In 2020, nearly 92,000 people died from an opioid overdose. Getting help for an addiction isn’t just a good idea. It’s a matter of life and death.
The idea of quitting your addiction without help is daunting (and often leads to relapse). You need compassionate help on your recovery journey.
One of the best options for individuals suffering from an addiction is the use of MAT. This treatment perfectly balances the use of behavioral therapy and medication to ensure that you recover from your addiction and stay recovered. Let’s take a look at how MAT works.
What Is Medication Assisted Treatment?
MAT stands for Medication-Assisted Treatment. This refers to using psychiatric medications alongside therapy for the symbiotic effects that they can yield on someone with a mental health disorder.
It’s important to remember that addiction is a mental health disorder, and like any other mental health disorder, it is not a moral failing or weakness. It’s a health condition that, like any other health condition requires compassion, care, and professional treatment. Medication-assisted treatment is one of the many avenues that your healthcare professional may take to help you recover.
In fact, medication-assisted treatment is considered the very best treatment available for substance abuse conditions. It’s important to note the word “assisted”. Medications are never prescribed alone when treating substance addictions in alcohol rehab in MA. They are always used in cooperation with behavioral therapies for a holistic approach.
Medication prescribed by a psychiatrist can simply give an individual the extra bit of help that they need for their recovery.
Misconceptions About MAT
There are many stigmas and worries when it comes to psychiatric medications. But what’s important to know is that medication (when used as prescribed) is safe and effective. Let’s look at some of the misconceptions and set things right.
You’ll Just Have a New Addiction
While there are varying levels of risk regarding addiction to psychiatric medication, there are many differences when it comes to using illicit drugs and psychiatric medications.
First of all, these medications are carefully monitored by a health professional. You won’t be prescribed anything dangerous and your medications will always be clean and in the correct dose. The same can’t be said for drug substances that you’ve been using illegally.
Second, these medications serve a health purpose. That is not the case with illegal drugs. Their purpose was as an unhealthy coping method. This new medication has the specific purpose of assisting the effectiveness of your behavioral therapy.
Medication Is a Replacement for Therapy
Remember that word “assisted”? Medication is never prescribed without behavioral therapy as well. And you should not take it without regular check-ins from your prescriber even after you finish PHP in MA or IOP in MA.
You’ll Be on Medication for the Rest of Your Life
Oftentimes, the goal with medication is to use it only as long as it’s necessary. It’s used as an extra boost for your recovery period, but you may be allowed to be weened off of it once you feel recovered.
Of course, sometimes during treatment at a drug rehab in MA, you may discover an underlying mental health condition that you weren’t previously aware of. In this case, you may perpetually stay on medication. But this is nothing to be ashamed of or afraid of. Plenty of people take medication daily for all kinds of health issues.
Staying on a prescribed medication is just the best way to take care of your body, mind, and the people around you.
Common Medications Used in Medication-Assisted Addiction Treatment
Becoming more familiar with the types of medications used in MAT may dispel some anxieties that you may have before beginning treatment. All of these medications have been extensively studied and have a history of great success in patients.
Suboxone is the brand name of Buprenorphine or Naloxone. It is prescribed to help handle opioid addiction withdrawal symptoms, especially if the patient is recovering from an opioid addiction including cravings. This is often one of the first medications prescribed as it can be dispensed in a physician’s office.
Acamprosate is used most often for alcohol abuse disorder. It helps reduce the craving for alcohol. With the desire to drink gone, many people find recovery easier. However, acamprosate does not treat withdrawal symptoms after a person drinks.
Naltrexone can be used for both opioid and alcohol abuse disorders. Rather than remove the craving, it removes the euphoric feeling that comes with using the substances. That way, if a patient tries their substance again, they’ll find that they don’t want the substance as much as they used to.
Often a substance abuse disorder is linked with other mental health issues. If this is the case, you may be prescribed medications that assist with the symptoms of those disorders. These can include SSRIs, antipsychotics, stimulants, SNRIs, and more. If you have any concerns about these medications, you should discuss them with your health provider.
Medication Assisted Treatment Benefits and The Longterm
The most obvious medication assisted treatment benefits are in the early stages of treatment. Being able to handle withdrawal symptoms with less discomfort is imperative to setting you up for success.
However, there are even more benefits to MAT use. MAT greatly reduces the risk of relapse as it curbs your cravings. It can support a long-term recovery plan that feels manageable to you.
You’ll also feel more physically and emotionally ready to partake in behavioral therapy. Therapy won’t work if you’re on edge and always thinking of your next fix. Coming into therapy with a clean slate offered by medication can make all the difference in your recovery.
Recovering for Good
MAT addiction treatment can give you the perfect balance between medication and behavioral therapy to help you on your road to recovery. It’s a holistic approach that helps you recover in good time and prevent future relapses.
Are you ready to begin your recovery? Find compassionate care when you contact us here.
Is outpatient treatment right for you or your loved ones? Our interactive self-assessment can help you find out.