What Is MAT?

Every person’s journey out of their addiction is unique. Factors such as motivation, lifestyle, environment, the kind of substance, and medical history can make it easier or more challenging to leave alcohol and drugs behind. In this case, special treatments such as Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) can help you overcome the withdrawal symptoms, prevent relapse, and sustain recovery. 

While this treatment can be extremely effective, it is important to understand what to expect from it and ensure it is delivered by expert healthcare professionals. At Peaks Recovery Centers, our inpatient rehab program includes medically-assisted detoxification and MATs – here is all you need to know. 

Check out Episode 30 of our Finding Peaks Show – What is Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)?

What Is Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)?

Medication-assisted treatment – also known simply as MAT – is a kind of treatment used to combat substance use disorders, prevent relapses and overdoses, reduce withdrawal symptoms, and sustain a successful recovery. 

This kind of treatment is not suitable to treat every type of addiction, but it has been seen to help treat opioid addictions in particular. It is often administered as part of the inpatient rehab program and can be a long-term solution to addiction. 

While this treatment is extremely powerful, it is never administered alone, but rather as part of a more holistic approach towards the patient. So, if you require this kind of treatment, you will also undergo a combination of counseling and behavioral therapies, and the whole program can take place in sober living facilities or during inpatient rehab. 

The medications used in medication-assisted treatments vary depending on the type of drug addiction the treatment is aiming to treat. However, all medications are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Lastly, each patient will benefit from a unique formula of therapy sessions and medications that aim to treat opioid (such as heroin and prescription painkillers) addictions by:

  • Reducing withdrawal symptoms and cravings by normalizing brain chemistry
  • Blocking the euphoric effects associated with the drugs
  • Normalizing body functions and limiting psychophysical effects given by withdrawals
  • Preventing opioid overdose
  • Promoting recovery
  • Preventing relapses

How Does Medication-Assisted Treatment Work?

In the US, over 1.7 million people are estimated to have an opioid addiction caused by prescription pain relievers. These high levels of drug abuse, combined with the rising number of heroin users, led to the death of 50,000 people from opioid overdose – just in 2019. As These numbers continue to rise, opioid abuse has become a crisis that is gripping the country. Finding a solution to such widespread addictions is not easy, but MAT can help. 

This kind of medically-supported treatment has been seen to be clinically effective in helping inpatient rehab patients avoid detoxification. When merged with behavioral therapy, empowering activities, and a tailored rehab schedule, MAT has been seen to:

  • Increase treatment success rates
  • Decreased likelihood of relapses
  • Increased ability of patients to retain jobs and enjoy a social life
  • Increase the patient’s chances of survival
  • Reducing the risk of HIV, AIDS, and hepatitis C.
  • In pregnant women struggling with substance addiction, MAT can improve birth outcomes.

Your treatment provider will explain in detail how and when to take the medications prescribed to achieve the best outcomes. 

Is Medication-Assisted Treatment Safe?

Medication-assisted treatment is deemed to be safe. The drugs that can be administered during this treatment include buprenorphine, naltrexone, and methadone, which are all approved by the FDA following clinical tests that have proven their safety and effectiveness. 

Of course, patients undergoing this kind of treatment should also seek counseling and emotional and psychological support. 

If you are allowed to take some of these medications at home, you should also ensure that they are out of the reach of children and pets. 

Finding The Right Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment is not a solution to anyone’s addiction. Since the drugs used as part of this treatment specifically focus on fighting the effects of opioids, this kind of treatment is best used to treat opioid addiction or as part of an opioid treatment program (OTP).

Additionally, since this kind of medical treatment requires a combination of emotional support, a supportive environment, and empowering activities, it is best delivered in inpatient situations. 

MAT can be administered in a variety of locations and settings, especially those that have been accredited by SAMHSA. If you believe that this is the right treatment for your needs, you should not hesitate to contact the Peaks Recovery Centers to find out the best solutions for your needs.

Find Out How Peaks Recovery Can Help

Medical detox – as well as medically-assisted treatments – represent the first step in a long recovery journey. In both cases, during the initial days of your treatment, your body will get rid of the substances that you have been using. 

This process is extremely delicate and can be emotionally and physically draining – it should not be undertaken without the supervision of a specialist. At Peaks Recovery Centers, you will be surrounded by an experienced team of physicians, psychiatrists, and specialized nurses who can make your journey easier and more manageable. Get in touch today