Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a combination of medication and behavioral therapy used to treat substance use disorders. MAT primarily treats opioid use disorders, and medications used include methadone, suboxone, and naltrexone. Behavioral therapy helps individuals learn coping skills, while medication reduces withdrawal symptoms and cravings. MAT is safe, effective, and not a one-size-fits-all approach to addiction treatment.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, you may have heard of medication-assisted treatment (MAT). But what exactly is it, and how can it help?
Simply put, MAT is a combination of medication and behavioral therapy that is used to treat substance use disorders. The medication is used to manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings, while the behavioral therapy helps individuals learn coping skills and strategies to maintain sobriety.
MAT is primarily used to treat opioid use disorders, such as addiction to heroin or prescription painkillers. The medications used in MAT work by reducing the withdrawal symptoms and cravings associated with opioid use, making it easier for individuals to abstain from using. These medications are safe and effective when used as directed by a medical professional.
There are several different medications that can be used in MAT. The most commonly used medications for opioid use disorders are methadone, suboxone (buprenorphine), and naltrexone.
Methadone is a synthetic opioid that is taken daily in liquid form. It has been used for over 50 years to treat opioid addiction and is highly effective in reducing withdrawal symptoms and cravings. However, it can only be administered in a specialized clinic setting.
Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that can be taken in pill or film form. It can be prescribed by qualified healthcare providers and taken at home, making it a more convenient option for some individuals.
Naltrexone is a non-opioid medication that blocks the effects of opioids. It can be taken as a daily pill or as a monthly injection.
It's important to note that MAT is not a one-size-fits-all approach to addiction treatment. It's important to work with a medical professional to determine which medication and dosage is best for you based on your individual needs and medical history.
In addition to medication, MAT also includes behavioral therapy, such as counseling and support groups. This therapy is important for helping individuals learn coping skills and strategies to maintain sobriety. It can also help individuals address any underlying mental health conditions that may be contributing to their addiction.
Overall, medication-assisted treatment is a safe and effective option for individuals seeking addiction treatment. It has been shown to reduce overdose deaths, increase retention in treatment, and improve overall quality of life.