What is MAT, and how can it help you overcome addiction? MAT, or medication-assisted treatment, utilizes specific medications to help you stay more comfortable as you withdraw from opioids. If you need the support of medication to overcome opioid use disorder, a Tacoma, Washington, medication-assisted treatment program could be right for you.
At Bayview Recovery, we understand how challenging it can be to abstain from opioids when withdrawal is severe. Our medication-assisted treatment program can help you feel more comfortable throughout the withdrawal process and stay focused on getting better. Reach out to us today at 855.478.3650 to discuss if MAT is the best fit for your situation.
What Is MAT?
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is primarily used for opioid addiction. It’s a treatment that uses FDA-approved medications to help manage the symptoms of opioid withdrawal and cravings. MAT can also help prevent overdoses since it can reduce the effects of opioids on the body.
There are several medications used in MAT, including:
- Buprenorphine – A partial opioid agonist that interacts with opioid receptors in the brain to produce effects similar to opioids but milder
- Methadone – An opioid agonist that binds with opioid receptors to alleviate cravings and withdrawal symptoms and blunt the effects of other opioids
- Naltrexone – An opioid antagonist that blocks the effects of opioids
Your treatment provider will perform an assessment before determining which of the above medications may be most appropriate for your MAT.
What to Expect in MAT
If you struggle with withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit using opioids, you may be interested in trying MAT to alleviate your discomfort. Before setting your heart on medication-assisted treatment, it is recommended that you review your MAT expectations and make sure they are realistic and achievable. Here is what to expect in MAT:
MAT is a comprehensive treatment program
Because of the name, some people may have a false impression about what medication-assisted treatment involves. This program is not about simply taking medication and expecting it to “cure” you of addiction. Medication plays an important role in treatment, but it is just one aspect of the program. For the most effective treatment, MAT combines therapy and support from a team of addiction treatment professionals.
MAT medications don’t get you high
Although some MAT medications like buprenorphine and methadone interact with opioid receptors and impart mild euphoria, they don’t get you high like heroin or morphine. The effects are milder to help you gradually transition to living an opioid-free life.
However, when these medications are misused, they may produce more intense effects. To avoid derailing your recovery, follow your provider’s instructions closely and consult them if you experience excessive discomfort or feel that you may relapse.
Medications used in MAT may cause side effects
Although the medications used in MAT can help alleviate withdrawal symptoms and cravings, they may also produce some side effects of their own. Some common side effects of MAT medications like buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone include:
These symptoms may be similar to opioid withdrawal symptoms but should be milder. If you experience moderate to severe side effects making it difficult for you to stick with treatment, speak to your provider. In some cases, they may need to adjust your dosage or switch you to another medication.
Get Help with Medication-Assisted Treatment at Bayview Recovery
Medication-assisted treatment is another tool Bayview Recovery uses to help fight opioid addiction. While MAT can help mitigate withdrawal discomfort and cravings, it’s still important to keep your MAT expectations realistic. Committing yourself to your recovery and attending therapy sessions and support groups will help you get the most out of medication-assisted treatment.
To learn more about MAT at our treatment facility, reach out to us at 855.478.3650.