It is widely accepted in the medical field and substance abuse treatment industry that medication-assisted treatment (MAT) promotes positive outcomes in particular forms of addictions. Alcohol and opioid addiction are the two most common forms of addiction that are treated with MAT. Compass Detox can guide you through what an MAT program involves and answer your questions about whether or not it’s right for your or a loved one’s needs.
What Is Medication-Assisted Treatment?
Across the United States, there are almost 3,000 facilities that offer drug and alcohol detox services. Of these facilities, a large percentage report routinely using medications to assist clients. In conjunction with behavioral therapy, this use of pharmaceutical medications in detox or treatment is referred to as medication-assisted treatment or MAT. Medically assisted treatment is evidence-based, meaning that research analyses’ have been conducted proving that it does produce positive outcomes. Medically assisted treatment can be offered on an inpatient and outpatient level of care.
Medications Used for Alcohol Addiction Treatment
The medications used for treatment will vary depending on several factors, including the substance a client is being treated for and where they are in the recovery process, among other factors. We will go over the medications used for alcohol and opioid addiction treatment.
- Disulfiram is a medication used to reduce alcohol use relapse. It works by producing negative effects when someone drinks alcohol, therefore creating an aversion. The effects that a person will experience when they are on disulfiram and drink include nausea, headache, vomiting, shortness of breath, and chest pains. It only takes about 10 minutes from when alcohol is consumed for these side effects to begin, and they last approximately an hour.
- Acamprosate works by restoring the balance of activity in the brain following withdrawal. It reduces the brain’s dependence on alcohol and subsequently reduces the need to drink. Continued alcohol consumption can reduce the overall effectiveness of this drug.
- Naltrexone is a medication that supports sobriety by blocking the neuroreceptors associated with the euphoric effects of intoxication.
- Benzodiazepines reduce the effects of several alcohol withdrawal side effects, including seizures, tremors, nausea, irritability, headaches, and anxiety. Although the exact mechanisms of how this drug works to reduce symptoms are unknown, it is known that it affects the brain’s GABA receptors and reduces neurotransmitters associated with alertness. This allows the individual to enter a relaxed state.
The administration of benzodiazepines such as Librium, Valium, and Ativan must be monitored closely. These are addictive substances and should only be taken as prescribed.
Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction
Opioids, whether synthetic or not, are highly addictive substances. As these drugs leave the human bloodstream, cravings for more begin to develop. These cravings and the euphoric high associated are two of the biggest factors that need to be addressed when treating opioid addiction. There are 3 main medications used to treat opioid addiction. These include buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone.
- Buprenorphine is a medication that reduces the effects of opioid-related withdrawal without creating euphoric effects.
- Methadone works similarly to buprenorphine in treating opioid addiction. It basically tricks your brain into thinking that it is still receiving the substance being abused, which reduces withdrawal symptoms.
- Naltrexone, a medication previously discussed for its use in treating alcohol addiction, is also used to treat opioid addiction. It works much the same against opiates, blocking the euphoric high when an individual abuses one of the substances in this drug family.
Forms of buprenorphine and methadone are medications used for harm reduction as they both have a significantly lower risk of overdose than heroin, fentanyl, and other opioids that are abused.
Discover What Compass Detox Has To Offer.
Anytime medication is used to treat addiction, the person being treated must be monitored closely. Primary care physicians do not always have the skills and time necessary to treat addiction with medication appropriately. At an addiction treatment center, physicians and other medical professionals are experienced specifically in medically assisted treatment. The facilities that offer medications also build their treatment models with this in mind to ensure the best care possible. Here at Compass Detox, our medication-assisted treatment program is just one among many, such as:
- Inpatient detox center
- Intensive outpatient program
- Partial hospitalization program
- Transitional living program
- Wellness programs
At Compass Detox, our team is experienced in offering medically assisted addiction treatment for drug and alcohol detox. Get started with medical detox at our facility by calling [Direct], or contact us online.