what is medication assisted treatment for substance abuse

What Is Medication Assisted Treatment for Substance Abuse?

If you’re struggling with substance abuse or know someone who is stuck in the dark pit of opiate addiction, you have come to the right place.

What is medication assisted treatment for substance abuse and how it can help substance abusers are common concerns among struggling addicts and their families. At MAT Texas, every day we come across patients who’re tired of their addictive ways and are in a constant pursuit to turn their lives around for the better. But unfortunately, despite their best efforts, they often fail. It’s not like they don’t want to free themselves from the unforgiving shackles of opiate addiction. More often than not, they’re simply looking at the wrong solutions.

We know battling opiate addiction – or rather any other addiction – is hard. It is exhausting. For not only the patient but also for the people who care about them.  But with the right support and resources, defeating an addiction is very much possible. And medication assisted treatment is one of the resources.

The treatment can provide guidance and support to patients needed to navigate the complications of breaking free from substance abuse and become the best version of themselves.

Keep reading to learn what exactly medication assisted treatment is and how it helps substance abusers.

What Is Medication Assisted Treatment for Substance Abuse?

Medication assisted treatment or MAT refers to use of FDA-approved medicines along with behavioral therapies and counseling to help substance abusers overcome their addictions to harmful drugs including heroin, oxycodone, oxycontin, and fentanyl. Experts believe that combining medications, behavioral therapies, and counseling is more effective to treat substance use disorder than using only one option.

Medication assisted treatment is a comprehensive plan that focuses on treating the patient as a whole – physically and psychologically. Combined with behavioral therapy and counseling, the FDA-approved medications can help to relieve symptoms of cravings and withdrawal, enabling the patient to focus more on positive behavioral changes.

As of today, only three medicines are approved by the FDA for the treatment of opioid use disorder including Buprenorphine, Naloxone, and Methadone. Please note that no medications are sanctioned by the FDA for the treatment of hallucinogen, cannabis, and stimulant use disorders.

Is Medication Assisted Treatment Effective?

Opioid addiction and opioid use disorder remain at rampant levels in the United States and worldwide. 3 million Americans and 16 million people globally currently suffer or have suffered from this condition. Medication assisted treatment has proved to be clinically successful in reducing the need for detoxification services among substance abusers since it offers a more comprehensive and tailored treatment plan. These plans are carefully curated to address the unique needs of each patient.

Another study revealed that MAT coupled with behavioral therapy and counseling generate more promising outcomes than other addiction treatment forms.

As shared earlier, the ultimate objective of this treatment is complete recovery and encouraging patients to live a self-directed life. Medication assisted treatment has been shown to:

  • Elevate the overall treatment retention
  • Improve patient survival and their ability to maintain/acquire employment
  • Reduce illicit substance use disorder (SUD) other criminal activities among addicts
  • Better birth outcomes among pregnant substance abusers

According to some research, medication assisted treatment also plays a role in lowering a substance abusers’ risk of contracting certain diseases such as Hepatitis C and HIV as it decreases the possibility of relapse. It also lowers the tendency of risky behavior (for e.g. using soiled needles to inject drugs).

Who Is Medication Assisted Treatment For?

The treatment is most beneficial for individuals with substance abuse including prescription opioids like codeine, morphine, hydrocodone and oxycodone. MAT works equally well for non-prescription opiates such as heroin. Many experts even use MAT to treat alcohol addiction.

FDA-Approved MAT Medications

As shared earlier, presently only three medicines are approved by the FDA for the treatment of opioid use disorder including Buprenorphine, Naltrexone, and Methadone.

Buprenorphine – Addicts can take this drug on a weekly or monthly basis from home as long as it’s prescribed by a certified doctor. Buprenorphine is available as a tablet, injection or implant. With regular use it lowers the symptoms of withdrawal and craving.

Methadone – This drug is administered in inpatient and outpatient addiction treatment programs. Methadone is available in a pill, liquid or wafer form.  Just like Buprenorphine, this drug lowers the symptoms of withdrawal and craving, allowing patients to remain sober.

Naltrexone – This drug is administered either as a monthly injection or daily pill. Naltrexone helps patients overcome opiate addiction by blocking the substances’ effects on the brain.

To learn more about these drugs and how they’re used to treat substance abuse disorder, contact us. 

Closing Note…

We know battling an addiction is hard. But with the right support and resources, it is possible. At MAT Texas, we can help you bring about meaningful changes to ensure you enjoy a more fulfilling life – free of opioid addiction and substance abuse. We offer medication assisted treatment for substance abusers using Suboxone and Methadone throughout Dallas-Fort Worth including Irving, Bedford, Grand Prairie, Arlington, and Euless.

So, that’s all for today.

We’d love to know if this guide on “What is medication assisted treatment for substance abuse” was helpful in any way. Feel free to reach out to us at (469) 460-7090 if you have any questions at all. The experts at MAT will be more than glad to assist you.

If you’re searching for more informative blogs on medication assisted treatment or substance abuse in general, do check the rest of our blog section. MAT strives to assist clients in gaining necessary knowledge to make informed decisions that’s best for them and their families.