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The Ins and Outs of Medication-Assisted Therapy

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Working professionals are independent and successful people. Therefore, it’s natural that they often want to take care of their recovery independently and detox at home. However, working with a professional treatment facility is vital. These facilities have ways to mitigate the side effects that arise when substances are discontinued. One option many facilities use to ensure safety during detox is medication-assisted therapy (MAT). This therapeutic modality is fairly new but can help people smoothly transition out of physical dependency.

Medication-Assisted Therapy

As a therapeutic modality, MAT is a whole-patient approach. Practitioners who administer MAT use medication in connection with counseling and behavioral therapies The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) explains that MAT incorporates medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that are tailored to each client’s specific needs. Therefore, some clients will use a single medication while others may need a combination.

Detoxing With Medication-Assisted Therapy

Brain function and chemistry are altered by drugs and alcohol. These changes create a physical dependency on drugs and alcohol that includes increased cravings. Due to these brain changes, people tend to experience negative physical effects when they stop using drugs and alcohol. The negative symptoms vary greatly for each person. Many people have heard stories about the difficulty of detox, which is why they may understandably feel nervous about the process.

Fortunately, MAT is a great help in alleviating the symptoms that accompany detoxification. Due to its effectiveness, MAT is frequently used to treat opioid addiction or alcohol use disorders. MAT will often include several different prescriptions that decrease the symptoms of detox. While each prescription works slightly differently, the medications help to normalize brain chemistry, blocking the effects of drugs and alcohol and decreasing cravings. Therefore, these medications help clients to stay in treatment. They also improve patient comfort and survival during the detox phase.

Managing Mental Health Disorders

Every person who struggles with addiction has a unique story and set of challenges. However, many people struggle with mental health disorders that play a role in their substance use. For this reason, prescriptions like antidepressants or antianxiety medications are also used in MAT. These prescriptions help a client to recover from addiction In situations where mental health disorders contribute to the addiction. When a person doesn’t feel so anxious or depressed, they will be more motivated to continue with their recovery.

Getting the Necessary Help to Recover from Addiction

Many working professionals are disciplined and self-motivated. This often leads to the confidence that they can solve their issues on their own. However, addiction is a disease that impacts the brain including thought patterns, feelings, and focus. Therefore, while working professionals are highly intelligent and successful, treatment through a trusted facility is often still crucial for a successful recovery from addiction.

Medication-Assisted Therapy Improves Long-Term Recovery

Addiction impacts a person’s brain and behaviors, leading to the inability to control their use of drugs or alcohol. As a result, individuals might be able to see the negative impacts of addiction in their lives but are not able to stop using drugs or alcohol. Effective treatment of addiction, therefore, includes learning new coping skills and healing from the physical impacts of consistent drug or alcohol use.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), medication is a necessary part of the first line of treatment. Ideally, medication will be used in combination with other therapeutic modalities that help clients to learn new behaviors that also play a role in their drug or alcohol use. As an effective part of treatment, medication is utilized to help clients heal. However, the combination of medications used will vary for each individual.

Staying in Treatment

Medication helps clients to stay in treatment in multiple ways. First, by managing detoxification symptoms with medication, clients feel better physically and mentally. Additionally, the medication used to treat mental health disorders helps clients to manage symptoms of mental health disorders without the use of drugs or alcohol. Both uses of medication help clients to think more clearly and see the value of getting addiction treatment, which helps clients to stay in treatment.

Improving Coping Skills Through Medication-Assisted Therapy

While medication through MAT is vital, it is important to recognize that the other aspects of MAT are also important for effective treatment. MAT treats the whole person. This means that medications are used in conjunction with other treatments such as behavioral therapies like counseling. By combining the two, MAT is truly based on an understanding of addiction.

Addiction impacts behavior, and yet, behavior also plays a role in substance use. For example, many individuals use drugs or alcohol to manage stress. Therefore, learning a new coping behavior for dealing with stress helps clients to stay sober. Through MAT, clients receive treatment that addresses their unique behavioral issues contributing to substance abuse while also healing from physical dependency.

As a newer form of addiction treatment, MAT can be very helpful and decrease anxiety about treatment for those concerned about the detox process. Additionally, it can help individuals with mental health disorders to heal. While it may initially sound strange to use medications to treat addiction, it is an extremely effective and useful tool that addresses addiction on mental and physical levels. At Pacific Sands Recovery Center, we offer MAT as a part of our addiction treatment program. Our programs are oriented toward helping working professionals heal from physical dependency and learn new coping skills that help clients to achieve long-term recovery from addiction. To learn more about MAT and our other programs, call us today at (949) 426-7962


  • I would just like to share how Grateful I am with my experience through my addiction at this facility. I couldn’t possibly ask to be in such a “SAFE/COMFORTABLE” environment while receiving treatment for my addiction. I would just like to say Thank you sooo much to ALL the staff there from the Nurse’s to counselors and therapist all of you are a True Blessing in helping me through my journey of sobriety. I couldn’t feel more comfortable there on how they monitored my physical health and on dealing with my emotional health with there therapy sessions and groups I truly see them ALL as Family!

    Andrew N.
  • As a professional in the recovery field I have worked with many detox centers and none compare to The this one. Their staff is incredibly attentive and knowledgable regarding the needs of individuals seeking recovery from the very start. Their facility is welcoming and homey while remaining very luxe. I would recommend this facility to any loved one or friend looking to start down their journey of sobriety.

  • This place helped saved my life, and a great stepping stone to get my life on the right track. Was there first client under new management, caring staff and owners, comfortable place to get you on your feet in sobriety.

  • Great Staff. Comfortable Environment. Awesome place to Get Clean and Sober. Thank you guys for everything.


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    Santa Ana, CA 92704


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