Traditional addiction treatment options typically do not involve the use of medication.
These are the traditional methods for a reason. They’ve been proven effective over many years.
But sometimes, we need something more. A moderate to severe addiction, overwhelming withdrawal symptoms, or a history of relapse could require an even more dedicated approach.
Medication-assisted treatment or MAT may be recommended in these cases.
What is the Purpose of Medication-Assisted Treatment?
Recovering from a mild addiction and withdrawal symptoms may mean suffering through a week or so of flu-like symptoms, insomnia, and mood changes.
But for many individuals in recovery, withdrawing isn’t so simple.
Many of the most common mental and physical withdrawal symptoms are severe enough to lead to relapse, cause short or long-term health concerns, or even become life-threatening.
Overwhelming withdrawal symptoms are one of the most common relapse triggers.
The purpose of medication-assisted treatment is to make it easier to maintain your sobriety when your addiction becomes too severe to manage on your own.
Types of Medication-Assisted Treatment
Medication-assisted treatment can be helpful during more than one stage of recovery.
A MAT program might mean a medically assisted detox or a medically assisted treatment program.
This can be a full-time, residential program or a part-time, outpatient program.
Depending on the type and severity of your addiction, we may recommend detox and/or maintenance using medication-assisted treatment.
During detox, these medications may ease withdrawal symptoms, including cravings, making it easier to stay sober and feel more comfortable.
After detox, MAT can be helpful in maintaining sobriety throughout your treatment program.
Medication-assisted treatment is considered the most effective intervention for treating opioid use disorders and others.
How Does MAT Work?
MAT is often more effective than either medications alone or behavioral interventions alone because it provides the ideal balance of both.
Medication-assisted treatment integrates FDA-approved medications, social support methods, and behavioral therapies.
This three-pronged approach provides a holistic, effective, and sustainable treatment method.
Our addictions do not form overnight. We cannot expect them to be solved that way, either.
An effective recovery requires addressing both the behavioral and biological components of addiction. MAT is an excellent way to achieve this goal.
How MAT Promotes Sustained Sobriety and Reduces Relapse Rates
To demonstrate how useful medication-assisted treatment can be, let’s focus for a moment on one of its most common uses: opioid addiction treatments.
Prescription and illicit opioids alike come with a high risk of abuse and addiction.
That is one reason why it is one of the most common addictions in the country. Many of these addictions start innocently enough.
One study revealed that up to 80% of heroin users had used prescription opioids first.
Two of the most common were the prescription painkillers Vicodin and OxyContin.
Unfortunately, even when they come with a prescription, these medications can be dangerous, and dependence can develop quickly.
Once dependence develops, many will graduate to something stronger to achieve the effects they felt when they started using opioids.
This is where things become more problematic.
Heroin, fentanyl, and other high-level opioids tend to come with overwhelming withdrawal symptoms that make it harder to quit, even when your urge to quit is strong.
Medications like methadone and buprenorphine can help.
These carefully administered medications help satisfy drug cravings and reduce or eliminate other common withdrawal symptoms to promote sustained sobriety and reduce relapse rates.
Drugs Used for Medication Assisted Treatment
Methadone and buprenorphine are two of the most common opioid use disorder medications.
It may seem strange to treat opioid addiction with another opioid, but these medications have proven effective in the appropriate dosages and monitored medical settings.
The amounts of these medications that we prescribe are too low to produce euphoric highs but substantial enough to promote several positive effects during recovery.
They are not meant to be used as substitutes but rather short-term aids during treatment.
When used in appropriate dosages and under the supervision of a professional, they will not promote new addictions.
Instead, they will ease cravings and withdrawals, reducing your risk of relapse and clearing the path to sustained sobriety.
Other Uses for Medication-Assisted Treatment
While it tends to be the most common in opioid disorder treatments, MAT is useful in treating other addictions, too. Medications are also common in alcohol treatments.
There are three approved substances for this purpose, including naltrexone, disulfiram, and acamprosate.
The right approach is often the key to addiction recovery, which is why we offer a wide variety of customized treatment programs and methods to help everyone we meet find their way.
Many different addictions may warrant medication-assisted treatment.
We can help you determine which treatment path will best fit your unique addiction and needs.
Therapy and Medication-Assisted Treatment
We mentioned earlier that the most effective way to treat many addictions is to combine medication and behavioral therapies.
We need them both because they help us achieve different goals.
While medications like the ones we provide will help ease cravings and other withdrawal symptoms, behavioral therapies help us gain a better understanding of how and why we got here.
This typically involves identifying root causes, improving the symptoms of common co-existing mental health disorders, and learning how to cope with feelings of stress or anger in healthier ways.
Building healthier habits and coping mechanisms can help us reroute our natural responses to life’s inevitable challenges.
With our proven treatment methods, we help our clients break free from the things that are holding them back.
It’s time to leave your addiction behind you and create a happier, healthier life that you can be proud of and excited about.
Pathfinders Programs, A Path to Recovery
Our dedicated addiction teams are prepared to help with a wide range of addictions, withdrawal symptoms, mental health symptoms, and other needs.
To ensure that we can help our clients at any stage of the recovery process, we offer:
- Detox programs
- Residential programs
- Partial hospitalization programs
- Intensive outpatient programs
- Long-term rehab options
A Breakdown of Our Addiction Treatment Programs
Residential and long-term rehab programs are the only two that give you 24-hour access to the care, support, and guidance of our dedicated teams.
These programs are ideal for those with moderate to severe addictions and withdrawal symptoms or a history of relapse, among others.
And they typically start with a personalized detox. But not everyone will need or be capable of committing to a full-time program.
That’s where our other programs come in. Partial hospitalization averages around 20 hours per week.
Partial hospitalization programs are one of the most common treatment options for those affected by both mental illness and addiction.
The final option is an intensive outpatient program. An intensive outpatient program ranges from 9 to 19 hours per week.
During each type of treatment program, many of the treatment methods remain the same.
Behavioral therapies are common across the board because they are some of the most effective addiction treatment methods.
Different programs are better for different people and addictions. We can help you choose the path that will help you the most.
MAT at Pathfinders Recovery Center
In Colorado and Arizona, we operate conveniently located and luxury-style recovery facilities.
In a safe and comfortable facility like ours, it becomes easier to maintain your focus, boost your confidence, and build a better life.
Call (866) 263-1820 for more information now!