Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of medication as a supplement to therapy in an addiction treatment plan. In most cases, MAT for addiction treatment is used as a way to help someone overcome opioid use disorder. MAT encompasses a wide range of medications that target certain addictions.
Medication is rarely used as an exclusive form of treatment. When combined with detox and therapy, medication plays a vital role in helping a person get off of opioids and stay off of them for life. Some treatments are only needed during certain stages of recovery, while others may remain with a person beyond rehab.
Is MAT for Addiction Treatment Effective?
As the opioid epidemic continues to skyrocket in the U.S., the need for effective treatment has become greater. MAT has been proven to be effective in helping individuals overcome withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Therefore, it is valuable during the detox and rehab stages of recovery.
MAT has been effective in addiction recovery in several ways, such as:
- Improving patient survival from opioid addiction
- Increasing retention rates during and after treatment
- Decreasing criminal activity associated with opioids
- Helping individuals gain and maintain steady employment
- Increasing birth rates among women who have an opioid addiction
Fortunately, the addiction treatment community is starting to embrace the use of medication-assisted treatment in helping individuals overcome substance use disorders. However, more training and education is needed to increase prescriptions in addiction treatment centers.
Types of Opioid Addiction Medication
Although MAT is used to treat addiction to alcohol and other substances, it is the primary focus for many outpatient opioid addiction treatment centers. MAT for addiction treatment is important in helping individuals overcome addiction to both prescription medication and illicit street drugs.
Types of medication-assisted treatment include:
- Methadone: Methadone reduces a person’s cravings to opioids while easing pain or discomfort during detox. It can also blunt the effects of other opioids. Methadone is often administered during the early stages of addiction within a facility. However, in outpatient treatment, a person may ‘earn the right’ to take methadone after a certain period.
- Buprenorphine: There are several products on the market today that are derived from Buprenorphine, including Subutex, Suboxone, Zubsolv, Sublocade, Probuphine, and Bunavail. Many of these treatments are used to reduce cravings and help ease the effects of withdrawal symptoms.
- Naltrexone: Naltrexone is different from Buprenorphine and Methadone. Whereas the other drugs are used to curb the cravings and withdrawal symptoms, Naltrexone is used to block the euphoric effects of opioids. Therefore, it is used as a deterrent from relapsing. Naltrexone is a powerful drug that can help keep a person on the right track.
- Alcohol MATs: For someone who is addicted to alcohol, there are three main MATs: Disulfiram, Acamprosate, and Naltrexone. Disulfiram and Acamprosate are used to prevent someone from returning to alcohol after they have gone through detox. When a person takes Disulfiram and drinks, they will experience severe side effects such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, vomiting, headache, and nausea.
Is MAT Addictive?
MAT for addiction treatment is used to help someone maintain long-term recovery. Therefore, it is not addictive in most cases. Furthermore, treatment specialists carefully monitor their clients and create accountability within a treatment program to ensure that they are not abusing the drug. Although some MATs are opioids, they do not contain the same high level addictive or euphoric properties as other opioids. Their primary purpose is to block the effects of opioids.
Learn More About Medication-Assisted Treatment at NC Wellness Center – High Point
If you are trying to end your addiction to opioids, we can help. NC Wellness Center – High Point offers comprehensive treatment for all types of addiction. MAT for addiction treatment can be effective in helping you get off of opioids and stay off of them for life. Call 833.455.2570 to find out more about your treatment option.