Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a term established by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to describe an area of substance abuse care that utilizes certain FDA-approved medications to aid in the treatment process, specifically opioid addiction and, in some cases, alcohol use disorder. These drugs are meant to reduce acute withdrawal symptoms, as well as the long-term cravings that so often get in the way of your long-term recovery. Recovery Unplugged offers a variety of MAT therapies, including:
These drugs are not meant to replace any other element of treatment, such as medical detox or behavioral rehab.
If you find yourself constantly living on the edge of opioid relapse, you’re far from alone. 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 conditions 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 care approach to dealing with these two factors.
Your medication-assisted treatment works by delivering controlled doses of opioids to help lessen withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
The intense cravings, pain, and sickness that you or your loved one are feeling during opioid withdrawal are the result of serious and lasting changes in your brain’s chemistry. Opioids essentially trick your brain and body into thinking they need opioids to function. When they’re forced to go without them after prolonged and untreated abuse, they react harshly, causing physical and psychological symptoms. MAT helps to gradually stabilize your neurochemistry so you can overcome the worst of your withdrawal symptoms and be ready for behavioral rehab.
Opioids work by releasing large amounts of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is responsible for pleasurable feelings in the brain, as well as learning and other functions. MAT-approved medications help block these euphoric effects to lessen physiological dependency and subsequent withdrawal. Over time, the body and brain become less and less dependent on opioids, until you or your loved one can eventually taper off of them completely.
MAT providers must be authorized to administer these medications by SAMHSA. Providers must obtain a waiver and are limited to 100 MAT patients during their first year of eligibility and 275 after that. Suboxone and Vivitrol can be administered by certified clinicians at ERs, general practice offices, and treatment clinics. Prescriptions can be filled at the pharmacy. Each one of these drugs have their potential for diversion and misuse, so it’s important that you monitor your use and your loved one’s use and get help from a reputable provider. Each client must meet eligibility requirements set forth by SAMHSA in order to begin a regimen of MAT for OTPs.
Medication-assisted treatment represents the opportunity for a new way forward for you or your loved one as you find your way back from opioid addiction. It’s a way to get ahead of the debilitating cravings and withdrawal symptoms that can so easily derail recovery and lasting sobriety. Recovery Unplugged is fully mindful of the risks and side effects of MAT, and we’re ready to help you understand your options. Medication-assisted treatment is often covered by private insurance plans. Call Recovery Unplugged today at (855) 384-5794 for a full insurance verification. We’re ready to help you understand everything you need to know about this treatment, and help you make the process as affordable and accessible as possible.