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What Is Medication-Assisted Treatment for Addiction?

Feb 17, 2022
What Is Medication-Assisted Treatment for Addiction
Did you know that over 21 million people are suffering from at least one addiction in the United States alone? Of those 21 million Americans, only about two million of them are receiving treatment.

Did you know that over 21 million people are suffering from at least one addiction in the United States alone? Of those 21 million Americans, only about two million of them are receiving treatment. Whether it’s alcohol abuse, tobacco abuse, opioid abuse, or any of the other substance use disorders, addiction is dangerous.

Alcohol causes over five percent of deaths worldwide every year. Over 130 people die of opioid use in the United States every day. More than 16 million Americans have a smoking-related illness. These are real statistics that show how dangerous and fatal addiction is today.

Addiction is a chronic, yet treatable medical disease that requires a proper treatment plan tailored to meet the unique needs of the individual. Under the right guidance and direction, individuals can seek a full recovery from their addiction and once again live a quality life.

SO, WHAT IS MEDICATION-ASSISTED TREATMENT (MAT)?

Medication-assisted treatment, also known as MAT, is a combined approach to treating opioid, tobacco, alcohol, and substance abuse addiction that utilizes both medication and behavioral therapies to help individuals overcome their addiction or dependence on drugs and other negative habits.

Although the primary goal behind medication-assisted treatment is achieving full recovery, there are a number of other benefits that come from it, including an increase in survival and treatment retention rates, a decrease in criminal activity, and easier ability to gain/maintain employment.

With the use of medication and behavioral therapy or counseling, the doctor or team of doctors can closely monitor the patient’s lifestyle, decisions, habits, and day-to-day actions. Everyone is working towards a common goal in helping the individual cope with withdrawal symptoms and seek a happier and healthier life.

Medication-assisted treatment is not a cure for treatment, but it can help millions of patients find peace in their life. Since addiction not only has a negative impact on the individual’s life, but also those they surround themselves with, MAT can help bring these individuals back to good health.

What Is Medication-Assisted Treatment for Addiction?

WHAT TYPES OF MEDICATION ARE USED IN MAT?

Medication-assisted therapy wouldn’t be what it is without the use of medication – after all, it’s in the name. With that said, there are a variety of different types of medication that are used in MAT and the right medication will vary depending on the individual and what they’re addicted to.

Don’t worry, any medication that’s used throughout the duration of your treatment plan is FDA-approved and backed by clinical trials. This doesn’t mean each medication will work for every patient, but it does mean the medications are considered safe and effective for addiction.

You’re likely wondering what types of medication are considered during medication-assisted therapy. Don’t worry, we won’t leave you hanging. Let’s take a look at the most prominent and commonly used medications for opioid dependency, alcohol abuse, and tobacco or nicotine addiction:

What Is Medication-Assisted Treatment for Addiction?

OPIOID USE DISORDER

The FDA has approved three major types of medication for opioid addiction recovery – buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone. They should only be taken under the direct supervision of a medical professional and alongside behavioral therapy or counseling.

The most common FDA-approved products for opioid dependence include Bunavail, Cassipa, Probuphine, Sublocade, Suboxone, Subutex, Zubslov, Dolophine, Methadose, and Vivitrol. Your doctor will help you find the right medication to suit your needs and overall treatment plan.

TOBACCO OR NICOTINE ADDICTION

The FDA has approved three major types of medication for tobacco or nicotine addiction recovery – bupropion, varenicline, and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) formulation. Much like opioid addiction medication, your doctor will have to find the one that best suits your needs.

Zyban is the most common brand of bupropion, while Chantix is the most common brand of varenicline. As for nicotine replacement therapy, your doctor may suggest a gum or lozenge like Nicorette, a transdermal patch like NicoDerm CQ, or a nasal spray or inhaler like Nicotrol.

ALCOHOL USE DISORDER

The FDA has approved three major oral medications and one major injectable medication for alcohol abuse or addiction. The three oral medications include disulfiram, acamprosate, and naltrexone. The one injectable medication is an extended-release injectable naltrexone.

Campral is the most common brand of acamprosate, ReVia and Depade are the two most common brands of oral naltrexone, Vivitrol is the most common brand of injectable naltrexone, and Antabuse is the most common brand of disulfiram. Of course, these aren’t the only options.

What Is Medication-Assisted Treatment for Addiction?

COMBINING MAT WITH BEHAVIORAL THERAPY

Although medication plays a large role in MAT, it’s not the only thing doctors rely on when improving the health and safety of their patients. In addition to medication, patients undergo counseling and behavioral therapy to help them overcome the temptations and bad habits.

Much like the medication side of things, there are a variety of different therapies and techniques that are used in MAT and there’s no cookie-cutter solution for each patient. What works for one patient might not work for the next patient. Through trial and error, patients will find relief.

Some of the most prominent and commonly used therapy techniques or methods in MAT include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), contingency management (CM), motivational enhancement (ME), community-reinforced approach (CRA), group therapy, and so much more.

What Is Medication-Assisted Treatment for Addiction?

HOW CAN COLORADO RECOVERY SOLUTIONS HELP YOU?

Dr. Johnson and the rest of her team at Colorado Recovery Solutions take great pride in helping patients recover from opioid, tobacco, nicotine, and alcohol addiction. We take a one-on-one, tailored approach with each patient to ensure we meet their unique and individual needs.

Our team at Colorado Recovery Solutions helps patients recover from a variety of substance addictions, including alcohol, marijuana, opiates, heroin, kratom, amphetamines, meth, Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, Vyvanse, cocaine, benzodiazepines, nicotine, and hallucinogens.

We are authorized to prescribe a number of different medications to assist with recovery, including Naltrexone, Suboxone, nicotine replacement (gum, patch. lozenge), antipsychotics, antidepressants, mood stabilizers, Antabuse, Campral, Chantix, Vivitrol, and Sublocade.

If you’re suffering from addiction or know someone that can benefit from medication-assisted treatment for addiction, then you’ve come to the right place. Contact us today to schedule your first appointment with Dr. Johnson. We can’t wait to assist you on your road to recovery.

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