Substance use disorders such as opioid use disorder are becoming increasingly common across the United States. These diseases are not always easy to treat and can even be fatal. However, there is hope for those suffering from addiction. 

A medication-assisted treatment program like the one we offer at Chapters Recovery Center can be beneficial in treating substance use disorders and even preventing relapses. Under the careful eye of a treatment team, MAT treatment can help patients on their path to sobriety and wellness. If you or someone you love think that you might benefit from substance abuse treatment programs, call us today.

What Is A Medication-Assisted Treatment Program?

medication-assisted treatment new england

Unlike traditional 12-step programs, a MAT treatment program allows the patient to take prescription medication given to them by a doctor to help them overcome an addiction to substances such as opioids or alcohol. These medications stop the patient from feeling high or euphoric, even if they still use the substance. They also help to normalize or “even out” functions in the body without the harmful or uncomfortable effects of withdrawal.

While a traditional 12-step program involves abstaining from substance use entirely, medically managed withdrawal allows the patient to focus on their recovery without feeling cravings and other potential withdrawal symptoms. Of course, furthermore, the patient can use these medications under the guidance of experienced professionals, so the patient is not alone during the process.

What Forms Of Substance Abuse Need Medication-Assisted Treatment?

The forms of substance abuse that need a medication-assisted treatment program vary depending on the type of substance abuse disorder being treated. Research has shown that a combination of therapy and medication can successfully treat substance use disorders. For some individuals struggling with substance abuse, MAT programs can sustain their recovery by treating their addiction. 

Medication-assisted treatment programs can be used to reduce or prevent opioid overdose. For example, in the case of opioid use disorder management, the medications utilized for it might be tapered off moderately through long-term maintenance that can last for several years. 

MAT programs are used primarily for opioid addiction treatment for drugs such as prescription pain relievers that contain opiates or heroin. Medication-assisted treatment for alcohol addiction is also common and can relieve painful withdrawal symptoms.

The medication utilized for prescription medication does the following: 

  • Normalize body functions without the euphoric and negative effects of substance use
  • Operates to block the euphoric effects of opioids and alcohol
  • Relieves psychological cravings 
  • Normalize brain chemistry

What Withdrawal Symptoms Does MAT Treat?

For several individuals, the exhausting first stage of an opiate medication-assisted treatment program is incredibly difficult and uncomfortable when experiencing withdrawal symptoms. The withdrawal symptoms from opiates occur when chronic use of an opiate is discontinued suddenly. Whether that is from prescription painkillers or heroin, the withdrawal symptoms that resemble the flu during MAT programs that are treated are the following:

  • Emotional symptoms such as anxiety, agitation, and irritability
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Hold and cold sweats
  • Abdominal pain
  • Insomnia
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea

What Are The Different Medications Used In Medication-Assisted Treatment?

There are several different medications used in medication-assisted treatment programs. 

MAT Treatment for Alcohol

When it comes to medication-assisted treatment for alcohol, the medications used are the following:

Acamprosate

This drug is used in medication-assisted treatment for alcohol addiction. It assists in helping individuals who are already currently in recovery to avoid alcohol use. The individual undergoing medication-assisted treatment for alcohol might receive acamprosate starting on their fifth day of abstinence. This medication does not prevent withdrawal symptoms, but it does help you avoid alcohol use. 

Disulfiram

This medication is designed to decrease the drinking behavior of an individual who has already detoxed or begun a period of abstinence. It will cause unpleasant symptoms when you drink. Therefore, when you take this drug daily, your relapse risks will ultimately decrease. 

Naltrexone

This medication helps block some of the reinforcing and rewarding effects of alcohol. It is also used in medication-assisted treatment for alcohol. This drug ultimately decreases the likelihood of drinking. 

MAT Treatment for Opioids

medication-assisted treatment program

An estimated 2 million individuals live with an opioid use disorder. This includes the abuse of prescription pain medication like opiates, as well as the street drug heroin. MAT programs have been proven to be clinically effective and significantly reduce the need for inpatient detox services for individuals. The difference with MAT programs is they can provide more individualized, tailored, and comprehensive medication-assisted treatment programs and behavioral therapy. 

Buprenorphine

This medication acts as a partial opioid agonist. It can minimize some of the uncomfortable opioid withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. 

Methadone

This full opioid agonist is a bit longer-lasting. It reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms through the development of cross-tolerance. Cross tolerance might decrease the euphoric high of other opioids which should be used during the Methadone treatment process.

Naltrexone

This opioid receptor antagonist blocks sedating and euphoric effects of opioids. When naltrexone is utilized for a medication-assisted treatment program, it might help to discourage continued opioid misuse and suppress opioid cravings.

What Are The Goals Of A MAT Treatment Program?

The goals of medically managed treatment are similar to those in 12-step programs. However, patients achieve these goals using medication instead of without. They include:

  • Improving patient survival
  • Increasing treatment retention or keeping patients in treatment longer so that they have a higher chance of sobriety and full recovery
  • Decreasing illicit use of opioids
  • Increasing a patient’s ability to get a job and maintain employment
  • Improving the quality of life for women who are pregnant and dealing with a substance use disorder

Medication-assisted treatment for alcohol programs and behavioral therapy programs, such as the ones we offer at Chapters Recovery, effectively manage cravings for substance use and encourage recovery.

How Do I Know If Medication-Assisted Treatment Is Right For Me?

If you have tried other methods of treating your substance use disorder and failed, a medication-assisted treatment for alcohol programs may be the right choice for you. At our comfortable and homelike addiction treatment center, we have years of holistic treatment experience. This means we treat the whole of the person, not just their substance use disorder.

We offer a variety of addiction therapy programs that work in conjunction with our MAT treatment program, including:

  • Dialectical behavior therapy
  • Traditional talk therapy
  • Family therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

This therapy can help individuals identify and change disadvantageous thoughts and behaviors about themselves and their addiction. 

Contingency Management

Contingency management can help individuals stay motivated by providing tangible rewards for positive changes such as vouchers for goods.

Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA) 

This therapy helps individuals identify their reasons for desiring to make changes in their life and discover healthier alternatives for coping with stress and other triggers utilized to abuse substances. 

Motivational Enhancement (ME)

Motivational enhancement helps individuals engage in ultimately staying motivated in treatment. 

Group Therapy

This therapy includes a variety of groups such as the following:

  • Psycho-educational
  • Skills development
  • Cognitive behavioral
  • Interpersonal process
  • Support groups

When you seek treatment at Chapters Recovery Center for a substance use disorder, our experienced and compassionate doctors will work closely with you to help you withdraw from opioids or alcohol. Our MAT treatment program will guide you on the path to recovery, and our treatment teams are well-versed in how to care for and treat someone who is facing a substance use disorder. In addition, we will guide you through the 12-step program to give you the best possible chance at long-term recovery.

Why Is MAT Often Used In Detox?

MAT programs are frequently used in detox because of the medications administered aimed to help alleviate painful withdrawal symptoms. The physical symptoms are considered to be painful, emotional symptoms are mostly unendurable, and cravings are often at an all-time high. Instead of having to be subjected to these severe symptoms, individuals can choose a medication-assisted treatment program and therefore make the detox process less uncomfortable. 

By going about this process this way, individuals can quickly focus on their recovery and begin to receive the MAT treatment that they need. The main process of the medications alleviating painful withdrawal symptoms is to slowly wean individuals off drugs so that the detox process isn’t a shock to their body. As stated previously, medications are given to prevent patients from engaging in drug and alcohol use and prevent cravings. 

Medication-assisted treatment programs can be viewed as a preventive measure geared to help as an extra safeguard in an individual’s early recovery when relapse is extremely likely, and sobriety is presented to be the most fragile. 

Call Chapters Recovery Center Today For Expert Addiction Care

You are never alone in your battle against substance abuse. At Chapters Recovery Center, we are here for you at every point in your healing journey. Please don’t wait to seek treatment. If you are ready to stop using substances, our medication-assisted treatment for alcohol program is there for you. Contact our team today to get help and peace of mind.