Q&A with Ian Jackson, Program Director at Recovery Unplugged

Medication-assisted therapy (MAT) is a great option for those seeking treatment for opioid use disorder or alcohol use disorder. MAT uses a combination of medication, therapy, and other positive lifestyle adjustments to help you recover from addiction.

We talked to Ian Jackson, LPC-MHSP, LMHC, Program Director at Recovery Unplugged, to find out more.

What is MAT?

Ian: MAT is medication-assisted therapy. MAT uses medications, counseling, and behavioral therapies to provide a whole-person and well-rounded approach to treating substance use disorders.

Who is a good candidate for MAT?

Ian: A good candidate for MAT is usually someone with opioid use disorder or alcohol use disorder.

A client identified as a good candidate is someone who has failed in the past with abstinence, struggles consistently with cravings, or is potentially at high risk for overdose.

How do you decide whether or not MAT is a good option for someone?

Ian: At Recovery Unplugged, the treatment team collaborates extensively. We look into a client’s history and presenting condition when deciding if MAT is a good option.

We want to ensure that it is feasible for a client emotionally, financially, and physically before deciding on this option.

What’s the process of MAT at Recovery Unplugged?

Ian: The MAT process at Recovery Unplugged involves a client asking about or being educated on MAT based on their circumstances.

Before a client is identified as a candidate, they are thoroughly educated on MAT and how it will affect their brain chemistry and physical makeup. The treatment team, which includes the Psychiatrist, Therapist, Nurse Manager, and Clinical Director, discusses whether the client is a good fit and if it is identified as a good fit.

Another important factor is the client’s aftercare plan. We want to ensure that the client is in an appropriate setting where this medication can be managed and the client will have a level of accountability with the medication, such as a lower level of care (PHP/IOP) or sober living.

Behavioral therapy is a part of the MAT process. Can you explain why?

Ian: It is important for therapy to be a large component of this process so that clients can process what is going on with them while on MAT.

Topics typically discussed are levels of cravings, impulsive thought patterns, physical symptoms, and relapse prevention skills.

It is unlikely for any medication to change someone’s behavior completely. Clients can have the best chance at success with therapy in conjunction with MAT.

What can someone expect during behavioral therapy?

Ian: In using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, clients can expect to link how their thinking affects their feelings which in turn affects their actions. Identifying the links between these items is imperative in understanding behavior as a whole.

How can someone prepare for MAT?

Ian: Ways to prepare would include: receiving education, understanding the material, and having adequate support (therapist, doctor, nurse, case management).

Why is Sublicade the preferred method at Recovery Unplugged?

Ian: This option can sometimes be preferred because it takes away the stress of taking medication daily and receiving a monthly shot instead. It will produce the same effect without the hassle of a daily dose.

A monthly shot can also serve as a commitment to recovery and medication.

Do most insurance plans cover MAT?

Ian: Most insurance plans cover MAT, from what we have seen.

Thanks for answering our questions, Ian!

If you think MAT is a good option for you or your loved one or have more questions, call Recover Unplugged today at 1-855-975-1757 to get started. Our experienced staff is ready to help. We have customized programs and specialized care to ensure your healing.

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