A medication-assisted addiction treatment program is typically used to treat substance abuse disorders and sustain recovery. It involves using medications in conjunction with behavioral and counseling therapies to create a “whole-patient” technique for treating substance abuse disorders. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has approved the medications used in addiction treatment centers, and its programs are tailored and clinically driven to each patient’s requirements.
According to research, a combination of treatment and medication can effectively treat these problems, and MAT can aid in the long-term rehabilitation of some persons battling substance addiction. MAT is also used to lessen or prevent the effects of a drug overdose.
Medically assisted drug treatment programs are primarily used to treat substance addiction, like heroin and opiates-containing prescription pain medications. The prescription drug works by restoring normal brain chemistry, blocking the pleasurable effects of drugs, and reducing cravings.
Are medically assisted treatment programs effective?
MAT is clinically efficient in reducing the requirement for inpatient detoxification services for drug addicts. Most patients’ needs are met by MAT, a more comprehensive, individually personalized behavioral and medication therapy program
Full recovery, with the ability to lead a self-directed life, is the ultimate goal of MAT. This treatment method has been proven to:
- Boost retention in treatment
- Improve patient survival
- Minimize illicit opiate uses and criminal activities among individuals suffering from substance abuse disorders
- Improve the capacity of patients to find and keep jobs
- Improve the birth outcomes of pregnant women with substance abuse problems
Components of medically assisted drug treatment programs
Drug abuse treatment programs provide a variety of structured treatment options for persons battling addiction. A physician will conduct a complete examination of the addict before beginning a MAT program. This evaluation will assist the doctor in determining the optimal course and level of medication-assisted treatment for the person and the best medications for their specific needs. The type of MAT drugs received will depend on the type of substance use problem being treated.
1. ODM (Opioid dependency medication)
- Methadone. It is a longer-acting, complete opioid agonist that lessens withdrawal symptoms and cravings while also decreasing the euphoric high of other opioids if administered concurrently with methadone treatment.
- Buprenorphine. This partial opioid agonist binds to opioid receptors with a high affinity. It can alleviate cravings and some of the unpleasant side effects of opioid withdrawal.
- Naltrexone. The sedative and pleasurable effects of opioids are blocked by this opioid receptor antagonist and assist in decreasing opioid cravings and preventing continuing opioid abuse when used for OUD treatment.
2. Alcohol use disorder medication
- Acamprosate. This aids those in recovery from alcoholism in avoiding relapse. You can start receiving it on your fifth day of abstinence. However, it doesn’t eliminate withdrawal symptoms, but it does assist the person in avoiding alcohol consumption.
- Naltrexone. This reduces the likelihood of continued drinking by blocking some of the rewarding and reinforcing effects of alcohol abuse.
- Disulfiram. It is intended to help those who have already detoxed or are starting a period of abstinence manage their drinking behavior. When taken daily, it can help reduce the risk of relapse by inducing unpleasant symptoms if the person takes alcohol.
3. Opioid overdose prevention medications
- Naloxone. It is used to combat substance overdose by suppressing the toxic side effects of the overdose. WHO regards it as one of the significant medications to functioning healthcare systems.
Medically assisted drug programs in addiction treatment centers also occur in conjunction with various behavioral interventions such as contingency management, cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, motivational reinforcement approach, and community reinforcement approach.
There are various substance abuse programs to choose from, and treatment centers will help you understand which is best for you or your loved ones. MAT is a proven tool in treating substance use disorders with appropriate therapies by licensed health professionals. Thus, finding an ideal healthcare provider is the first important step on the road to recovery!