It may sound counter-intuitive to begin addiction recovery with prescription medication. Sometimes, however, medication can be the best first step for early recovery. Medication-assisted treatment, or MAT for short, is a common, time-tested approach to easing withdrawal symptoms, mitigating health complications, and helping clients get back on their feet.
If you or someone you love is ready to learn how MAT works and what to expect during MAT, call A Better State today. Our holistic, trauma-informed clinic provides the New Hampshire area with comprehensive, compassionate care through outpatient programs. Call us at 781.412.1488 to learn how medication-assisted treatment can help you recover.
What Is Medication-Assisted Treatment and How Does it Work?
Medication-assisted treatment uses highly effective medications to lessen withdrawal effects and ease detox symptoms. A clinical nurse administers and monitors these medications. Various types of medication-assisted treatment have been part of addiction recovery since the early 1930s. Popularized in the 1970s, MAT has become a standard in individualized addiction treatment.
When someone develops an addiction, the brain becomes dependent on drugs or alcohol for certain chemical processes. Specific medications can help the brain adjust and slowly ween off these chemicals as it produces dopamine, serotonin, GABA, and other neurotransmitters, increasing survival rate and program retention and decreasing the risk of relapse and overdose. It is especially effective for outpatient programs, reducing the change of reuse outside the clinic.
How Does MAT Work?
Many clients experience success with various medications alongside group, individual, and family therapy programs. Common MAT treatments include:
- Benzodiazepines for alcohol withdrawal
MAT is most common for opioid withdrawal. Because opioids change a person’s brain chemistry, it can be challenging to stop taking them. Medication can slowly ween the brain and body off opioids, preventing relapse and other health complications. This can allow people to use medication assistance during inpatient and outpatient recovery to get their life back on track. MAT is also highly successful for alcohol addiction; other medications can ease withdrawal from prescription or illicit drugs.
What to Expect During MAT for Addiction Recovery
During MAT, clients are on strict medication schedules. Methadone and Suboxone are daily prescriptions taken on-site during recovery. These and other MAT medications require specific life changes and commitment to sobriety. During MAT, the use of illicit drugs can be fatal. While a client takes these medications, they often attend individual, group, and family therapy programs alongside peer support groups, job training, and other skills training to help them integrate tools from rehab into daily life. MAT treatment duration varies based on a person’s health history, drug history, and the type of MAT medication used. Most MAT programs will use a step-down approach to reduce medication use gradually while helping clients navigate daily stressors and life changes with therapy and support groups.
Start MAT Today at A Better State and See the Difference
At A Better State, we are all in this together. If you are unsure if you are a MAT candidate, the Rally team can help. Our holistic, trauma-informed clinic can help you find the right path to recovery. With a range of flexible outpatient programs and therapies, A Better State has the program for you. Our comprehensive care includes dual diagnosis treatment for:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Prescription painkillers
Whether you are struggling with addiction, mental health, or a substance use disorder, our range of holistic therapy programs can help. At A Better State, we assess and treat clients in their entirety, which means treating past trauma, mental health, and addiction together.
If you are ready to find out if MAT is suitable for you or what to expect during MAT, call us now at 781.412.1488 to learn more about medication-assisted treatment today.