In the midst of the growing opioid epidemic, communities across America face increased demands for prevention tools and substance abuse services. To combat this crisis, behavioral health organizations are increasingly utilizing a medical evidence-based practice known as Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). MAT uses ani-craving medications such as naltrexone (Vivitrol), buprenorphine (Suboxone) or methadone — in conjunction with comprehensive therapy to address issues related to opioid dependence, including withdrawal, cravings and relapse prevention.
Our Las Vegas Medication Assisted Drug And Alcohol Treatment Program
In the midst of the growing opioid epidemic, communities across America face increased demands for prevention tools and substance abuse services that work.
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of medications, in combination with counseling and therapy, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. Research has shown that a combination of medication and therapy can successfully treat these disorders and help to sustain long-term recovery. MAT is primarily used for the treatment of addiction to opioids such as heroin, fentanyl, and prescription pain relievers that contain opiates. Medication Assisted Treatment is also the preffered method of detox for alcohol.
Medication Assisted Treatment For Opioid Use Disorder
Opioid overdoses cause one death every 20 minutes. Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is one of the most effective, evidence-based treatments available for addiction, but it’s also one of the most commonly misunderstood. Medication-assisted treatment when used in the treatment of opioid use disorder involves medications that block the effects of opioids, reduce cravings and, in some cases, prevent the onset of withdrawal. The medications used in MAT help to restore normal brain function, which enables individuals with an opioid use disorder to focus on the cognitive and behavioral aspects of recovery without having to cope with cravings and the brain fog that can take some time to clear after detox. Besides the psychological addiction which develops from substance abuse, there is also a physical part of addiction. The brain changes after prolonged drug or alcohol use, so treatments are needed that target these changes. Methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone are the only FDA-approved medications to treat OUD. MAT can work in one of two ways. Medications can be given that activate the same “happy” receptors but are absorbed into the blood over a longer period of time — staving off withdrawal symptoms and breaking a psychological link between taking a drug and immediately feeling high. Doctors can also give medications referred to as an opioid antagonist — a non-opioid drug that sits on those same receptors and blocks them.
There are three medications commonly used to treat opioid addiction:
Methadone – clinic-based opioid agonist that does not block other narcotics while preventing withdrawal while taking it; daily liquid dispensed only in specialty regulated clinics
Naltrexone – office-based non-addictive opioid antagonist that blocks the effects of other narcotics; daily pill or monthly injection
Buprenorphine – office-based opioid agonist/ antagonist that blocks other narcotics while reducing withdrawal risk; daily dissolving tablet, cheek film, or 6-month implant under the skin
Medication Assisted Treatment For Alcohol Use Disorder
Six percent of Americans over the age of 18—nearly 15 million people—have an alcohol use disorder. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by the compulsive and uncontrollable use of alcohol. Alcohol use disorder is a challenging disorder to overcome. Unfortunately recovery from alcohol use disorder is not achieved with a one-size-fits-all modality. Medication Assisted Treatment programs use medications such as Disulfiram (Antabuse®), acamprosate (Campral®), and naltrexone (Vivitrol® or ReVia®) are the most common FDA-approved medications to treat alcohol addiction. Although these medications aren’t a cure for alcohol use disorder (AUD), they stop withdrawals and craving and help to reset the brain’s function. While psychological changes can be addressed using psychosocial treatment methods, MAT can help address the difficulties from neurological and physiological changes. MAT is most effective for both opioid addiction and for alcohol dependence.
The Use Of MAT In The Treatment Of Co-Occurring Disorders
Medication-assisted treatment programs are proven to increase success rates in recovery. In fact, according to NIDA clients treated with medications were more likely to remain in therapy than those who were not treated with medications. This is especially true for anyone suffering with a co-occurring disorder. There are a large number of people suffering from substance use disorders who have a co-occurring mental health issues such as anxiety or depression. Medications used in MAT are often needed to effectively treat these underlying conditions and stabilize any mental health issues. While these medications have proven to be extremely helpful in achieving long-lasting recovery, behavioral therapies are essential in any treatment program. It’s also important to remember that medication assisted treatment isn’t a “quick fix”, but medication-assisted treatment along with therapy gives you the best chance possible to beat addiction and discover a life beyond your dreams in recovery.
Medication Assisted Treatment can work in one of two ways.
Medications can be given that activate the same “happy” receptors but are absorbed into the blood over a longer period of time — staving off withdrawal symptoms and breaking a psychological link between taking a drug and immediately feeling high. Doctors can also give someone an opioid antagonist — a non-opioid drug that sits on those same receptors and blocks them — so that if someone relapses, he or she won’t feel anything.
The Vivitrol injection is used to prevent relapse in people who have become dependent on opioid medicine, but have stopped using it. The Vivitrol injection can be used to treat alcoholism by reducing your urge to drink alcohol and can help to drink less or stop drinking altogether.
Buprenorphine—the main ingredient in suboxone—works by filling opioid receptors in the brain, thereby fooling them into believing the individual is still using opioid drugs. Subutex unlike suboxone does not contain the drug naloxone.
Naltrexone implants are by far the most superior form of opiate blockers i.e. opioid antagonists. A small pellet is inserted into the abdominal region and works by blocking the effects of opiate drugs. The pallet contains Naltrexone. Once inserted, Naltrexone is slowly inserted into the host’s bloodstream. This provides a long-term and gradual protection of all opioid receptors.
Are you or someone you know struggling with Alcohol and Drug Addiction? Do you need help? Contact one of our staff members now to get started in one of our drug and alcohol detox programs today.