Medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, is integral for many on the path to recovery from a substance use disorder (SUD). MAT is a comprehensive, innovative approach to addiction treatment that typically involves an initial assessment, treatment planning, and ongoing monitoring with an emphasis on relapse prevention alongside a clinical MAT treatment team. However, many considering this approach to addiction treatment are uncertain regarding MAT treatment expectations, the process, potential benefits, and outcomes.
MAT medications help clients maintain their sobriety using FDA-approved medications to manage many standard features of abstaining from substance use after establishing dependency, including the control of cravings and withdrawal symptoms so they can reestablish a sense of normalcy and redirect focus to recovery.
The National Institutes of Health shows that the medications used in MAT for treating disorders related to opioid use help reduce the spread and potential for transmission of infectious diseases. Additionally, MAT medications can also lower mortality rates, reduce HIV and HCV transmissions, limit the need for criminal involvement, and increase the likelihood of stable employment, making it a promising prospect for many circling the drain of active addiction.
In this informative blog post by MAT Care Clinics, we will dive into the world of medication-assisted treatment and uncover the journey from assessment to ongoing monitoring so you have clear MAT treatment expectations from the very beginning, ensuring you can set realistic goals pertaining to your addiction treatment outcomes.
By the end of this blog, we hope readers who are considering MAT treatment begin the process with assurance and confidence because they understand what comes next. So, if you’re new to the concept of MAT for treating addiction or just looking for more information about other potential treatment options, keep reading.
Initial Assessment in Medication-Assisted Treatment
The first step in your MAT journey is the initial assessment process. During this phase of MAT care, as a client, you will collaborate alongside a MAT healthcare provider who will evaluate your needs for recovery comprehensively and determine if MAT is the right option for you. This assessment may include a physical examination, mental health evaluation, and review of your medical history to rule out any underlying conditions that may disrupt your MAT treatment.
The healthcare team conducting your initial MAT consultation will also typically discuss your current substance use, previous addiction treatment experiences and outcomes, and any other information relevant to creating the most efficient treatment plan utilizing MAT medications possible. In some cases, your medical provider may also inquire about your existing support system and current lifestyle and help you manage your MAT treatment expectations reasonably.
Treatment Planning in Context To MAT
Once the assessment is complete, you and your MAT provider will work together to develop an individualized MAT plan that meets your specific needs. This plan may include medication, counseling, and support services tailored to your recovery goals. Your MAT provider will also discuss any potential side effects, risks, and benefits of the prescribed medication with you.
Another critical aspect of treatment planning in the context of MAT is selecting the appropriate MAT medication for the client’s specific substance use disorder. Finding the proper MAT medication and dosage may require patience at times, as well as trying different approaches to find the most suitable regimen.
In addition to administering medication, some MAT clinics offer behavioral therapy and counseling options alongside MAT treatment plans to address underlying issues and provide support during recovery.
Ongoing Monitoring in Treating SUDs with Medication-Assisted Treatment
As you continue your MAT treatment, ongoing monitoring will play an instrumental role in the effectiveness of your chosen MAT regimen and overall progress toward recovery sobriety goals. In context to most MAT treatment plans, ongoing monitoring typically includes regular follow-up appointments with your MAT provider to assess any potential side effects and make necessary adjustments to your medication or MAT treatment plan.
During monitoring, providers will check in on your substance use through follow-ups, drug tests, and evaluations. This continuous assessment provides your MAT Care team with vital information to make any necessary changes to your MAT plan for the best outcome.
Relapse Prevention with Medication-Assisted Treatment
In the context of addiction treatment, it’s essential to recognize that recovery from active addiction is not a linear process. With MAT, like any other addiction treatment model, there may be setbacks or triggers that can lead to relapse. That’s why developing a personalized relapse prevention plan with your treatment team is crucial in ensuring long-term success.
Your MAT treatment team will work closely with you to identify potential triggers and develop strategies to cope with them. Your MAT care team may also suggest you attend support groups like AA or NA, counseling sessions, or make lifestyle changes. It’s also crucial you communicate regularly with your providers and alert them on your progress and any challenges you may be facing.
Regular follow-ups, drug tests, and therapy sessions are all part of ongoing monitoring in MAT treatment at many clinics. These efforts not only help track your progress but also provide an opportunity to address any potential issues or new concerns that may arise. By staying connected with your treatment team and staying committed to the MAT program, you can better equip yourself to handle temptations and maintain long-term recovery.
Different Approaches To MAT And the Various Addictions It Treats
A massive advantage to MAT treatments is providers can tailor treatment to address different types of addictions, including opioid use disorder, alcohol use disorder, and even tobacco use disorder in some cases, according to Oxford Academic. The MAT medication you receive will be specific to your substance use profile and distinct needs to abstain from use.
When treating opioid addiction, the most prescribed MAT medications include buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone, which function by minimizing cravings and withdrawal while blocking the effects of opioids on the brain. In most cases, MAT medications can be taken orally, as an injection, or through a patch.
For alcohol use disorder, MAT clinicians may administer pharmaceuticals like naltrexone and vivitrol to reduce alcohol cravings and discourage relapse. These medications work by affecting how your body processes alcohol and can be taken orally or by injection.
Setting Realistic MAT Treatment Expectations Can Help You on the Road to Recovery
MAT is a comprehensive approach that addresses many of the physical symptoms of addictions so that sufferers can work through the origins of their behavior and addictive cycles to change their lives for the better. Moreover, MAT proves effective in reducing overdose deaths, increasing retention in treatment programs, and improving overall health outcomes. It also allows for a more gradual and controlled tapering from medication, giving you time to develop sustainable coping mechanisms and skills for long-term recovery, making it a valuable lifesaving option for many.
Medication-assisted therapy helps many by allowing the client to focus on recovery without feeling sick, a prominent reason many stay in active addiction. However, it’s critical to begin the process with reasonable MAT treatment expectations and understand it requires dedication and setbacks are not uncommon. However, from assessment to ongoing monitoring, you will have the support and guidance of a healthcare team dedicated to helping you achieve long-term sobriety.
More About MAT Care Clinics
MAT Care Clinics, located in Nashua, NH, provides evidence-based and compassionate care for those struggling with substance use disorders. Our team of MAT clinicians works collaboratively to create personalized treatment plans that incorporate our MAT services for an innovative approach to recovery.
We understand that every individual’s journey towards sobriety is unique, and we are here to support you every step of the way. Contact us today at (833) 622-0628 or via this online form to learn more about our MAT care options and how we can help you or a loved one achieve the long-term sobriety and the future you deserve.
The road to recovery may be challenging, but with MAT and a robust support system, it is possible. So, trust in the process and know that you are not alone on this journey towards a better life. Keep pushing forward and never lose hope. We believe in you!