Since the rise of opioid addiction, overdose, and fatalities, a number of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) programs have opened up around the country to combat the ongoing opioid crisis. At Buckhead Behavioral Health, we’re proud to provide a Medication-Assisted Treatment program in Atlanta to provide accountability, structure, and support for our client’s continued recovery.
What is A Medication-Assisted Treatment Program?
There are many forms of treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. One of the more controversial is Medication-Assisted Treatment which is also known as MAT. MAT is a form of harm-reduction using medications with traditional counseling and behavioral therapies. The aim is to provide a balanced approach to substance abuse treatment. As alternatives to traditional addiction treatment become more common throughout the U.S., Atlanta has also experienced a rise in the use of Medication-Assisted Treatment programs.
The FDA approved all medications and medication programs are tailored to meet an individual’s personal needs. Research shows that medication-assisted therapy and traditional therapy can help treat addiction disorders, improve recovery times, and prevent or reduce opioid overdose. The topic is controversial for individuals and medical professionals because the idea of using medication to solve an addiction to illicit medication sounds tricky.
Others find it controversial because of its under-use, considering the research behind the medication-assisted treatment. Moreover, because of the stigma involved with using medication for treatment, it’s become underutilized as a treatment option. Now, with more research and support, the method is becoming more popular.
Medication-Assisted Treatment Program for Drug Addiction
Medical assisted treatment works alongside traditional treatments, and its goal is to smooth the process of recovery in the early stages of treatment. Once the conditions are met, the individual will taper off the medication as they develop other coping abilities and mental skills. Buckhead Behavioral Health in Atlanta offers multiple other levels of treatment that complement the use of MAT. There are various types of Medication-Assisted Treatment programs that use a variety of medications including the following:
Naltrexone is the most common form of medication-assisted treatment programs. Naltrexone, taken orally, is an opioid antagonist. When taken, Naltrexone blocks the euphoric effects that opioids provide. In addition, Vivitrol is an extended-release form of Naltrexone most commonly used as an injectable. The effects of Vivitrol last for one month at a time. Vivitrol can also be used for alcohol addiction and blocks the effects of intoxication. At Buckhead Behavioral Health, we most commonly use Naltrexone and Vivitrol as a primary form for our medication-assisted treatment program.
Buprenorphine, most commonly known as Suboxone, is a partial opioid antagonist taken either in a pill or film form. Buprenorphine was created in 2002 and approved by the FDA. This type of medication must be prescribed by a certified clinician. When taken daily, Buprenorphine reduces cravings for opioids and can help manage uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Buckhead Behavioral Health administers Buprenorphine in conjunction with providing counseling to provide the best chances for addiction recovery.
Methadone is an opioid antagonist and must be administered daily by a treatment program. Typically methadone is taken in a pill or liquid form. Methadone can produce similar effects to opioids. While it helps prevent cravings and alleviates withdrawal symptoms it is a form of accountability for those looking to remain sober.
Who is a MAT Program For?
People who will benefit most from medication-assisted treatments will be those with serious cases of addiction, patients with opioid and other addictions, and if they suffer from other mental disorders that may cause difficulties in normal treatment. If someone struggled in the past with a history of failed recovery attempts and relapses, they may benefit from a medication-assisted treatment program. Medication-Assisted Treatment focuses on all aspects of a person’s psychiatric disorder and addresses co-occurring symptoms and physical symptoms of withdrawal.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has said that medication-assisted treatment can improve a patient’s survival chances and increase treatment retention. The process helps patients understand opioid abuse and decrease their illegal use and connected criminal activity with the substance.
Medication-Assisted Treatment Program for Alcoholism
In addition to opioids, alcoholism is extremely hard to overcome. At Buckhead Behavioral Health, our alcohol rehab in Atlanta not only provides a medication-assisted treatment program for opioids but additionally, a medication-assisted treatment program for alcohol. We use a combination of medications in conjunction with individual and therapy services. The following medications can be used for medication-assisted treatment for alcohol:
Naltrexone For Alcohol Use Disorder
While Naltrexone was initially used to treat opioid addiction, when Naltrexone is taken, it inhibits the euphoria that alcohol produces in the brain.
Disulfiram, most commonly known as Antabuse, is the most common form of medication for those who have completed alcohol detox and are looking to remain abstinent from alcohol. Typically Disulfiram is taken once per day in pill form and produces unpleasant effects such as nausea, headaches, and vomiting when alcohol has been consumed.
Acamprosate is an anti-craving medication for alcohol. Typically, this medication is given once an individual has completed alcohol detox and is not experiencing any withdrawal symptoms.
Benefits of A Medication-Assisted Treatment Program in Atlanta
Typically, withdrawal symptoms produce a cycle of cravings, which in turn can lead to relapse. Medication-Assisted Treatment programs combat this crucial component of early recovery and have proven to be successful for those who are suffering from opioid addiction and alcoholism. Some other benefits that MAT programs include:
- Reducing and minimizing withdrawal symptoms
- Curbing cravings
- Mitigating the risk of relapse
- Mitigating the risk of overdose
- Involvement in treatment and therapy programs
A Medication-Assisted Treatment program used in conjunction with therapy and counseling can help individuals find new lives. Backed by scientific evidence, this life-saving therapy has helped many of our clients at Buckhead Behavioral Health.
Is A Medication-Assisted Treatment Program Effective?
Medications can minimize withdrawal symptoms and make the process of recovery easier for patients. These medications can balance neurochemicals and hormones and be used in many scenarios. Hospitals, PHP programs, outpatient programs, and even prisons have taken on medical-assisted treatment.
The severity of a person’s substance abuse and the type of drug that they are addicted to will be the determining factor in their medication-assisted treatment program. Medications are most used for people recovering from opioid addiction, alcohol abuse, and benzodiazepine addiction.
Someone suffering from co-occurring or dual diagnosis disorders may benefit from medication-assisted treatment. Instead of just focusing on the addiction, which may be a cause itself of underlying issues, treatment should take a fully balanced look at a patient’s mental disorders and other complications.
Medication-Assisted Treatment Program in Atlanta
Buckhead Behavioral Health is a luxury addiction treatment facility and drug rehab in Atlanta, Georgia. Our facility offers individualized treatment, and the multidisciplinary staff at Buckhead Behavioral Health offers evidence-based practices to help individuals recover from addiction in a safe and secure environment free from distractions. If you or your loved one can benefit from MAT here in Atlanta, contact us today. Learn more about our admissions process and begin the road to recovery now.