5 Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment - Suboxone Treatment Clinic

In America, opioid overdoses cause one death every 20 minutes.[1] The most effective form of treatment for opioid addiction is known as medication-assisted treatment (MAT). MAT is a combination of psychosocial therapy and FDA-approved medications that help patients navigate the withdrawal phase of opioid addiction recovery. This method of treatment is known to significantly reduce illicit opioid use when compared to non-drug approaches.[2]

While medication-assisted treatment is known as the most effective form of opioid addiction treatment, many people still have doubts. Stigma and controversy surround the use of medications to treat opioid addiction, as some people view it as “trading one addiction for another”. However, MAT medications are FDA-approved and intended for short-term use, making this controversy harmful.

To break the stigma surrounding MAT, let’s take a look at the top 5 benefits of medication-assisted treatment.

1. Improves Patient Survival Rates

MAT helps save lives during the early phases of opioid addiction recovery. When a person decides to stop using opioids, they will experience symptoms of opioid withdrawal. Opioid withdrawal symptoms have the potential of becoming severe, making it difficult for individuals to remain sober during the process. For example, opioid withdrawal can lead to seizures, high blood pressure, and rapid heart rate.

MAT increases patient survival rates by lessening the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. In other words, MAT patients will not experience the dangerous symptoms of opioid withdrawal, such as seizures or high blood pressure. Additionally, by soothing these symptoms MAT prevents individuals from turning back to opioid drug use. This also prevents them from experiencing an overdose that could lead to death.

2. Increases Retention and Success in Treatment

The most significant benefit of MAT is its treatment success rate. Medication-assisted treatment is proven to reduce withdrawal symptoms, and decrease opioid cravings, reducing the chance of relapse.

MAT increases treatment retention and success rates, allowing patients to experience the following:[3]

  • Increased chance in completing recovery
  • Higher likelihood of being employed after rehab
  • Lower risk of relapse
  • Reduced risk of infection with hepatitis or HIV
  • Improved birth outcomes for pregnant women who are addicted to opioids
  • Decreased criminal activity related to substance abuse
  • Less illicit opioid abuse

3. Prevents Cravings that Lead to Relapse

Individuals going through substance abuse treatment are always at a risk of relapsing. This is due to how drugs and alcohol affect one’s brain chemistry. For example, an individual who is addicted to drugs will experience an affected pleasure and reward system in their brain. In other words, their brain’s pleasure and reward system will only respond to the drugs they abuse.

Thankfully, MAT medications help reset an individual’s brain chemistry, lessening their chances of relapsing. Also, when an individual takes MAT medications, the euphoric effects of opioids will be blocked. As a result, their need for the substance will begin to fade away.

4. Improves Birth Outcomes Among Pregnant Women

Unfortunately, pregnant women who struggle with opioid dependency often experience harrowing effects such as stillbirths and meconium aspiration (when a newborn inhales amniotic fluids and meconium into the lungs during delivery). However, when doctors began using MAT to treat pregnant women with opioid addictions, they found an improvement in birth outcomes.

Using MAT as a pregnant woman can provide the following benefits:

  • Reduced illicit drug use in the mother
  • Improvement in prenatal care
  • Reduced risk of fetal in utero withdrawal
  • Minimizing fetal exposure to opioid drugs
  • Allowing the mother to remain sober and active in recovery during and after pregnancy

The benefits of medication-assisted treatment for pregnant women have led this form of opioid addiction treatment to become the standard recommendation for pregnant opioid addicts.

5. Decreases Illicit Opioid Use and Criminal Activity

MAT has been proven to decrease illicit drug use, disease rates, and criminal activity among opioid-addicted people. Criminal activity is a common issue among individuals who are addicted to opioids. Because opioid addiction causes such a strong craving for the drug, many people will stop at nothing to obtain the substance. This leads to an increase in crime in many communities.

When MAT is used, many individuals make a full recovery, thus decreasing the amount of illicit opioid use and criminal activity.

Additionally, without MAT, there is a 10-40x higher risk of death from overdose within two weeks of release for inmates.[4] With that being said, it is obvious that the use of MAT provides every individual with an opioid use disorder a better chance at life and recovery.

Medication-Assisted Treatment at Suboxone Treatment Clinic

Suboxone Treatment Clinic is a leading medication-assisted treatment provider for individuals in the Palm Beach County area. We offer customizable medical detox treatment plans for alcoholism, opioid use disorder, and most other forms of drug addiction. If you or someone you know is facing the disease of addiction, medication-assisted treatment is the most effective form of treatment for individuals in early recovery.

As some of the most addictive substances available, it is very easy to understand the transition from pain management to addiction that many patients face. The power of relieving pain is strong, indeed, and many chronic pain sufferers do not realize the threat of addiction until it is too late. The risk of opioid abuse is severe, with over 2 million addicted individuals in 2015 and 20,101 cases of overdose directly related to prescription pain medication. The problem doesn’t stop with opioids, either; four in five new heroin users start out through an addiction to prescription pain meds transitioning to street drugs due to the regulation and high cost associated with doctor-provided options.

For more information on the benefits of medication-assisted treatment, contact Suboxone Treatment Clinic today.

References:

  1. http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6450a3.htm?s_cid=mm6450a3_w
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/pdf/hhs_prescription_drug_abuse_report_09.2013.pdf
  3. https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment
  4. https://store.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/d7/priv/pep19-matusecjs.pdf

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