How to Know if Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is Right for You

Asking for help with a substance abuse problem is extremely brave and courageous. It’s not easy to admit to having a problem, and it’s even harder to admit that you can’t overcome that problem alone. Now, it’s time to decide on which path towards recovery is right for you.

In the past, addiction was primarily treated using counseling, peer support, and behavioral therapy. However, in recent years, several medications have been approved by the FDA to treat addictions to alcohol and/or opioids. These medications are paired with traditional treatment methods to form what is called “medication-assisted treatment” or “MAT” for short.

MAT is an extremely effective treatment technique, however, there is some stigma surrounding the idea of this approach. If you are familiar with this stigma or any misconceptions surrounding MAT, you may be wondering whether or not this treatment approach is right for you. The truth is, when used correctly, MAT is safe and effective. It can even enable you to stay sober.

What is Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)?

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a substance abuse treatment approach that combines FDA-approved medications with behavioral therapy, counseling, and peer support. It is thought to provide more comprehensive and individualized care to those struggling with addiction. By combining effective medications with evidence-based therapies, MAT is thought to provide a “whole-person” approach to recovery.[1]

Medications used to treat opioid use disorder include:[2]

  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Naltrexone

Medications used to treat alcohol use disorder include:

  • Naltrexone
  • Disulfiram
  • Acamprosate

These medications are only intended to be used in combination with a complete treatment program.

Signs Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is Right For You

MAT may not be right for everyone, and it is not used to treat every single person who gets treatment for addiction. Here are three ways to know MAT is right for you.

You Have a Moderate to Severe Addiction to Alcohol or Opioids

Substance use disorder is the formal diagnosis for addiction and it is diagnosed on a scale of mild, moderate, and severe.[3] People with mild substance use disorder do not require as intensive treatment as people with moderate and severe addictions do. Furthermore, MAT is primarily used to treat people who are addicted to opioids or alcohol. This is because the only medications approved for substance abuse treatment are those that treat alcohol and opioid use disorder.

In order to figure out whether or not you have a moderate to severe addiction, you’ll need to speak with a doctor, counselor, or addiction specialist who can evaluate your substance abuse patterns and make a formal diagnosis.

You Feel as Though Cravings Hold You Back From Your Recovery

The medications used in MAT are available to treat symptoms of withdrawal and cravings. Although the opiate withdrawal period is painful, it is temporary, and usually only lasts 1-2 weeks. Cravings, however, can stick around for a long time. They can interfere with your ability to focus on therapy and even provoke a relapse if you aren’t able to cope with them.

If you’ve been to rehab before but found yourself unable to put the entirety of your energy and focus onto your treatment program due to your cravings, you may be a good candidate for medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in Florida.

You’re Dedicated to Participating in a Complete Treatment Program

The medications used in MAT are only effective when combined with a complete treatment program that consists of behavioral therapy, counseling, and peer support. You will be expected to participate in a substance abuse treatment program in both group and individual therapy sessions to address the causes of your addiction. You will also be expected to take suggestions from your therapist and peers so you can learn healthy coping skills that will help you stay sober in the future.

The ultimate goal of MAT is to help individuals stay sober and live self-directed lives. You won’t be on your medications forever, so it’s vital that you know what living sober is like without them. A treatment program will help you learn how to do this, but only if you put forth the effort. If you want MAT to work, you must be fully engaged in your treatment program.

The Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Researchers have concluded that MAT is clinically effective and can improve treatment outcomes by:[1]

  • Keeping patients in treatment for the full duration of their program and reducing the number of patients who leave treatment early
  • Reducing the rate of illicit drug use after treatment and associated criminal activity
  • Reducing drug-related behaviors such as needle sharing or unsafe sex which also decreases the rates of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C
  • Improving treatment outcomes in pregnant mothers who are addicted to opioid drugs

Speak With an Addiction Specialist to See if Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is Right For You

Here at Suboxone Treatment Clinic in Palm Beach County, our addiction specialists are standing by, ready to take your call. We specialize in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and can help you find a MAT program in your city. Don’t wait any longer. Call now to get started.

References:

  1. https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment
  2. https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/medications-counseling-related-conditions
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3767415/

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