Medication-Assisted Treatment in Laguna Beach, CA
If you’re struggling with substance use disorder, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) could be part of your successful recovery.
With MAT, you take prescription medications under the supervision of your healthcare provider to help control drug and alcohol cravings. These drugs can help you recover effectively when taken along with behavioral health treatment and therapy.
We’ll answer the most common questions people have about MAT so you can determine whether this type of addiction treatment may be right for you or a family member.
Table of Contents
What is MAT?
MAT is available for people diagnosed with either opioid use disorder (OUD) or alcohol use disorder (AUD). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several different drugs as effective treatments for these subtypes of substance use disorder in conjunction with mental health counseling and other forms of behavioral therapy.
Medications prescribed for AUD include:
- Naltrexone: Helps reduce alcohol use by blocking the intoxication and euphoria created by drinking.
- Disulfiram: Prevents drinking in the early days of abstinence by causing nausea, vomiting, breathing difficulties, chest pain, and headache when taken with even a single drink (or less).
- Acamprosate: Prevents drinking by reducing cravings.
Medications for OUD can be taken for addiction to hydrocodone, oxycodone, codeine, morphine, heroin, and related semi-synthetic and short-acting opioids. Although the available FDA-approved drugs to treat OUD fall into the category of opioids, they do not produce the mind-altering symptoms that lead to physical and psychological addiction. People who are prescribed these medications rarely misuse the drugs because doing so won’t result in any type of high.
As with alcohol, naltrexone blocks the effects of opiates on the body. This helps reduce opioid use by eliminating the associated intoxication and euphoria. However, Naltrexone does not prevent withdrawal symptoms. If your provider prescribes this drug, you’ll take it under medical supervision either as a monthly injectable or a daily pill.
This medication blocks drug effects such as euphoria, limits cravings, and prevents withdrawal symptoms. You can take a steady dose of the drug for many months or years without feeling sleepy or high, which can help you maintain long-term recovery. However, you must visit an opioid treatment center daily to take methadone, which comes as a liquid. Doctors may prescribe methadone to treat substance use disorder in pregnant women. The American Journal of Managed Care reports that methadone is the standard first-line treatment for opioid use disorder.
This drug limits withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings by interacting with the opioid receptor site. Your healthcare provider may prescribe an injectable form of buprenorphine that you take once a month, or you may take it as a tablet you swallow or a film that goes under the tongue. Pregnant women can take buprenorphine to treat substance use disorder.
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What Are the Benefits of MAT?
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, research shows that the combination of MAT and behavioral therapy:
- Reduces the risk of relapse.
- Reduces the risk of contracting HIV and hepatitis C.
- Helps people stay in treatment.
- Reduces the risk of opioid overdose, including fatal overdose.
- Results in better birth outcomes for pregnant women who have opioid use disorder.
- Helps people remain employed.
- Reduces the number of mental health hospitalizations and emergency room visits.
- Improves adherence to a mental health treatment plan, including adherence to psychiatric medications.
What Should I Expect During MAT?
If you or a family member is interested in MAT, the first step is a medical assessment by a healthcare provider who offers this type of treatment. The physician will decide if MAT is appropriate and develop a treatment plan that indicates the most appropriate medication, dosage, and schedule.
The treatment process starts with medical detox. You’ll go through detox under doctor supervision with medications to reduce withdrawal symptoms. With alcohol withdrawal, symptoms can include tremors, insomnia, and seizures. Opioid withdrawal can cause muscle aches, vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, anxiety, and elevated heart rate.
The length of the detox phase varies depending on the substance, the amount regularly taken, the person’s health status, and other factors. Generally, withdrawal symptoms of oxycodone, hydrocodone, and heroin last about a week, but you will experience a longer withdrawal period from long-acting opioids such as fentanyl, extended-release oxycodone, and morphine.
When you’re medically stable, you’ll begin taking the prescribed drugs for MAT as you enter behavioral therapy for substance use disorder, either on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Rehabilitation programs at California Detox may include treatment techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy, holistic addiction treatment, and dialectical behavioral therapy. These approaches help you learn coping skills to live a healthy, happy, fulfilling life without substance use.
Many clients at California Detox have a dual diagnosis of substance use disorder along with another mental health disorder such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder. In this case, we treat both addiction and behavioral health issues with a holistic approach that addresses the underlying reasons for substance use and focuses on strong strategies for sobriety.
After several months of rehabilitation depending on your treatment plan, you’ll transition to maintenance medications under the guidance of your health care provider. You may take MAT prescriptions indefinitely, or your doctor might help you make a plan to taper off these drugs after several months or years.
Are You Looking For MAT in Laguna Beach, California?
At California Detox, we offer various forms of MAT for drug and alcohol dependence. We develop a customized treatment plan for each person, which starts with detox and progresses through a comprehensive continuum of care.
Our clinical team uses the nationally recognized treatment guidelines developed by the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Available programs include inpatient rehabilitation, partial hospitalization, and outpatient rehab, as well as a specialized intensive outpatient program.
Contact California Detox today to connect with an admissions counselor who can help you determine the right type of substance use disorder treatment for you or a loved one.
Medication: MAT involves the use of FDA-approved medications to help manage withdrawal symptoms, reduce cravings, and stabilize individuals with substance use disorders. The specific medication used depends on the substance being treated (e.g., methadone for opioid use disorder, buprenorphine, or naltrexone).
Behavioral Therapy: MAT is usually combined with behavioral therapy or counseling. This component addresses the psychological and behavioral aspects of addiction, helping individuals develop coping skills, address underlying issues, and make positive lifestyle changes.
Supportive Services: MAT often includes additional support services, such as medical monitoring, psychosocial support, and access to support groups. These services are essential in providing a comprehensive and holistic approach to recovery.
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) has been proven to be highly successful in treating substance use disorders, particularly opioid and alcohol addiction. When combined with counseling and behavioral therapies, MAT helps reduce the risk of relapse, improves retention in treatment, and enhances the overall recovery outcomes for individuals seeking help for their addiction.
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