Medication Assisted Treatment

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The opioid epidemic that runs rampant among the population of the United States began in the 1990s when drug companies mistakenly proclaimed that their opioid pain killers were not addictive. Doctors then began doling out pain pill prescriptions for post-surgeries, injuries, and chronic pain, thinking that they had found a safe, effective solution. With opioids unknowingly being highly addictive, millions of people found themselves in desperate situations. There was a second wave of overdoses that occurred in 2010 due to the lacing of opioids with illicitly made fentanyl. It has been estimated that approximately two million people now have an opioid use disorder. This is not only those that are found on the streets but include prescriptions pain medications that contain opiates and heroin. When someone has lost control of their life and wants to get it back, they can rely on medication-assisted treatments (MAT) to increases the likelihood of successfully maintaining a sober lifestyle.

What is MAT and how effective is it?

Medication assisted treatment was designed to treat each person as a whole being and is used in combination with a comprehensive plan of counseling sessions and behavioral therapies. It is primarily effective in treating addictions to heroin, prescription opioids, and alcohol. It is designed to do the following:

Relapse is considered a normal part of recovery, but the ultimate goal of any treatment is complete sobriety and the ability for the previous user to lead a productive life free from drugs. MAT has been known to cause:

What are the most common SUDs helped by MAT and their associated remedy?

Finding an addiction treatment center is more than just randomly pointing your finger at a phone book page. Choosing the one that fits your personality and beliefs is essential to achieving and maintaining a successful recovery. Only about one third of treatment programs include MAT in their options, so if you believe it is the right choice for you, then that should be in the list of requirements. Each program offers its own set of therapies, and a plan is custom designed according to each person’s circumstances. So, where does MAT help and how? The medication will help restore balance and options include:

Nicotine is the leading cause of preventable death. Studies indicate that someone who stops smoking will more easily abstain from alcohol and other illicit drugs, so smoking cessation could be an important step in the process of maintaining sobriety from illicit drugs. Nicotine replacement therapies (NRT), Zyban, and Chantix have proven themselves to be highly effective in this endeavor, along with changes in habits.

When someone has hit rock bottom and decided that it is time that they stop using drugs, they may try on their own at first. This is generally not successful, and they eventually come to terms with the fact that they may need professional assistance by people who deal with this every day whether it’s an inpatient, outpatient, long-term, or short-term program. They may have known how their body would have reacted to a variety of things before their substance abuse, but the consistent influx of chemicals has altered their brain chemistry. It now causes different emotional and physical reactions to events.

Finding the most effective program may include MAT (medication-assisted treatment) in order to find your way back to reestablishing relationships with friends and family who were lost in the addiction process. There’s always hope to return to the happy life that you once lived.