Alcoholism and opioid abuse aren’t just two of the most serious addictions facing our society today: they are also two of the most difficult to treat. Many people who suffer from an alcohol or opioid addiction struggle to find a program that addresses all of the unique complications that these addictions can lead to. In recent years, however, a new treatment method has become increasingly popular due to its effectiveness in treating alcoholism and opioid addiction: Medication assisted treatment, or MAT, which has been approved by the FDA to treat both opioid and alcohol use disorders.
Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder
Clients who are dealing with the effects of opiate use, when appropriate, can benefit from the inclusion of medication assisted treatment for opioid usse disorder in their treatment program. This includes opioids such as heroin and certain prescription pain relievers. There are three medications currently approved by the FDA for medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorder:
- Buprenorphine: suppresses cravings
- Naltrexone: blocks the effects of opioids
- Methadone: Works to reduce cravings for opioids and withdrawal symptoms, and also prevents users from getting high if they do use opioids
Use of these medications should be prescribed and monitored by a healthcare professional, including the decision to discontinue use, as many people benefit from being weaned off of these medications over time.
Medication Assisted Treatment for Alcohol
Though more commonly thought of as a treatment option for opiate use, Medication Assisted Treatment is also effective for treating alcohol use disorder. The medications used to treat clients struggling with alcohol use do not provide a cure, but they can help clients develop and maintain behaviors that will help them stay sober. There are currently three FDA-approved prescription drugs used for people who are looking to get and remain sober from alcohol. Medications used in Medication Assisted Treatment for alcohol use disorder include:
- Acamprosate: used for people in recovery to prevent drinking
- Disulfiram: treats chronic alcoholism after detox
- Naltrexone: blocks the desired feelings of intoxication to reduce alcohol use
MAT is not suitable for all clients, but can be a valuable treatment approach when carefully monitored by a healthcare professional.
There is a reason why we offer MAT programs for opioid and alcohol addictions at Pacific Sands Recovery – because it has many different benefits for our clients, including:
- It is very effective.
The biggest benefit to MAT is just how effective it is at helping people overcome an addiction to opioids or alcohol. Research has shown that MAT is much more effective than trying just medication or therapy alone. This is because of its focus on treating every aspect of a person’s addiction in a holistic way, rather than just focusing on one area.
- It can be more affordable than other treatments.
For many people, the cost of addiction treatment is what keeps them from trying to get help. But with recent changes in health insurance regulations, many plans now cover at least part of the cost of MAT programs, making them more affordable than other addiction treatment options that aren’t covered.
- It gives clients more freedom.
After you have completed your stay at our facility, it doesn’t mean that you have to stop treatment. You can still continue to use MAT medications to support your recovery for as long as you need to, without having to commit to an indefinite stay at our facility. This means that you can get back to your normal everyday life with less fear of relapse, and have the support you need for as long as you need it.
- It can be used along with other treatment programs.
If your addiction is very severe, MAT can be integrated into other, more intensive addiction treatment programs like intensive inpatient rehab programs. It can also be used as a part of more holistic recovery programs by adding in alternative therapies such as massage in order to help you get the best of both worlds when it comes to your recovery.
- It can make it easier for you to return home.
One of the more challenging aspects of addiction recovery is transitioning back to your normal home life after treatment. Many people fear losing the support of their addiction treatment program. But with an MAT program, you can be confident in knowing that your treatment is still available to you for as long as you need it.