Medication Assisted Treatment for drug addiction (otherwise regarded as M.A.T. Therapy) is a form of addiction treatment that combines medication along with traditional forms of therapy and mainstream recovery models to help an individual achieve abstinence from their drug of choice. There are several addiction treatment centers in Ohio that offer Medication Assisted Treatment for opiate abuse, specifically. Though, other drug addictions and alcohol abuse may also be treated with the use of Medication Assisted Treatment.
The M.A.T. Therapy Goal
The goal of M.A.T. Therapy is to help people who have experienced many failed attempts at getting sober to finally achieve long-term abstinence from their drug of choice. Failure to get sober through abstinence or traditional treatment tracks may be due to an inability to overcome the psychological and physiological symptoms of addiction, such as cravings.
Medication Assisted Treatment helps to mask or subdue the feelings of craving so the individual may traverse the path toward recovery through comprehensive treatment, like 12-step models, traditional therapy and other models of treatment. Medication intervention may be the only way to help alleviate the feelings that have caused the individual to relapse during a particularly vulnerable time in the early stages of recovery. The ultimate goal is for the individual to be tapered off all medications and continue their journey toward long-term sobriety without the need for any medication or illicit drug use.
Who is a M.A.T. Therapy Candidate?
While going “cold turkey”, or immediately abstaining from one’s drug of choice, has worked for some, the great majority of people suffering with addiction experience many failed attempts at getting sober. Some people struggle for years, or even a lifetime, to try and achieve that. In no other circumstance is this more true than for the opiate addict.
The physical and psychological withdrawals from cessation from opiates are so great that they have the lowest statistical probability for finding sobriety. In addition, since opioids and opioid-like substances (like fentanyl) are so lethal, many people have died within the cycle of addiction, falling victim between recovery and relapse.
Therefore, M.A.T. Therapy is ideal for the person who has tried to get sober many times, especially for those who have undergone therapy at several formal addiction treatment facilities. Where traditional, comprehensive treatment has failed, M.A.T. Therapy may be able to help give them the frame of mind to complete a comprehensive treatment plan.
What Do You Treat with Medication Assisted Treatment?
There are actually two forms of Medication Assisted Treatment, but both help to regulate the mind of the addict. M.A.T. (in the addiction setting) typically refers to treating symptoms related to drug use itself. These medications either mimic the patient’s drug of choice, or help inhibit feelings of craving. Ultimately, these medications help prevent the desire to use.
The other form of medication assisted treatment is meant to help the addict psychologically with any co-occurring disorders they may be suffering with. In many cases, addiction is accompanied by a co-occurring disorder or mental diagnosis that fuels the addiction, such as bi-polar disorder or anxiety. In this case, the clinical team is able to prescribe a treatment plan, with medication, to help treat the psychological disorder as well.
In both cases, the critical factor is being able to be seen and treated by a trained clinical team who specializes in addiction. While many suffering addicts may want to get sober on their own, there may be very real reasons why their attempts have failed. In many cases, it’s only with the help of a diagnosis, and/or medication intervention that they can truly get better.
What Kinds of Medication Are Used in M.A.T. Therapy?
There are specific medications used in M.A.T. Therapy, some you may be familiar with, but many of which have been developed more recently to help people affected by the opiate epidemic. As the need has increased, so has the efficacy and availability to access FDA-approved medications to help treat drug addiction. These come in the form of pills, dissolvable strips, injections and implants.
These medications either trick the brain to think it is receiving the drug, thus preventing withdrawal symptoms and cravings, or block the receptors that react to the drug of choice. One medication, Naltrexone, is effective for treating both opiate and alcohol addiction by blocking the receptors that respond to these drugs.
For more information on Medication Assisted Treatment protocols, as well as a listing and explanation of drugs used within the curriculum, please visit: https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/treatment#medications-used-in-mat
Opting for Medication Assisted Treatment
Medication assisted treatment for addiction is a therapy track that must be taken into consideration with a team of clinical professionals who specialize in addiction. The medications and treatment must be prescribed by a qualified physician who treats addiction disorders.
This particular treatment track is typically utilized only after the individual has suffered many failed attempts at trying to abstain from their drug(s) of choice on their own without medication. High propensity for relapse predicates a M.A.T. Therapy recommendation.
If you’d like to speak to our team at Lumiere Healing Centers about our Medication Assisted Treatment Therapy in Ohio, you can reach us 24-hours a day at 513-987-9392. To speak with someone virtually, visit our website at https://lumierehealingcenters.com and click on the chat box.