Medication-Assisted Therapy: Everything You Should Know

When it comes to recovering from drug addiction, there is no one-size-fits-all therapy that can ensure sobriety. Medication-assisted therapy (MAT) has shown to be very effective, producing results that only get better when combined with other traditional forms of therapy.

Every person juggles different priorities while trying to recover from drug abuse. Some are full-time students, some have full-time jobs they can’t put on pause without losing their livelihoods, and others have children and families that require attention. Researchers and licensed professionals have designed individualized therapy plans to improve your life and work around your time and financial commitments. Medication-assisted therapy is a great way to ease back into sobriety while maintaining your life’s natural rhythm.

At MAT Care Clinics, we give you the best information to start your recovery journey. This article will cover the benefits of MAT, why rehab isn’t the best option for everyone and everything you need to know if you believe this is the best option for you.

What Is Medication-Assisted Therapy?

Medication-Assisted Therapy (MAT) is a pharmacotherapy approach that uses medication to help individuals overcome substance abuse and addiction. The medication used in MAT is usually a prescription drug approved by the FDA, such as methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone.

MAT is used to treat opioid addiction, alcoholism, and addiction to other drugs, such as nicotine, benzodiazepine, and cocaine. Quitting “cold turkey,” meaning suddenly and without medication, can cause dysregulation in the body and distress in your emotions. At the very least, it is a tremendous exercise of willpower. The medication reduces cravings and severe withdrawal symptoms, making it easier for individuals to focus on their recovery and overall life.

When overseen by experts, MAT effectively reduces the risk of relapse and improves the chances of long-term recovery.

Which Drugs Are Used For MAT?

Various drugs, sometimes marketed under different names but with similar effects, are used for different conditions. Some target a specific addiction; some can be multi-use. The following is a list of common medications for pharmacotherapy.

1. Suboxone

This medication used during MAT contains a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine binds to similar pleasure receptors in the brain as opioids, producing a mild euphoria. However, it is also a partial opioid agonist, which helps reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid addiction.

Naltrexone is a non-opioid medication used to treat opioid and alcohol addiction. It works by blocking the receptors in the brain that opioids and alcohol bind to, reducing these substances’ pleasurable effects. It does not cause physical dependence. Suboxone is available as a film placed under the tongue or a tablet that dissolves in the mouth.

Suboxone is a highly effective medication for treating opioid addiction. It helps reduce the risk of overdose, improves treatment retention, and increases the likelihood of long-term recovery. Suboxone traditionally requires a prescription from a healthcare provider specializing in addiction medicine or substance use disorders.

2. Sublocade

This monthly injection contains buprenorphine, the partial agonist discussed above, prescribed for opioid addiction. Sublocade is injected into the abdominal area by a healthcare provider. The medication is slowly released into the body over one month, providing continuous relief from cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Sublocade is an effective treatment option for individuals who have difficulty remembering to take medication or do not want to take medication daily. Sublocade also reduces the risk of diversion or misuse of medication as a healthcare provider administers it.

3. Naltrexone

As discussed above, this medication is used during MAT to treat opioid addiction. It is an opioid antagonist that blocks the effects of opioids. It can be prescribed alone, depending on the patient’s needs and the healthcare provider’s assessment. Naltrexone is available as a daily pill or a monthly injection called Vivitrol.
Naltrexone is a highly effective medication for treating opioid addiction. It helps reduce cravings and prevents relapse. An expert provider with knowledge of pharmacotherapy is responsible for prescribing naltrexone.

4. Vivitrol

Vivitrol is a monthly injection that contains naltrexone. It is used during MAT to treat opioid addiction. Vivitrol is injected into the muscle by a healthcare provider. The medication is slowly released into the body over one month, providing continuous relief from cravings and preventing relapse.

Vivitrol is an effective treatment option for individuals who do not wish to take medication daily. The act of not having to pop a pill can be therapeutic for those accustomed to the ritual of daily drug abuse. Vivitrol also reduces the risk of diversion or misuse of medication as a healthcare provider administers it.

Why Choose MAT?

1. Limited Resources

Not everyone has access to rehab or counseling due to financial, geographical, or scheduling difficulties. It’s essential to recognize that even the most limited therapy plans require several one-hour weekly sessions. This schedule can burden those with multiple jobs, kids at home, or other commitments. In these cases, MAT may be the only realistic option.

2. Severity of Addiction

While counseling usually helps, not all addictions are created equal. If the addiction has not spiraled out of control and is still manageable with a slight push, MAT might be a way to wean off a drug without suffering the severe withdrawal effects that can interrupt a person’s life and require downtime for days or weeks.

3. Medical Conditions

Some individuals may have a medical condition, such as chronic pain, respiratory problems, or schizophrenia, making it difficult or dangerous for them to undergo traditional detoxification or rehab programs. MAT may be a safer option for these individuals.

4. Previous Unsuccessful Attempts

Traditional rehab or counseling has not successfully achieved long-term recovery for some individuals. Discussing problems in a group or with another patient is neither comfortable nor beneficial for everyone. MAT may be a more practical approach for these individuals.

5. Personal Preference

Finally, some individuals may prefer MAT over traditional rehab or counseling. Everyone’s recovery journey is unique; what works for one person may not work for another. Finding an approach that works for everyone’s individual needs and preferences is essential.

MAT Care Clinics and Medication-Assisted Therapy

If you’re looking for a trusted and friendly healthcare provider to help you recover from the lows of addiction, we’re here to help. At MAT Care Clinics, our team of experienced medical staff are experts at using pharmacology to treat opioid addiction. We can also recommend behavioral therapy in conjunction with medication-assisted therapy.

Start your road to recovery by calling (833) 622-0628 or contacting us through our website. There is no struggle we can’t face together

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