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What is Medication-Assisted Therapy?

Medication-assisted therapy (MAT) can be beneficial for individuals who are struggling with substance abuse. It is a proven medical approach to addiction treatment. Recovery from drug and alcohol addiction is possible, but not everyone recovers in the same way.

Having the proper help as an individual learns to live a life free from substance use is crucial to maintaining their recovery. Sometimes, MAT helps these individuals who are struggling to get their footing to build a solid foundation.

What is Medication-Assisted Therapy?

Recovery isn’t a linear process. Often, some people struggle to stay clean and sober, while others can get it on the first try. Some people don’t need any extra help or support, while others need more guidance.

Medication-assisted therapy is an option available to anyone struggling with substances that could be beneficial in helping them start on a path to recovery, MAT is mainly used for opioid use disorders or in those struggling with alcohol. It uses a combination of FDA-approved medications and therapies to help individuals struggling with substance use disorders find recovery.

How Does it Work?

In recent years, MAT has become increasingly more popular in the treatment of substance use disorders. This is because it is an evidence-based, proven treatment that shows success in individuals using this approach. Medication-assisted therapy works by addressing substance use from all angles, physically, behaviorally, psychologically, socially, and spiritually.

Medications used in MAT help individuals not only to get through withdrawal safely and comfortably, but they also are helpful in the long run. Medications such as naltrexone can help alleviate withdrawal symptoms as well as help individuals fend off cravings for these substances.

Cravings can be a contributing factor for relapse, so having this safety net to help fight and control them helps individuals maintain their recovery. These medications also act as an opioid agonists and prevent those seeking the euphoric “high” sensation from reaching it. Those on MAT who then introduce opioids to their system are unable to feel the euphoric sensation they are seeking.

Because medication-assisted therapy is used to address all facets of addiction, it can help with many different parts of a person’s life. The benefits of using MAT to aid in recovery are vast. It is a valid option for those who are struggling to find relief. 

Benefits of MAT

Because medication-assisted therapy is a proven form of substance use disorder treatment, its benefits are beyond measure. MAT helps those individuals who are struggling to safely and effectively fight through their struggles daily. Its benefits include:

  • Preventing relapse
  • Enhancing mental health
  • Blocking euphoric reactions to substances
  • Reduction of cravings
  • Normalizing brain chemistry
  • Allowing individuals to focus on themself
  • Alleviating withdrawal symptoms
  • Improves survival rates
  • Increasing treatment retention

Medication-assisted therapy is a beneficial and viable option for those struggling with alcohol or opioid abuse. Struggling with opioids such as heroin and fentanyl leads to an astronomical number of overdoses and overdose deaths daily. Having MAT as a viable option helps these individuals struggling to find their footing on a path to recovery.

Medications in combination with therapies like CBT and DBT can help individuals struggling with substances to learn to live a life free from addiction. This much-needed help can benefit those struggling to find long-term recovery.

Effects and Risks of MAT

Medication-assisted therapy is an option used mainly for individuals struggling with opioids and alcohol. The effects of MAT can be positive. It can provide a safety net to individuals new in recovery from addiction to these substances by allowing them to benefit from therapies with a clear and level head. It can also be beneficial in preventing relapse. Its risks can include medications.

Because the medications used in MAT are controlled substances, there is a black market where these medications are illicitly sought. The medications can also be abused and lead to addiction if improperly used. This is why medication-assisted therapy should be done under the guidance and supervision of medical professionals.

There is also the potential for unknown long-term effects to arise during the use of these medications. Despite these risks, medication-assisted therapy is common practice in the field of substance use treatment. This is because the benefits associated with MAT outweigh the potential risks. Those struggling with substances like alcohol, heroin, fentanyl, or prescription opioid medications can benefit from using this method.

Getting Better

Struggling with substance abuse is something that thousands of people face daily across the country. Impacting families, friends, relationships and careers, addiction to drugs and alcohol not only can affect the person struggling, but those around them also suffer.

Getting better is crucial to healing and living a long and fulfilling life. For those who are struggling, there is help available. If you or a loved one are struggling with substances, Brentwood Springs can help. We offer personalized care tailored to the individual’s needs.

Reach out today and begin your process of recovery. 

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