Isn’t MAT Just Trading One Drug for Another?
MAT is carefully administered, scientifically valid use of prescribed medicine to treat the chronic disease of addiction. MAT allows people to function normally, while substance abuse does not.
Isn’t Abstinence Better?
Studies of areas where MAT is not an option have shown higher rates of relapse and overdose deaths. And research involving a prison introducing MAT showed a 61 percent drop in the overdose death rate of prisoners. Any way to break opioid dependence is preferable to a life of addiction.
Can You Stop the Medications Eventually?
If someone begins MAT relatively early in their addiction, a slow tapering off may be successful. Long-term drug abuse may introduce permanent changes in brain chemistry and require long-term treatment programs, much like any other chronic disease.
Am I Still Sober If I Use MAT?
MAT is like any prescription medication for a chronic disease. MAT programs use medications that are safe, controlled and effective. With proper use and professional supervision, these medications do not cause intoxication or compulsive drug-seeking behavior.
Can I Be in AA or NA and Participate in MAT?
There is nothing in 12-step philosophy that prohibits prescription medications for addiction. While we do recommend 12-step programs and have close ties to addiction treatment centers, we focus solely on delivering the best MAT care to clients.
What Medications Are Used at MAT Care Clinics?
- Suboxone—an oral medication combining buprenorphine and naloxone that reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms while blocking the intoxicating effects of opioids.
- Sublocade—a monthly injection that slowly releases buprenorphine, which helps block the effects of opioids and reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
- Naltrexone—an oral medication that binds and blocks opioid receptors in the brain to reduce cravings and block intoxicating effects.
- Vivitrol—a monthly shot that blocks the effects of opioids, typically used after someone has completed detox.