Detox is a critical and necessary part of recovery from an addiction to drugs and alcohol, but it can be one of the most challenging parts, and without a full, complete, and successful detox, subsequent substance abuse treatment may have little or no effect. The intensity of withdrawal symptoms can be incredibly strong. Many individuals who attempt to detox on their own will fail. This is because, to alleviate their symptoms, they quickly return to their drug of choice.
A medication-assisted treatment program (MAT) gives individuals who want to recover a way to minimize the risk of relapse. It can also end their dependency and recover with long-term success.
What is Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)?
Medication-assisted treatment is a clinically driven approach for substance use disorders that involves the use of FDA-approved medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies. MAT is often used to treat opioid and alcohol use disorders, and it has been proven effective in improving outcomes, reducing the risk of overdose, and decreasing substance misuse.
The medications used in MAT work by reducing cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and removing the temptation to use again. MAT also blocks the effects of opioids or alcohol, meaning individuals are less likely to engage in substance use because they will not achieve the same results.
MAT is typically prescribed and monitored by a healthcare provider as part of an individual’s treatment plan. MAT is also typically an option that individuals must qualify for in order to be prescribed these medications. Each person’s substance use disorders are reviewed on a case-by-case basis to see if they qualify for these treatment medications.
At Bayview Recovery, we’re committed to providing the care that our patients need to overcome their addictions. With the help of medication-assisted treatment, dual diagnosis treatment, and our other options, we give them the tools they need to heal. To learn more about our services, please contact Bayview Recovery today at
The Challenges of Withdrawal in Substance Abuse Treatment
Among the most difficult challenges of recovering from drugs or alcohol are the withdrawal symptoms associated with detox. Withdrawal symptoms can be a painful part of the recovery process, which all clients will want to avoid. These symptoms can be especially intense for alcohol and opioid users. At this stage in recovery, an individual’s body will require the abused substances to function normally. Without them, serious health consequences are possible.
Medication-assisted treatment works by satisfying the body’s chemical needs without substance abuse, which allows the client to begin chemically separating from their drugs of choice safely, without developing an addiction to the medication used for treatment. With reduced withdrawal symptoms, clients now have a much higher chance of successfully completing addiction treatment and avoiding relapse in the long term.
Common withdrawal symptoms which can be avoided through the use of medication-assisted treatment during recovery include:
- Elevated body temperature and heart rate
- Nausea and vomiting
- Muscle aches and cramps
- Anxiety and depression
- Sleeping issues
In addition to reducing withdrawal symptoms, a medication-assisted treatment program reduces the cravings for the abused drugs. This aspect of treatment alone makes it a critical component of a comprehensive detox and recovery plan for individuals who qualify, and individuals in the process of selecting a treatment facility should strongly consider those which offer MAT as an option.
How Medication-Assisted Treatment Can Facilitate Your Recovery
The number one reason individuals fail when they attempt to quit alcohol or opioid use on their own is the severity of their symptoms of withdrawal. These almost inevitably lead them back to their drug of choice for relief. Medication-assisted treatment helps clients manage this primary threat to their recovery. They can then complete their substance abuse treatment, heal and enjoy long-term health and well-being. Our medication-assisted treatment program can address conditions such as:
Since medications are explicitly selected to alleviate the symptoms of the client’s drugs of choice and are doctor-administered, MAT treatment can be highly effective and significantly enhance the benefits of all addiction treatments included in the client’s recovery plan. Further, a professionally run MAT program does not pose any risks of extending the client’s current substance use disorder or creating a new one. This provides individuals the hope of living a life free of opioid use disorder or alcohol use disorder.
Medications Used in MAT Rehab
Several medications are used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT). The most commonly used medications are buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone. These medications are FDA-approved to treat alcohol and opioid addiction.
Medications Used for Alcohol Use Disorders
Acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone are the three types of medication that are most commonly used in MAT treatment for alcohol use. These medications work differently to help manage cravings and promote a full recovery from alcohol addiction.