WHAT IS MEDICATION ASSISTED TREATMENT (MAT)?
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is one of the most effective options for treating individuals with an opioid addiction. This type of treatment uses medications to manage symptoms of opioid dependence. Counseling and support groups are another component of MAT, and individuals who engage in MAT are highly encouraged to engage in this form of treatment.
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON MEDICATION ASSISTED TREATMENTS USED AT ACHIEVE WHOLE RECOVERY?
At Achieve Whole Recovery, we offer medication assisted treatments such as Suboxone (and other buprenorphine related products), Vivitrol, and Sublocade.
Sublocade and Suboxone are both opioids. Because opioid addiction produces several withdrawal symptoms, buprenorphine products are used to reduce pain, symptoms of withdrawal, and cravings without the harmful effects of other opioids. Suboxone and Sublocade are considered partial agonists. This means that use of this substance has a “ceiling effect.” A ceiling effect means that increasing the dose after a certain point will not increase the effect of the drug.
Vivitrol is a newer non-opioid prescription medication for opioid addiction. It is an intramuscular injectable that a person takes once a month to prevent relapse, and it blocks the effects of opioids. Vivitrol should also be used in conjunction with counseling. Unlike Sublocade or Suboxone, it is a medication that is used after a person has been sober from opioid use for at least 7-10 days. If a person is not sober for this amount of time and attempts to use Vivitrol, it can cause withdrawal symptoms to occur. Vivitrol can also be used for individuals who tend to abuse alcohol. Although it does not prevent an individual from using alcohol or feeling certain side effects of alcohol use, Vivitrol has been proven to reduce or prevent the pleasurable or euphoric effects of alcohol. Research has shown that reducing the pleasurable effects of alcohol use can lead to decreased overall drinking, decreased binge drinking, and decreased desire to use alcohol.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS MAT?
MAT can be very effective for treating opioid and alcohol addiction. Importantly, MAT helps people remain in treatment, and it also reduces the chances of relapse following treatment. Studies have shown that MAT also leads to decreased likelihood of over-dose related death, as well as a decrease in the acquisition of illnesses due to unsafe drug use practices.
IS MAT RIGHT FOR YOU?
As mentioned above, MAT has been proved to reduce relapse, overdose related deaths, and acquired illness due to unsafe drug use practices. If you meet criteria for a substance use disorder and you are motivated to stop using drugs and alcohol, you are likely a good candidate for MAT.
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