The modern addiction treatment paradigm has long consisted of a combination of medically supervised detox and behavioral rehab. The process of recovering from substance use disorder should incorporate a full breadth of interventions for long-term care that address the immediate medical and physical health issues associated with the disease, as well as comprehensive behavioral interventions to address the psychological and logistical fallout that has occurred through prolonged and untreated alcohol and drug use disorder. Over the past few decades, a new resource has emerged in the ever-evolving clinical treatment of this urgent and pervasive public health issue, specifically for opioid dependency: medication-assisted treatment (MAT).
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a term coined and established by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to describe an area of substance abuse care that utilizes certain approved medications to aid in the treatment process, specifically opioid addiction and, in some cases, alcohol use disorder. These drugs are meant to mitigate cravings and withdrawal symptoms, as well as the long-term cravings that so often get in the way of long-term recovery.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that relapse rates for alcohol and drug use disorder are between 40-60 percent on average, roughly on par with those associated with diseases like heart disease, diabetes hypertension and others. One of the reasons why these relapse rates are so incredibly high is the inability to deal with long-term cravings and lingering withdrawal symptoms. The treatment community has come to regard MAT as the “gold standard of addiction treatment” because it provides a controlled and manageable treatment approach to dealing with these two factors.
While MAT has been established and offered for opioid use disorder, alcohol addiction and cigarette smoking, Recovery Unplugged offers services for the first two conditions. The most common type of MAT we provide is intervention as part of an opioid treatment plan (OTP). The primary medications we use in this pursuit:
Suboxone® (buprenorphine and naloxone)
Vivitrol® (monthly injectable naltrexone)
Sublocade® (extended-related injectable buprenorphine)
Each client must meet eligibility requirements set forth by SAMHSA in order to begin a regimen of MAT for OTPs. Federal law recently expanded the cap on the number of patients to whom licensed and waivered physicians can simultaneously prescribe Suboxone from 100 to 275, but only under certain select pre-established circumstances. Doctors can prescribe medication-assisted treatment if they satisfy one of the two conditions below:
The physician holds a board certification in addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry by the American Board of Preventive Medicine or the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology or The physician provides medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in a "qualified practice setting." A qualified practice setting is a practice setting that:
Recovery Unplugged will provide a full assessment to determine whether or not you or your loved one are eligible for medication-assisted treatment. We are a licensed and reputable provider of Vivitrol, Suboxone and Sublocade treatment.
In the context of opioid use disorder, drugs approved for the deployment of medication-assisted treatment work by offering a controlled dose of opioid to provide relief for cravings and withdrawal symptoms. The drugs endeavor to stabilize brain chemistry, block the euphoric effects of heroin and prescription painkillers, mitigate physiological dependence and help the body respond to incrementally decreased amounts of opioids. Courses of medication-assisted treatment should be tailored to each patient’s individual care needs, including the timeline, amount and duration of their program. Use of these medications should be closely monitored by a licensed physician.