What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) uses medication combined with counseling to provide a comprehensive treatment plan for prescription opioid and heroin addiction. Medication-assisted treatment combined with counseling can be a life-changing experience for someone who has had repeated relapses.
Medication can be an essential tool in addiction treatment, and uniquely helpful for managing cravings and triggers. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is just one of the evidence-based, modern approaches to treating chemical dependence that we practice at Lighthouse Recovery Institute with our patient-centered care.
Pharmacotherapy is an advancement in the addiction science arena, offering positive results for many struggling with co-occurring disorders and mental illness.
MAT is typically utilized in the early stages of recovery because cravings for drugs and alcohol can be severe. Our collaborative team of licensed counselors and doctors integrates pharmacotherapy to help reduce the desire to use and create intervention strategies that result in a more effective treatment model for many of our patients.
Benefits of a Medication-Assisted Treatment Program
Several medications can be utilized within addiction treatment and are effective at reducing cravings for various substance use disorders.
The most common medications often used in a medication-assisted treatment program are Naltrexone, Acamprosate, and Campral. All of these medications help treat addiction and withdrawal. Campral is very effective, specifically for treating alcoholism and managing dependence. Naltrexone blocks receptors in the brain and blocks the effects and decreases the desire to use them.
These medications begin after an individual has completed medical detox and has already started an inpatient rehab or outpatient rehab program.
Effectiveness of Medication-Assisted Treatment Programs
Roughly 2 million people had an opioid use disorder (OUD) in 2018. MAT has proven to be clinically effective and significantly reduces the need for inpatient detoxification services for these individuals. It provides patients with a comprehensive and personalized program that can address the needs of opioid dependency when paired with behavioral therapy.
MAT has been shown to be helpful in:
- Improving patient survival rates
- Increased retention in treatment for opioid abuse
- Decrease illicit opiate use
- Increase a patient’s ability to gain and maintain employment after treatment
- Improve birth outcomes of pregnant women with opioid addiction
Suboxone and Methadone Maintenance Programs
Certain medications are used during the detoxification process to assist with the post-acute withdrawal symptoms experienced from long-term opiate or heroin addiction. These medications include Methadone, Suboxone, and Subutex.
Methadone has a long history of being used in drug treatment programs because of its proven efficiency, but many facilities now use Suboxone as a less addictive alternative. Consultation with a doctor is required before the use of these medications. The most effective combinations of these medications are in conjunction with behavioral treatment programs. At Lighthouse Recovery, we only use non-addictive medications because of the risk of causing a secondary addiction.
In the United States, MAT uses different medications to treat various disorders:
Alcohol use disorder medications: Acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone. While they don’t cure the disorder, they are part of treatment options for alcohol addiction.
Opioid dependency medications: Buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone are used to treat opioid use disorders to short-acting opioids such as heroin, morphine, and codeine. These medications are also used for treatment of opioid uses disorder for semi-synthetic opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone. Naloxone is a medication used to treat and reverse the toxic effects of opioid overdose.
The treatment of opioid dependence needs to be paired with counseling and behavioral therapies because it yields the best results. Medication-assisted treatment for opioid abuse alone won’t be sufficient.
Learn More About Addiction Treatment
Rehab is a very personal experience, and the length of rehab depends on factors such as the severity of the addiction, how quickly someone makes progress, and other factors. For those with severe drug or alcohol dependencies and those with co-occurring mental illness, treatment may be longer.
No. Our addiction treatment programs are designed and personalized to match your individual needs and your addiction.
No. While the structure might be similar, alcohol addiction affects the brain differently, and we follow specific therapies and treatment programs designed to help those with alcohol use disorder.
If possible. At Lighthouse Recovery Institute, we believe family inclusion in treatment is critical for long-term recovery. Whenever possible, we’ll do our best to incorporate family members into the treatment process. We’ll also assist family members who might be challenging to cope with their loved ones being in rehab. People in recovery need the support of family and friends to make progress, so we often invite family members to form support groups during therapy.
If needed. For specific addictions, a medication-assisted treatment program might be beneficial, particularly during the early recovery stages. Medications can help ease withdrawal symptoms, control cravings, and make the recovery process easier on those in treatment.
It depends. Our rehab programs are personalized to address your needs. However, most of our programs range in the 60- to 90-day, with many choosing continuum care after leaving rehab.
Most of our patients come to our rehab center after completing our drug and alcohol detox program. Someone must be no longer using substances to start a rehab program. Otherwise, withdrawal symptoms can interfere with treatment and make progress too challenging.
Our Approach to MAT in Drug Rehab
There is one significant distinction between the MAT services offered at Lighthouse Recovery Institute and those provided by other facilities or models of care. In some cases, patients are on long-term opioid replacement drugs, which can be habit-forming, as a part of MAT programs. We do not use these medications because they can result in the development of a secondary addiction.
Medication-Assisted treatment for us refers to the use of non-narcotic, non-addictive medicines that are approved and recommended for reducing cravings. Some of these medications will block the effects of alcohol and drugs, reducing the incentive to use in the first place. We have found that many patients benefit from the additional accountability provided from these types of medication.
Our Comprehensive MAT Approach
Early recovery and treatment can be a delicate time, during which any help with managing cravings can mean the difference between success and relapse.
MAT is a method to ensure that patients have the best possible foundation for success by giving them time to stabilize without the added stress of cravings for drugs and alcohol. During this time, patients can learn coping skills for long-term relapse prevention to serve them throughout their recovery.
Commonly Used Medication for Medication-Assisted Treatment:
Medications commonly used include Naltrexone and Vivitrol. Naltrexone is a once-daily non-narcotic that reduces opioid and alcohol cravings and prevents patients from experiencing any euphoric effect if they relapse. Vivitrol is a long-acting injectable form of naltrexone that can help prevent relapse and reduce cravings for up to a month.
When combined with intensive psychotherapy, community support, and a daily recovery program, these medications can help individuals overcome many challenges. Integrating MAT provides an extra layer of accountability and support; allowing our patients to focus their energy on the vital work of addiction treatment and therapy.
With the help of anti-craving medications, we can help develop the core elements of a robust recovery program for every individual that walks in our door.
South Florida Medication-Assisted Treatment Program
Some people oppose the idea of medication-assisted treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. However, extensive research suggests that by using medications alongside therapy and traditional addiction treatment, the chances of recovery and long-term sobriety are higher. During the early stages of recovery, cravings for drugs and alcohol can be severe, so we offer MAT to help overcome the uncomfortable first stages of recovery if needed. Our collaborative team of licensed counselors and doctors integrate pharmacotherapy to help reduce the desire to use and create intervention strategies that result in a more effective treatment model for many of our patients. Integrating MAT provides an extra layer of accountability and support, which allows our patients to focus their energy on the vital work of addiction treatment and therapy.
Does Insurance Cover Medication-Assisted Treatment?
Insurance plans will cover some or all the costs of inpatient drug and alcohol rehab programs. Some individual insurance companies are now requiring the use of MAT in long-term treatment. If you or a loved one are considering entering drug or alcohol treatment, and looking to obtain detailed information about your insurance plan call our trained staff today.