One of the most effective ways of treating addiction, especially addiction to opiates or opioids, is medication-assisted treatment or MAT. It is an addiction treatment program combining medications to address withdrawal symptoms and cravings alongside therapies to help clients heal from their substance use disorder.
The Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment
Medication-assisted treatment is designed to help clients during the detoxification stage of addiction treatment. It is a program that can minimize the intensity of withdrawal symptoms (which can be extremely distressing and painful) and reduce cravings. For some individuals, an ongoing MAT program helps them maintain their recovery after detox. This is typically for clients how have experienced intense or long-term use of opioids or alcohol. What makes MAT unique is that it involves not just strictly administered medications but counseling and therapy. In this way, it gives clients a complete course of treatment.
Some of the benefits to MAT include:
- Criminal activities reduce
- Fewer opioid-related overdose deaths
- Increased rate of social functioning
- Reduced rate of transmitting infectious diseases
- Reduces the rate of use and addiction
Medication-assisted treatment also has practical benefits. It is more cost-effective, increases retention in treatment, reduces overdose risks, and, because medical professionals so tightly administer it, is safe.
How the Program Works
Our medication-assisted treatment program at Midwest Recovery Center provides close supervision, ensuring clients get the right dosage but don’t abuse the medications. In MAT, the specific dosages of the chosen medications can help individuals with their recovery journey, but it could lead to other issues if not strictly monitored. Therefore, throughout treatment, medical professionals, counselors, and therapists closely monitor progress and, with client input, adjust medications as necessary. How long clients continue with a MAT program will vary. As mentioned, some will only need MAT to manage detox, while others will require it throughout their recovery.
Some Common Questions About MAT
Individuals struggling with substance use disorder and their friends, family, and loved ones, may have some concerns about MAT. Here are some answers to some common questions clients have:
- Is medication-assisted treatment safe? Using FDA-approved medications, our medical professionals make sure that each individual gets the proper dosage and prescription. While there are frequently used MAT medications, not everyone will have the same response. This is why we closely monitor client progress and work with clients to ensure they aren’t experiencing any negative side effects or health issues. In combination with counseling and our holistic approach to treating substance use disorders, this is a safe and effective form of treatment.
- Is MAT just replacing one drug with another?: All medications are drugs. Using medications to heal and recover from a disease under medical supervision hardly replaces an addiction. Studies repeatedly show MAT is an effective tool for managing withdrawal symptoms, reducing cravings, and improving treatment outcomes for people suffering from opioid use disorder and alcohol use disorder. The program also makes therapy a major component so clients aren’t reliant upon medication alone and can address the physical and mental aspects of the disease of addiction.
- How long does MAT last?: There is no set minimum or maximum duration for any MAT program. Each client will have a unique path to recovery, so every addiction treatment plan is customized to meet each client’s needs.
Midwest Recovery Center
Here at Midwest Recovery Center, medication-assisted treatment is just one of our numerous addiction treatment programs. Individuals struggling with drug or alcohol addiction can take advantage of programs such as:
- Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
- Drug addiction treatment
- Gender-based treatment program
- Intensive outpatient program (IOP)
- Outpatient treatment program
- Community housing