Making Recovery Easier with Medication Assisted Treatment
Just as drug or alcohol detox is the removal of toxins built up in the body and the brain from substance abuse, the overall process is well-intended. The experience comes with withdrawals and associated side effects, depending on the drug, frequency and duration of use, as well as overall health of the client. With medication assisted treatment (MAT), detox and subsequent recovery programs provide a more tapered and gentler approach towards sobriety.
Why Medication Assisted Treatment
Continuum Recovery Center now provides medication assisted treatment. This type of methodology combines behavioral therapies, cognitive therapies, and medication for a true whole approach in addressing substance abuse.
At the face of it, this may seem contrary to the purpose of addiction treatment using medication as a way to help a person get off drugs and alcohol. You might be asking yourself, “Why would anyone want to replace one drug for another?
Harm Reduction Model for Medical Care
One of the cornerstones in finding the right addiction treatment is to ensure that each client receives choices in the kind of care that works for his or her best interests. MAT does that by bringing the benefits of time and healing into treatment, allowing every person the ability to recover and reach sobriety at a pace that works for them.
All medications used in medication assisted treatment are approved by the Food and Drug Administration, having been researched, studied and applied extensively by the scientific and medical communities.
Benefits of Medication Assisted Treatment
Alcoholism and opioid addiction are often treated with MAT as well as behavioral and holistic therapies. For clients addicted to opioids, Continuum Recovery Center may prescribe Vivitrol, Naltrexone or Buprenorphine. These medications assist during drug detox and treatment to block the pleasurable effects of opioids, thereby reducing cravings and lowering the risk for relapse throughout recovery.
MAT is also used to treat alcohol addiction. Clients who receive treatment for alcohol use disorder here could be prescribed disulfiram, acamprosate or naltrexone to remove the cravings for and desirable effects of alcohol.
Reintegrate into Normal Life, Sooner
Without a medication assisted treatment protocol, clients may not be ready to get back into the life they once knew as soon as desired. Because addiction affects mind, body and spirit, some of the very behaviors most of us take for granted are that much more difficult for a person new to sobriety. Managing stress, emotions and physical pain can be difficult making career, school and interpersonal relationships challenging. Medication assisted treatment can reduce and often eliminate these repercussions, providing a counterbalance throughout recovery, as long as it’s needed.
MAT to Protect Against PAWS
Long term drug and alcohol use impacts people differently. For some, physical discomfort and withdrawal symptoms can reoccur long after detox and 90 days of treatment have come and gone. Known as Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome, PAWS can show up anytime within the first two years of treatment. It can happen throughout the healing process, as the brain is finding its way to healthy balance through continual adjustments to internal chemistry.
PAWS characteristics can occur and feel like ongoing tidal waves that affect the senses, emotions, and behaviors:
Change in appetite
Change in sleep patterns or quality
Lack of focus
Inability to concentrate
Heightened or reduced levels of energy
Without medication assisted treatment, clients who experience PAWS may succumb to its intensity and relapse into drug or alcohol use.
Medication Assisted Treatment Supports Long Term Recovery
When we tell clients and their families that Continuum Recovery Center provides “whole patient” care through a comprehensive approach, it’s because our programs align with broad scope solutions.
We offer counseling, holistic therapies, relapse prevention, life skills training, and continuing care. The purpose of adding medication assisted treatment as an adjunct therapy is to aid in the healing process by reducing cravings and discouraging the use of opioids or alcohol.