Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
When someone is trapped in the cycle of substance abuse, it can feel like there’s no way out. Many people looking for an escape from their addiction wonder about medication treatment, but because of the misinformation and stigma around medication for disorders, they often dismiss it. However, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a powerful tool to help people stop their substance abuse and keep them on the path to sobriety.
MAT combines medication with traditional addiction treatment services to address both the physical and psychological aspects of addiction.
What Is MAT Treatment?
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the incorporation of FDA-approved medication into traditional addiction treatment programs for substance abuse. MAT services combine medications specifically designed to treat alcohol and opioid dependency with counseling and behavioral therapies. These medications can be highly effective in combination with therapy as part of substance use disorder (SUD) care because they help lessen withdrawal symptoms and improve sobriety rates.
In order for these medications to provide truly successful results, however, they must be provided with a comprehensive treatment plan. It is also important to note that, while some people experience immense improvements after entering an MAT program, others may not benefit from the inclusion of these medications. For this reason, quality drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs provide medication-assisted treatment services on a case-by-case basis.
At the start of treatment, guests work with their therapists to create an individual service plan. Based on their history of substance use, genetics, social influences, support system, and other factors, they may be recommended MAT. Medication-assisted treatment at Royal Life Centers is expertly administered and managed to ensure guests receive the best care with the aid of medicine. Throughout treatment, guests’ case managers meet with them to ensure recieve the best possible care.
Three Components of MAT
Three key components of medication-assisted treatment ensure a comprehensive approach to recovery. These are medication, counseling, and behavior therapy. United States federal law requires that treatment for opioid abuse consists of more than merely medication, and is joined with other treatment services like therapy and resource provision.
The 3 components of MAT include:
The three components are proven to work together to help people in recovery learn healthy coping skills, fight cravings, discover the root issues behind their substance use, and rebuild their self-worth in the process.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved certain medications for the use of recovery from drugs and alcohol as part of MAT rehab. For alcohol abuse, they are Acamprosate, Naltrexone, and Disulfiram. For opiates, they are Methadone, Buprenorphine, Naltrexone, and Naloxone.
MAT medications work by reducing cravings and other withdrawal symptoms and by blocking receptors to make the ingestion of substances very unpleasant. Significantly, medications are only prescribed by medical professionals meeting the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ criteria, and only to those needing them as part of their treatment.
Medications for Opioid Use Disorder
Medications for opioid use disorder, or MOUD, can reduce cravings for opioids significantly. These medications can help you better manage any urges or triggers that lead to relapse, and allow you to focus more on the emotional and psychological aspects of recovery.
Naltrexone, brand names Vivitrol and Revia, blocks the effects of alcohol on the brain and prevents feelings of intoxication. This medication allows people with alcohol use disorders to reduce alcohol use or cease drinking altogether.
Buprenorphine, brand names Subutex and Sublocade, is an opioid partial agonist used to treat opioid dependency and addiction. It works by producing low-grade euphoric effects that reduce cravings and alleviate withdrawal symptoms. As a weaker narcotic, buprenorphine allows people with opioid use disorders to reduce their use, take safer doses, and taper off of opioids entirely. However, this medication is a controlled substance due to its potential for abuse, so it is important it take it exactly as directed by the doctor.
Methadone, brand names Diskets, Methadone Intensol, and Methadose, is a long-acting opioid agonist used to treat opioid dependency and addiction. It works by reducing or blocking the effects of opioids to minimize the impact of withdrawal symptoms and cravings. As a controlled narcotic, methadone clinics offer people with opioid use disorders the ability to take safer doses, lessen their use, or stop taking opioids altogether. Due to its potential for abuse, it is vital to take Methadone as directed.
At Royal Life Centers, we provide Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone), an FDA-approved medication for opioid use disorders (OUD). By providing Suboxone for the treatment of opioid addiction, our MAT services help guests transition between detox and the next stages of recovery by lessening cravings and symptoms of withdrawal.
Medications for Alcohol Use Disorder
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) services use evidence-based treatment options to assist you on your detoxification and recovery journey. Medications for alcohol use disorder, or MAUD, can reduce cravings for alcohol significantly. These medications can help you better manage any urges or triggers that lead to drinking, and allow you to focus more on the emotional and psychological aspects of recovery.
Acamprosate, brand name Campral, assists in restoring the natural balance of chemicals in the brain (neurotransmitters) to prevent cravings that may lead to relapse. This medication does not, however, prevent withdrawal symptoms after people drink alcohol.
Disulfiram, brand name Antabuse, treats chronic alcohol abuse through negative reinforcement, triggering uncomfortable sensations throughout the body following a relapse. This medication is intended for individuals who have already stopped drinking or are in the initial stage of abstinence.
At Royal Life Centers, we provide evidence-based medications for alcohol use disorders (AUD). Those participating in MAT during alcohol detox will work with addiction treatment providers to determine which medication works best for each guest, based on their unique situation and medical history. It is important to note that MAUD does not replace therapy or counseling, but rather works in conjunction with these services to provide long-term support and guidance.
Counseling in Medication-Assisted Treatment
Addiction counseling services are a necessary component of MAT and treatment in general because they assist individuals in addressing their triggers and unpacking their history of substance abuse. Royal Life Centers offers counseling tracks for individual, group, and family therapy sessions. Many people benefit from a mixture of all three. Total healing happens when one’s physical, psychological, and spiritual realms are nourished. Counseling helps address the mental, emotional, and spiritual side of recovery. Plus, it helps prepare guests for life after rehab.
Behavioral Therapy Sessions
Behavioral therapy is a common form of treatment for substance use disorders that considers the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. One of its main focuses is breaking down negative thought patterns and behavior patterns by considering why they exist and what kind of damage they’re doing, and then learning new ways.
Behavioral therapy is an important part of MAT programs because it addresses the deep impact of illicit substance abuse and why they were appealing in the first place. This form of therapy is a valuable addition to treatment as a whole, not only when paired with medication. For instance, behavioral therapy is recommended to treat a variety of mental diseases and behavioral issues.
Frequently Asked Questions
To help you gain a better understanding of what medication-assisted treatment is and how it can help in recovery from addiction, we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about MAT.
If you have any questions about medications offered during MAT at Royal Life Centers or would like to know more about our treatment services, call us at 888-568-5998.
MAT stands for medication-assisted treatment. It refers to the use of specific FDA-approved medications as part of a whole-body treatment plan that also includes counseling and behavioral therapy.
During MAT, licensed and experienced medical professionals provide 24/7 supervision with safe and effective medications. Individuals are recommended MAT treatment on a case-by-case basis determined by their unique set of circumstances.
MAT has three treatment steps: Induction, Stabilization, and Maintenance. Induction is the first 1-3 days of treatment when one receives their first dose of addiction medication and works through early withdrawal. Stabilization is the period where they continue medication, adjust their dosage as needed, and complete the withdrawal stage.
The final phase, maintenance may last up to two years. During the maintenance phase, participants undergo behavioral therapy and rehab programs as part of recovery maintenance. By the end of these three phases, medical professionals work with people to slowly reduce medication dosage during this time.
MAT is highly successful based on several measured markers of success. Research shows that access to MAT services has decreased the number of deaths from substance abuse by 50%. MAT has also led to longer retention rates of abstinence in those who’ve completed treatment. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also supports the use of MAT, highlighting its ability to lessen the chances of relapse and its ability to help combat the opioid crisis.
When receiving MAT services under the care of licensed and trained medical professionals, medication-assisted treatment is safe and effective for treating alcohol and opioid dependence.
While participating in MAT, it is essential to carefully follow your doctor’s instructions. Many prescription medications require you to take them at the same time each day and not to skip doses, so paying close attention to the details of your treatment plan is necessary.
In addition, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any other medications, as some drugs can negatively interact with medications offered in MAT. Likewise, knowing the potential for drug-related interactions with certain foods, drinks, and supplements is equally as important to avoid unwanted side effects.
It is also vital to inform your healthcare provider if you have any existing medical conditions or are pregnant or breastfeeding before taking any medications because they could cause harm in these situations.
While in medication-assisted treatment, your treatment team will be able to provide advice and guidance on how best to manage any potential risks associated with your medication.
Buprenorphine is a prescription medication used for the treatment of opioid addiction. It can be taken orally or through injections. At Royal Life Centers, buprenorphine is used as a medical taper early on in the detoxification process because of its effectiveness in reducing withdrawal symptoms. It can be used both as a taper in the detoxification stage and as a longer-term maintenance medication.
Buprenorphine is an opioid because it is a synthetic drug.
Buprenorphine is a schedule III narcotic analgesic. It’s a controlled substance whose use is highly monitored and managed. It is safe for prescription usage as part of treatment for opioid abuse.
Suboxone is a brand-name injectable made of buprenorphine and naloxone (the active ingredients).
Sublocade is an injectable form of buprenorphine provided during medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs. During opioid addiction treatment, people can switch to Sublocade after using oral buprenorphine for at least seven days. It’s an effective treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) because it diminishes cravings as a symptom of withdrawal.
Sublocade is an extended-release injection inserted under the skin and released into the body over roughly 28 days. Therefore, the minimum timeframe between doses is 26 days to prevent overdose.
Yes, Sublocade is a narcotic that has special regulations around proper prescription.
Sublocade contains the active ingredient buprenorphine, so the medication does have the potential for misuse, which may lead to addiction. For this reason, it’s a controlled substance that can only be prescribed by certified medical professionals for treatment.
Naltrexone is an FDA-approved treatment for both alcohol and opioid dependency. It can be injected for AUD and OUD treatment or ingested in pill form for AUD treatment. Naltrexone reduces cravings and blocks reward system brain receptors so that substance ingestion isn’t enjoyable. It is effective as a treatment for OUD because it prevents people from experiencing a high.
Naltrexone produces mood-stabilizing effects. When taking naltrexone, individuals don’t experience the usual high from drugs or alcohol. In taking naltrexone, withdrawal symptoms and cravings are reduced. However, some people may experience side effects such as headaches, loss of hunger, or insomnia while adjusting to the medication.
Like all medications, naltrexone may cause side effects.
Mild side effects of naltrexone may include:
- Dry mouth
- Decreased appetite
- Sleep issues
Moderate to severe symptoms of naltrexone may include:
- Liver damage
During MAT, it is important for individuals to pay close attention to how their body reacts to naltrexone. This way, they can report any changes in symptoms and side effects to the doctor or health care provider. In doing so, doctors can work with them to adjust their dosage.
It is also important to follow the doctor’s instructions when using naltrexone for MAT, as it can be dangerous if misused or taken without proper medical supervision.
Naltrexone isn’t an antidepressant but when combined with other medications it may produce a restorative effect on the brain. However, in small doses, some research indicates that naltrexone can be effective in aiding depression symptoms.
Vivitrol is a name-brand prescription of naltrexone. It is an effective treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD) and opioid use disorder (OUD).
Vivitrol is a treatment for both alcohol and opioid addiction, individuals struggling with either dependency may be recommended to take Vivitrol by their medical practitioner. It may interact with other medications, and pregnancy or certain health problems like liver or kidney issues may rule an individual out.
Vivitrol and Suboxone are both name-brand medications but with different active ingredients. Vivitrol contains naltrexone while Suboxone contains buprenorphine and naloxone.
No, Vivitrol and Narcan have different active ingredients. Both are opioid blockers, but Narcan’s active ingredient is naloxone.
Suboxone is a name-brand prescription containing buprenorphine and naloxone. It’s used for the treatment of OUD by reducing withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone can be implemented into MAT after detoxification but not during because it contains naloxone.
Yes, Suboxone is a controlled narcotic that can only be specially prescribed due to its risk of misuse.
Suboxone and methadone are not the same. Methadone is an opioid, while Suboxone contains the opioids buprenorphine and naloxone.
Methadone, or methadone levo-alpha-acetylmethadol (LAAM), is an FDA-approved medical treatment for OUD. It blocks the euphoric effect of opioids and helps reduce withdrawal symptoms. It’s a proven addiction treatment that’s been used since the 1940s.
Methadone should be medically prescribed and supervised to prevent withdrawal symptoms causing harm. Some side effects of withdrawing from methadone are confusion, high blood pressure, poor appetite, hot and cold temperature flashes, and muscle aches. However, methadone is a well-studied and effective treatment that’s used for its benefits.
Methadone works well as a long-term medical treatment. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) recommends that people use it for at least 12 months and possibly longer. People who stay on methadone do so at the recommendation of their doctor because of its successful effect on their treatment.
Who Can Benefit From Medication-Assisted Treatment?
MAT is a proven treatment program that has changed the lives of countless individuals battling substance use disorders. Because of the success of combining medication assistance with counseling and behavioral therapies, people seeking treatment for OUD and AUD should explore MAT as a treatment option. Proven benefits of MAT include improving the people with addiction survival rate, increasing employment success after treatment, reducing criminal behavior in people with addictions, and improving survival rates for the children of women with addictions.
Additionally, there is ample evidence to conclude that MAT treatment leads to better recovery outcomes, including greater treatment efficacy and long-term recovery. Individuals who take part in MAT programs are more likely to achieve lasting sobriety. It’s no surprise considering they engage in whole-body healing practices that boost their self-worth, teach them life skills, and prepare them with relapse prevention plans. In short, anyone struggling with opioid or alcohol addiction would benefit from MAT addiction treatment.
Have any questions?
MAT Services at Royal Life Centers
Royal Life Centers at The Haven intend MAT to be included in guests’ treatment plans on a case-by-case basis and only to implement it as one aspect of their holistic, whole-body treatment. We believe healing should be multimodal, treating the mind, body, and spirit. In some situations, medication combined with behavioral treatment is the most promising way for a guest to achieve total healing.
Prior to beginning treatment in detox, our expert staff will assist you in uncovering the underlying factors contributing to substance abuse and developing an individualized treatment plan. During this process, guests eligible for MAT can discuss adding it to their treatment plan. Guests participating in medication-assisted treatment recieve 24/7 medical care and support from our trained and experienced MAT providers.
At The Haven, we take a person-centered approach and individualize each guest’s experience, so MAT is just one of many aspects of care that can be included in the comprehensive treatment program. Our dedicated team of licensed physicians, nurses, counselors, and support staff are here to help you find lasting sobriety through evidence-based practices and holistic care including:
Our goal to aid guests in a life of sustained recovery is the reason for everything we do at Royal Life Centers, so we’re conscientious with our prescription of medication. MAT combined with psychological and holistic therapies has many benefits. When the three components of MAT treatments are followed, guests learn healthy coping techniques, relapse prevention plans, life skills, and other helpful resources. It’s all shown to help individuals maintain their sobriety and sense of well-being after treatment for drug and alcohol addiction at Royal Life Centers.
Our Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder
Our medical professionals are certified to prescribe medications as part of MAT for opioid addiction. We provide FDA-approved buprenorphine/naltrexone prescriptions because the medication aids in reducing cravings and diminishing opioids’ effects with the lowest potential risk for abuse. Our staff works with guests every step of their journey to make adjustments to their treatment plan, including weaning them off their medication dosage when the time comes.
Our Medication-Assisted Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder
Our doctors are also certified to prescribe medication for the treatment of alcohol addiction. We use the FDA-approved medications naltrexone, acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone. Our medications assist in guests’ recovery by lessening withdrawal symptoms, blocking receptors that receive pleasure from alcohol, reducing cravings, and, overall, shrinking relapse rates. Our MAT programs for AUD are in place for guests’ long-term success.
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MAT Programs Near Me
As part of our full continuum of care for substance abuse treatment, we have centers located in Washington and Arizona.
At our centers in Washington rehabs, guests can receive all levels of care from medical detoxification to inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient treatment.
In Washington State, we provide medication-assisted treatment and continuing care services at the following locations:
Similarly, our Arizona locations offer comprehensive addiction treatment services to ensure that our guests have to resources they need to thrive in recovery. Starting with medically-assisted detoxification, guests can then transition through residential inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient programs.
We provide medication-assisted treatment and continuing care services at our Arizona rehabs including:
Each of our treatment centers is in place to provide care and guidance for people battling substance abuse. Our wish is for you to experience Royal Life Centers as a place of recovery, learning, and healing so you can overcome your SUD and live a healthy, fulfilling life of sobriety. Our admission specialists are ready to take your call 24/7 at 888-568-5998.
We also have a secure contact form you can fill out regarding yourself or a loved one and we will reach out to you. If you’re ready to receive treatment, please contact us today.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please reach out for help today.
Looking for MAT Services?
If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, please reach out to us to find out more about how our MAT services can help. We work with most private insurance policies and we have affordable self-pay rates if you do not have insurance. Give us a call and we will figure out the best treatment plan for you or your loved one.
Because We Care.
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If you or someone you know has a substance use disorder, we hope you’ll begin your journey with us at Royal Life Centers.