Medication Assisted Treatment

What is Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)?

Science is challenging the myth that will-power is all it takes to beat addiction.  The reality is, once addicted, the biochemistry of your brain is permanently changed. Because of that, it’s not as simple as “choosing” to stop taking opioids or other addictive substances like heroin. We believe going ‘cold turkey’ is not realistic for most people and sustainable recovery is more likely to occur through medication assisted treatment. 

Medication Assisted Treatment combines the use of medications with behavioral therapies, like counseling, to overcome opioid addiction disorder.

 Cedar Recovery creates treatment plans which primarily include prescribing patients a medication called buprenorphine, commonly known as Suboxone. This medication curbs cravings, but blocks brain receptors from actually being hit with a large rush of dopamine (that dopamine rush would be recognized as the high feeling achieved through opioid misuse). When taken properly under the supervision of a medical professional, Suboxone is proven to diminish the effects of physical dependency to opioids like withdrawal. 

How is Suboxone taken?

Suboxone is given through a thin sheet or tablet of medication that is absorbed underneath the tongue and time-released over 48 hours. Taking all the daily medication at once is most effective. The dose must also be absorbed underneath the tongue and not swallowed. Many who have experienced adverse effects when taking the medication have swallowed the medication, resulting in an upset stomach and/or headache.

We see many patients who attempt to self-medicate by tearing the strips into pieces and taking small amounts throughout the day. The medicine is designed to release over a period of one and a half days.  This means that if you take the proper dose of Suboxone in the morning, by the next afternoon more than half will still be in your system.

Why should therapy be a part of addiction treatment?

Anxiety and mental illness are common co-occurrences with addiction. A history of abuse, neglect, losing a family member, having parents who suffer from mental illness or drug use can lay the groundwork for a person to escape anxieties and past trauma. It is proven that addressing trauma as part of the treatment plan provides more effective results than medication alone.

Our behavioral therapy program is designed to help you build community with a strong support system including addiction specialists, behavioral therapists, and others in recovery. We offer individual therapy, weekly group therapy sessions, and an app where you can communicate with others in our program.  

Learn More About Behavioral Therapy

Feel better. Get better. Stay better.

Schedule an appointment

Medication Assisted Treatment FAQs:

Q: Is this swapping one addiction for another?

A: This is a common misconception about Suboxone (buprenorphine) treatment. When taking medication as prescribed, physical cravings cease over time. Drug-seeking behavior and compulsive use is less likely.

Q: Will I ALWAYS be on Suboxone (buprenorphine)?  Can I ever stop treatment completely and live a medication-free life?

A: While typical buprenorphine treatment takes place for six months to a year, our physicians know that every patient is different and believe in treating the patient as long as needed to set them up for a successful long-term recovery.