Drug and Alcohol - Medication-Assisted Treatment

What Types of Medications Are Used in MAT?

Find out what types of medication are used in MAT and if it is the right form of drug and alcohol addiction treatment for you. Call The Forge today!

What Types of Medications Are Used in MAT?

Table of contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

May 9, 2022

The Forge Recovery Center

Choosing the right type of treatment for addiction recovery is essential for success. The recovery treatment options are not always easy to understand, and each option is not meant for everyone. However, you want to have the most effective options set in line for you or your loved one for recovery to be successful.

Understanding what medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is and what types of medications are used can help you decide if MAT is the right treatment option for you or your loved one.

Learning About MAT: Medication-Assisted Treatment

MAT is an evidence-based treatment option in addiction recovery rehabilitation. It is a successful and efficient recovery program that treats substance use and utilizes behavioral interventions. Furthermore, MAT uses FDA-approved medication and therapy to help each client sustain long-term recovery. 

MAT was initially designed to help with opioid use disorders. However, it can also benefit cases of alcohol use disorders as an integrative treatment option. The FDA-approved medication used in the treatment helps ease the brain and blocks the effects of opioids. In addition, the approved medication helps to deal with withdrawal symptoms, triggers, and cravings. 

While it is common to claim that substituting one medication for another is counterproductive, research and studies have proven that the use of approved FDA medication and therapy together can help with continued recovery results. Furthermore, with the correct types of medication used, it is possible to eventually be tapered off certain substances with greater ease. 

In some cases, medications and complete therapy are used without professional monitoring and administration. In these cases, an individual has a greater chance of relapse, causing them to believe that sobriety is not possible. 

However, because of the strict structure behind MAT and the guidelines set forth for administering the medication, educated healthcare professionals can adjust the amounts and policies per situation. Additionally, MAT is not designed for every person going through addiction recovery. Every case is different, and one treatment option that works for someone may not work for another. 

Gold Standard and Effectiveness of MAT

MAT is an addiction recovery method used to help reduce the struggles with withdrawal symptoms while rebuilding a new foundation to a healthier lifestyle. The medication administered alters the brain's chemistry and re-balances the individual in a safe environment. 

There are different treatment programs, including residential, outpatient, or inpatient, all of which have implemented MAT as an option for addiction recovery. MAT is accomplished with professional and clinical supervision. Without professional care in place, individuals may be at risk for an overdose. MAT is a comprehensive approach to innovative treatment and has now become a gold standard option for long-term recovery success. 

The effectiveness of MAT used with individualized treatment plans goes beyond other elements of recovery. When MAT is used with evidence-based treatment plans, like therapy, this treatment supersedes other options.

What Types of Medication Are Used in MAT?

MAT uses FDA-approved medication to help individuals fight withdrawal symptoms and cravings during detox. The medicines are administered by clinical professionals who supervise and monitor the process.

Some of the medications include the following:

Naltrexone: Naltrexone is an injection-based medication that helps block pleasurable feelings from opioids. The medication known not to release dopamine has a lower dependency and tolerance levels, thus allowing an individual to avoid the adverse effects of opioids. The individuals administered Naltrexone must be completely opioid-free before they can begin. Generally, this medication is used in a treatment center after detox is complete.

Buprenorphine: Buprenorphine is similar to Naltrexone, as it helps block opioid-induced pleasurable feelings. Buprenorphine is also known as Suboxone, and it is administered as a tablet or dissolvable film. Buprenorphine is a beneficial option because it helps provide relief from withdrawal symptoms. 

Methadone: Methadone is a medication administered to help with relief for severe pain. Methadone blocks the effects of prescription opioids and heroin. It is also distributed in controlled dosages.

Deciding if MAT Is the Right Option for You

When learning more about MAT, remember that your recovery plan will differ from another's. The treatment is designed to treat you more effectively and with a whole-body approach. When deciding if MAT is the right option for you or your loved one, keep in mind that this decision can depend on various factors.

For example, perhaps you or your loved one are suffering from severe substance use disorder. Your professional healthcare advisor may suggest that MAT is a good option as the discomfort of withdrawal will soon be approaching. 

MAT is used with behavioral therapies and aftercare treatment plans to fit each individual and their situation. However, suppose you or your loved one want to avoid the risk of relapse and address your situation's psychological well-being. In that case, MAT is the best option in treatment to identify underlying co-occurring disorders and addiction.

Please note that MAT's goal is not to force someone to use medication long-term but instead to start the stability process where the medication can be tapered off and eliminated at the end. For more information on MAT and how MAT is effective, reach out to The Forge Recovery Center today.

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