through opioid treatment drugs like Suboxone. Through the careful and clinically supervised use of buprenorphine and conventional rehab therapy methods, attendees of our MAT program can expect a smoother and more comfortable detox process. The pain and discomfort of opiate detox is a leading cause of relapse back into addiction; however, by using drugs like Suboxone, our medication-assisted treatment gives individuals a better chance at long-lasting recovery.
The use of MAT is decided on a case-by-case basis by clinicians who work in multidisciplinary teams to assess each client’s situation carefully. For some clients, medication to ease opioid withdrawal might be clinically appropriate. In contrast, other clients might need an extended-release medication to block opioid cravings, increase engagement in the treatment and recovery process, and prevent relapse. The interdisciplinary care team may recommend MAT for an extended period to help clients establish a strong recovery program.
In all cases, Profound Treatment Center uses medications only in addition to, and never as a replacement for, Twelve Step, evidence-based addiction treatment. Continuous recovery management—including continuing care, education, and accountability—is particularly significant for individuals recovering from opioid addiction since the risk of accidental overdose during relapse is exceptionally high.
The team at Profound Treatment Center is experiencing promising trends with MAT for opioid addiction. More patients stay in treatment longer, which allows for higher engagement in other evidence-based therapies and techniques. As national studies consistently show, the longer clients remain involved in treatment, the better their outcomes, and long-term recovery rates.
MYTHS SURROUNDING MEDICATION ASSISTED TREATMENT FOR OPIOID ADDICTION
Despite continuing evidence that MAT programs are an effective method in treating opioid addiction, there are still stigmas and myths surrounding the treatment. People coping with opioid addiction may not know MAT programs are available to them. They may feel ashamed about their addiction or given false information about this form of treatment. These harmful myths and stigmas surrounding medication-assisted treatment can be damaging and prevent life-saving efforts.
MYTH #1. MAT JUST TRADES ONE ADDICTION FOR ANOTHER
One of the biggest misconceptions about medication-assisted treatment is that it merely trades one for another. Medications used during MAT may be the very thing that stabilizes a patient and helps keep them in recovery. By mitigating the physical and mental pain that is often associated with opioid withdrawal, MAT helps patients feel healthy and ready to work towards their goals of sobriety.
MYTH #2. MAT IS ONLY FOR THE SHORT TERM
It’s important to remember that medication-assisted treatment isn’t a “quick fix.” Like any successful recovery and rehabilitation, medication-assisted treatment may be a lifelong process that requires both the ongoing efforts of trained medical staff and a patient who wishes to continue in their sobriety.
MYTH #3. MAT WILL DISRUPT THE RECOVERY PROCESS
Medication-assisted treatment doesn’t “disrupt” the recovery process—for many, it is an important step in the recovery process.
EVIDENCE-BASED TREATMENT AT ALL LEVELS OF CARE
Our addiction treatment center offers individualized treatment plans, comprehensive case management, and proven treatment methods, including Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). With psychiatric services available as needed, and an experienced team of licensed therapists, we are well equipped to address the mental health issues that often accompany Substance Use Disorders.
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