How Do I Know if MAT is Right For Me?
If you are chemically dependent on a substance then MAT is right for you, and we are here to help you find a medically assisted treatment center near you. Medically assisted treatment is designed specifically for people who are displaying withdrawal symptoms caused by substance abuse. According to the SAMHSA, a person is a good candidate for MAT if they:
- Have an official diagnosis of an addiction to alcohol or opioids.
- Are willing to fully comply with prescribing instructions.
- Lack physical health issues that the medication could possibly exacerbate.
- Are fully educated on alternative options.
You may not be eligible for MAT if you have:
- An addiction to a substance that cannot be treated with an FDA-approved medication.
- A co-occurring substance addiction (the drug may negatively interact with medication).
- A severe physical limitation, such as lung or heart condition, that opioid agonists might complicate.
- A low level of motivation to get sober.
If you are displaying the following symptoms, call us today to find an MAT center that you can afford.
If you are consistently consuming opioids on a daily basis, then it is likely your body has become physically dependent on the drugs. Painful withdrawal symptoms can make it extremely difficult to quit. These are symptoms of opioid withdrawal:
- Cold sweats
- Goose bumps
- Stomach cramps
Consistent and heavy alcohol consumption can lead to dangerous dependency. Alcohol withdrawal is one of the most dangerous forms of withdrawal and medical assistance is vital. Alcohol withdrawal can cause life threatening symptoms:
Benzodiazepines, like Valium or Xanax, can also cause life threatening withdrawal symptoms. Medically assisted treatment is the most effective way to treat benzo dependency. Benzodiazepines withdrawal can include:
- Cardiac arrest
If you are displaying any of the symptoms mentioned due to substance abuse, then medically assisted treatment is the best way to get help. MAT is proven to prevent these withdrawal symptoms while also limiting cravings. If you are having trouble finding a treatment center, then give us a call so that you can start getting help immediately.
What Medications Are Used For MAT?
There are several types of medications that can be used for MAT. They are safer than street drugs or prescription opioids, they limit cravings, and they prevent painful withdrawal symptoms. These are some medications used in MAT:
Buprenorphine is an opioid agonists, which means it attaches to the opioid receptors in the brain. The difference is, the drug does not produce a euphoric high. It works by “tricking” the brain to thinking it is on opioids. This prevents withdrawal symptoms and even prevent powerful cravings.
Buprenorphine is sometimes used in conjunction with a drug called naloxone, most commonly known by its brand name Suboxone. The naloxone in Suboxone is used to prevent people from abusing drug. If a person attempts to inject Suboxone, then the naloxone blocks the drug from reaching the opioid receptors.
Buprenorphine is also extremely effective because a person cannot use any other opioids while they are taking the medication. If a person tries to use another opioid, buprenorphine will essentially block the drugs from the brain, meaning a person will not feel the euphoric high.
Probuphine is one of the newest and most effective drugs used in MAT. Probuphine was FDA approved in 2016 and is a buprenorphine implant. The drug is implanted under the skin to act as a longterm dose of buprenorphine, limiting cravings while preventing withdrawal and even relapse. This implant ensures a patient will continue with therapy and the treatment process. Probuphine is especially useful because it does not require daily doses, meaning a patient cannot skip a dose in order to relapse. It is also impossible to abuse like probuphine, like some forms of buprenorphine. The implant is equal to a 6 month dose of buprenorphine.
Methadone is another opioid agonist similar to buprenorphine. It administered once a day and prevents withdrawal and cravings. Methadone is becoming less common because newer forms of buprenorphine are showing to be more effective. Methadone also has a higher potential for abuse.
Naltrexone is a medication used both for alcohol and opioid addiction. It can either be taken daily as a pill or in an injectable form, called Vivitrol, once a month. Unlike buprenorphine or methadone, naltrexone does not prevent withdrawal, because it is not an opioid agonist. Naltrexone is an opioid blocker, meaning if a person tries to use opioid they will not experience a high. The drug works similarly for alcohol and prevents a person from feeling pleasant effects from drinking.
Disulfiram, most commonly known as Antabuse, is a medication used specifically for those who have an addiction to alcohol. The drug works by causing extremely unpleasant effects if the person were to drink. This medication should only be used for highly motivated individuals, because the patient could simply skip their dose and continue to drink. If you were to drink while taking Antabuse, you would experience:
- Chest pain
- Blurred vision
Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome
One of the benefits of medically assisted treatment is the ability to treat and prevent post acute withdrawal syndrome. Post acute withdrawal syndrome, or PAWS, is a set of symptoms commonly experienced by those in recovery from an addiction. They are typically psychological symptoms and can be experience weeks or months into recovery. These symptoms can be ongoing or brief. Because medically assisted treatment is typically long term care, sudden post acute withdrawal symptoms can be treated in order to prevent relapse. Post acute withdrawal symptoms can include:
- Severe cravings
Acamprosate, or Campral, is a medication used to prevent PAWS for those recovering from alcoholism. It works by affecting the GABA receptors in the brain, which are especially damaged by heavy drinking. Currently, GABA receptors are believed to be responsible for most PAWS symptoms.
Medically assisted treatment can also use other medications for PAWS. Antidepressants can be used and do not have a potential for abuse. They can make life in recovery much more pleasant for those suffering from depression. There are also non narcotic anxiety medications, which do not have potential for abuse, yet still significantly reduce anxiety.
There are also several different non narcotic options for sleep aids. Insomnia is an extremely common symptoms for people recovering from addictions, and lack of sleep alone can lead to relapse.
If you have tried getting sober in the past but it didn’t work, medically assisted treatment is worth a try. More and more people are having success and recovering from their addictions due to the science behind MAT. Addiction is a medical disorder, so therefore it should be treated in a medical fashion. Call our caring specialists today to find the right medically assisted treatment center.