As the name suggests, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) uses FDA-approved medication to treat substance abuse. This treatment is effective because:
- It minimizes cravings
- Lowers the risk of a relapse
- Supports sustainable recovery
How it Works
MAT is a collective term for all treatment programs that use medication to treat substance abuse. It is common for many drug and rehab centers to use medication to detox. Although MAT can be used in medical detox, it is effective in all addiction treatment forms, including outpatient care. Depending on the medication being administered, MAT works in two main ways:
- It binds to brain receptors and activates them in the same way opioids work on the brain. However, MAT has less intense effects.
- It blocks brain receptors that cause the euphoric effect. This prevents users from experiencing the high they look in case of a relapse, which may discourage them from using altogether.
It is important to understand that MAT does not cure addiction. Instead, it supports recovery. MAT is highly effective when combined with other forms of addiction treatment, including counseling and behavioral therapy.
MAT may support treatment and recovery from:
Medication Used in MAT
Methadone is one of the oldest FDA-approved medications for addiction treatment. This medication is often used for treating heroin addiction. In addition, methadone helps to minimize opioid cravings.
Methadone is a type of opioid often prescribed for treating severe pain. However, it is prone to abuse, so it is safe to administer the treatment at an approved clinic. Users who have proven themselves stable over a significant period may be allowed to take methadone at home. This treatment is available in liquid, wafer, and pill form. Methadone should be administered once per day.
Buprenorphine is recommended for treating various substances. This is an opioid agonist, which makes it effective for minimizing cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Buprenorphine may cause some opioid effects when administered as part of MAT. However, the effects are usually mild. This medication is available in:
- Dissolvable tablets
- Dissolvable filmstrips
- Release injection
Naltrexone is an effective medication for opioid and alcohol use. This form of medication is considered an opioid; however, it has milder effects. In addition, naltrexone helps to minimize cravings. This medication can be administered in pill form or in a release injection.
Alcohol use is often treated with disulfiram. This medication triggers an unpleasant effect whenever someone consumes alcohol. It causes users to experience:
- Stomach ache
These effects may cause addicts to stop craving alcohol. Disulfiram is mainly taken in tablet form. Another medication used for treating alcohol addiction is acamprosate. This medication works by preventing withdrawal symptoms and cravings.
Two main medications are used for treating tobacco addiction:
This medication works by stimulating the brain to produce the hormones dopamine and norepinephrine. Varenicline helps to minimize nicotine cravings.
Find the best treatment for your loved one. Please contact North Star Detox & Rehab Center for the best physician-owned and operated recovery treatment center: 818-928-2042/818-928-2043
Tarzana CA 91356