What is the Main Goal of MAT?
Medication Assisted Treatment or MAT is a special type of recovery treatment designed to help individuals suffering from opioid use disorders. This treatment method uses a combination of prescription medications, behavioral therapies, and counseling to help patients get better.
This form of medication assisted treatment has a relatively high success rate due to the fact that it addresses the patient’s physical and mental withdrawal symptoms while also improving their self-control to prevent relapses. However, to truly understand why this treatment method is so popular today, it is vital to learn about its main goals.
Today we will be answering the question, “What is the Main Goal of MAT” to help you learn more about the substance abuse treatment method and why it is so effective.
The Main Goals of MAT
It could be said that MAT’s main goal is to help patients recover from opioid addiction. However, this is more an overall goal. The medication assisted treatment program itself consists of many different goals, each of which aim to help the patient get better, stay well, reduce withdrawal symptoms, and overcome substance abuse. This includes short term goals and long term goals.
Short-Term Goals of MAT
Some of the short-term goals in MAT include:
Committing to an Action Plan
Patients must commit to an action plan geared toward eliminating their pattern of substance abuse. This goal is vital to ensure they are willing to follow the latter steps in their recovery program.
Cooperating With a Physician Evaluation
Patients must be prepared to undergo a physical evaluation by a physician. This physician will assess them for prescription medication treatment with Methadone, Buprenorphine, and/or Naloxone.
Participate in Behavior Therapy and Counseling
Patients will be required to attend behavior therapy and counseling alongside their medical treatment. This behavioral therapy includes cognitive behavior therapy which aims to prevent relapses by correcting behaviors that lead to substance use. It also teaches patients how to recognize signs of opioid cravings and avoid situations that put them at risk of relapsing.
Patients will also get to undergo acceptance and commitment therapy which aims to improve their psychological flexibility. This therapy’s goal is to assist patients with learning to confront situations in the present and steer their actions to achieve healthy outcomes. If successful, patients will be able to process negative emotions or thoughts without relapsing.
Attend Support Group Meetings
Some MAT programs also encourage patients to attend support group meetings weekly. Such meetings allow patients to share about their experiences with others and hear stories from other recovering addicts. These group meetings also help create a sense of accountability and help patients stave off the feelings of isolation associated with addiction and recovery.
Long-Term Goals of MAT
Some of the long term goals of medication assisted treatment include:
Accepting Chemical Dependency and Participating in Recovery
Addiction can be an on-going issue for most patients suffering from opioid use disorders. MAT teaches such individuals to accept their chemical dependency on these substances. However, the use of Methadone, Buprenorphine, and/or Naloxone also aims to help with their treatment.
These prescription medications are designed to help stave off cravings, reduce the effects of opioids, or create unpleasant side effects for patients who relapse. When administered properly under the guidance of a physician, these prescription medications can help patients stop using opioids and stay off them in the long run.
Developing Behavioral and Cognitive Coping Skills to Maintain Sobriety in the Long Run
One of the most important goals of medication assisted treatment is to help patients develop behavioral and cognitive coping skills to maintain sobriety in the long run. This goal is useful as it equips the patient with the skills needed to maintain control once they have completed the program and have returned to their day-to-day lives.
Patients are often at the highest risk of relapsing once they return to their usual lives following addiction treatment. By successfully developing behavioral and cognitive coping skills, they can effectively resist the cycle of cravings and temptation that lead many past addicts to relapse.
Establishing a Sustained Recovery Program
The final long term goal is for patients to establish a sustained recovery program that they can follow once they have left the MAT treatment facility. This goal is important because it offers a structured routine for patients to follow once they are no longer under supervision. This sense of structure reduces the patient’s chances of relapsing and helps maintain accountability with themselves.
Does MAT Achieve Its Goals?
You might be wondering if medication assisted treatment programs actually help patients achieve the goals mentioned above. While most patients won’t be able to achieve every single one of the short term and long term goals mentioned above, they typically achieve enough to help their recovery both inside and outside the treatment facility.
Studies have found that a significant percentage of MAT patients retain the progress from their initial treatment. This evidence suggests that medication assisted treatment could be a suitable treatment method for opioid addicts concerned about relapsing at a future time.
Individuals suffering from opioid use disorders should ensure they undergo MAT from a reliable facility with experienced physicians, psychiatrists, and counselors.
Why Choose MAT Texas?
If you are currently struggling with an opioid use disorder and want to take the first step towards treatment, please get in touch with MAT Texas. We have treated numerous patients at our state of the facility run by some of the top medical and psychiatric staff in the state who are passionate about helping others.
Our experts understand the struggles that recovering addicts experience and strive to help them using our compassionate and highly-effective MAT treatment program. Please contact us to learn more about our treatment programs and how they can help you take back control of the present and build a better future.