Medication-Assisted Treatment for Substance Abuse
Long-term substance abuse causes chemical changes in the brain. These changes can make it challenging to resist cravings for alcohol and drugs. In recent years, the use of medication-assisted treatment for substance abuse has increased usage as a means to help the addict safely detox.
What Is Medication-Assisted Treatment for Substance Abuse?
Medication-assisted treatment for substance abuse, or MAT, is used for various substance abuse disorders, such as alcohol addiction or opioid addiction. There are specific FDA-approved medicines designed to attach to the ends of neuroreceptors in the brain.
As they do, they create a barrier between the neuroreceptors and the substance being abused. As a result, the addict will no longer experience the effects of the substance. In addition, MAT helps alleviate withdrawal symptoms as the addict is weaned off of the substances being abused.
What Medications Are Used With MAT?
There are different medications used with medication-assisted treatment for substance abuse. Some of the more common MAT meds include:
- Naltrexone – This drug blocks the effects of the abused substance. So no matter how much is taken, the addict will not experience any associated effects from the substance being abused.
- Methadone – Methadone is used to help treat people struggling with opioid addiction. This drug stimulates the effects of opioids but at a lower level. It also helps reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms and lowers the cravings for opioids.
- Buprenorphine – This MAT medicine also simulates the effects of opioid abuse but at a lower level than methadone. Additionally, it can help reduce the negative effects of withdrawal.
- Suboxone – Another MAT drug used is suboxone. It is a combination of naloxone and buprenorphine, so it serves as a dual-purpose medication.
- Acamprosate – This drug is designed to help prevent relapse for people recovering from alcohol addiction by reducing the cravings for alcohol.
Furthermore, certain medications are used with medication-assisted treatment for substance abuse that have adverse effects if the person abuses their substance of choice. For example, one type of MAT medication is designed to make a person nauseous and sick if they drink alcohol.
As long as they do not consume alcohol, they are fine. The purpose of this medication is to deter alcohol abuse. It also helps reprogram the brain to associate negative consequences from drinking since the brain was initially programmed to associate drinking as a positive behavior due to the effects experienced while intoxicated.
Is Medication-Assisted Treatment for Substance Abuse Addictive?
Most of the medications used with MAT are not addictive. However, there can be a minor risk of developing a dependence on methadone and suboxone. As such, the use of these drugs is medically supervised. Dosages are monitored to ensure a person using these drugs does not start abusing them.
How Does MAT Help with Detox?
The medications used with medication-assisted treatment for substance abuse are safe, effective, and controlled through supervision. They help with detox by reducing the reliance on alcohol and drugs while reducing the negative effects of withdrawal symptoms.
In addition, MAT offers the following benefits:
- You can begin detox right away and avoid many of the negative impacts of detox. Furthermore, your body can be purged of the abusive substance faster. As a result, you can achieve sobriety faster and allow you to focus on your addiction treatment and recovery.
- Using MAT can help you maintain long-term sobriety easier because the drugs help reduce cravings. As such, you can find it easier to stick with your recovery treatment and reach your goals while avoiding relapse.
- MAT makes it easier to return to your normal routines and daily life. You may find that you are able to focus on resuming your normal life and not feel as anxious or stressed. Some people are able to do this shortly after they detox since their MAT meds are helping to control their cravings.
Is MAT Right for Me?
Medication-assisted treatment for substance abuse is well-suited as a viable treatment option when you are struggling with alcohol addiction and opioid addiction. MAT also works with certain other abusive substances.
MAT may not be right for you if:
- You are abusing multiple substances besides alcohol and opioids.
- You are abusing other types of prescription medications that could diminish the effects of MAT medications.
- You are taking certain prescription medications for a mental health disorder.
- You have no desire to start detox or addiction treatment.
However, a consultation with an addiction treatment professional is necessary to determine if you could benefit from MAT and see if MAT would be a good choice.
Medication-Assisted Treatment for Substance Abuse in Beverly Hills, CA
Overcoming addiction can be rather challenging. Fortunately, MAT could help you take the necessary first step of detoxification and put you on the road to recovery. At MD Home Detox in Beverly Hills, CA, we offer concierge-level substance abuse treatment programs that include using medication-assisted treatment for substance abuse.
Our objective is to help you achieve sobriety using the most appropriate methods from the comfort of your home. In addition, thanks to our extensive network, we can help create a custom-tailored recovery and treatment plan to fit your needs.