Substance dependency affects each person differently, which is the reason treatment centers can’t apply a cookie-cutter solution. The Granite Recovery Centers have made it our goal to provide the right treatment for those seeking to reclaim their freedom. One type of treatment offered is a medication-assisted treatment, which is sometimes referred to as MAT.
First Look at MAT
The opioid crisis has broken families apart. It has placed tremendous strain on society and has burned through beautiful communities.
While it can be hard to hear, about 130 people die each day because of opioids. Parents, children, husbands, wives, and loved ones could fall victim to this crisis one way or another. There’s not much we can do about the social erosion this problem has created, but what we do at Granite Recovery Centers is offer a way out for folks who need it.
Medication is simply the safest way to deal with a substance that is as addictive as opioids. Supervised medicated treatment is how we deal with heroin and fentanyl.
What Is Involved in Medication-Assisted Treatment?
Medication-assisted treatment is pretty much what it sounds like. FDA-approved medications are used to help you get over your dependency. Specialists will give you medications to deal with the side effects that you deal with as you attempt to regain your freedom.
On top of that, they’ll also initiate a holistic treatment to help you maintain your body’s strength, which is going to be more important than you can imagine. Breaking this dependency is going to take a lot out of you, but medical professionals are there to help.
In addition, you’ll also work with an experienced counselor and behavioral therapist. These professionals are going to help uncover underlying conditions that might drive you to substance dependency. You’ll learn coping techniques that should help you deflect triggers so that you won’t be tempted to fall for your vices later on.
Some of the drugs that can be used include:
These are some tools to help you during this difficult transition. Each drug does something different, but the goal is to curb your drug cravings and to help you deal with the dreadful withdrawal symptoms.
Treatment plans can also include a few additional services, like a family counseling program. The reality is that opioid addiction doesn’t just affect you; it also affects those you love, like your friends or family members. It’s important to offer them help because their traumas are real too.
One thing to keep in mind is that family and friends can be powerful weapons against substance dependency. These people solidify your support system, and that should help improve your chances of overcoming your addiction.
You can also take part in 12-step meetings, which are good at breaking this massive program into smaller, more digestible goals that are easier to accomplish.
Types of Medications Associated With MAT
A person dealing with substance abuse is probably somewhat scared of anything having to do with medications. For a lot of people, the addiction started with medication.
It makes sense that you may be a little skeptical about the idea of taking any medication when you are trying to deal with a problem that caused so much pain. It’s good that you are taking this so seriously, but it’s important to understand the kind of medicine that might be used during your treatment.
The following are a few medications that may be used:
One medication that may be used during your treatment is methadone. A lot of people in the industry are quite happy about this medicinal tool because it has helped many people overcome their addictions.
This drug is considered an agonist because it connects with the receptors in the brain that create the effect you need as you are going through withdrawal.
You should know methadone can also help block the feelings that a person experiences when taking any type of opioid. This is done to discourage a person from taking opioids during the treatment. Specialists will administer this drug carefully to help you feel as normal as possible during the treatment’s duration.
The medicine comes in liquid form, and you are only given it once a day as necessary. You’ll start with small dosages to give your body time to get used to the drug because methadone can be dangerous if it’s abused.
Suboxone is another drug that might be used during treatment. It is considered a partial agonist. With a partial agonist drug, the connection to your brain’s receptors won’t be too strong, and it’s something that needs to be used every so often. The effects will be similar to methadone.
The drug can help your body deal with the strong physical effects that you might have when going through withdrawal. Suboxone also helps fight those cravings that make this period difficult to deal with. The brain is used to the opioid effect, and it’s going to make you crave it, but this medicinal drug can help.
The drug is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. This is important to know because of the way a person might feel if they take opioids with this drug.
Naloxone seems to counteract the ingredients in opioids. This counteraction makes any person who combines the two feel strong, negative effects that they won’t want to experience again. It may seem extreme, but taking naloxone is one way to encourage folks to fight opioid dependency.
Vivitrol is the most common name for this drug, but sometimes the medication is called naltrexone. The medication is administered through injection so that medical professionals can control it.
The primary function of Vivitrol is to fight cravings that you might feel for opioids during the treatment. It is only given once a month, which should be more than enough to help you through your recovery.
In addition to its primary function, this medication is also meant to help lessen those strong physical symptoms you are going to go through. It should help fight the chances of overdosing, which is done to give you a safety net should the worse happen. You should know that injections of this medication aren’t administered unless you’ve been 14 days free of opioids.
How Well Does Medication-Assisted Treatment Work?
At this point, you probably want to know how effective all of this is going to be. Substance dependency is incredibly difficult to overcome, and you want to make sure that what you’ll be going through is worth it.
This is a legitimate concern, and it’s something our specialists at Granite Recovery Centers have answered many times. Part of what makes our treatment plan effective is that it’s fluid. We change it depending on each person’s needs.
MAT has proven quite effective in tackling this type of addiction. Going through this treatment improves your chances of sticking to this program and reduces your chances of abusing opioids.
Research shows how effective this treatment is, especially compared to treatments that don’t include medication.
It’s important to keep in mind some things you might go through during the withdrawal process. The following are a few things people have experienced and why a medicated approach makes a difference:
- Some experience uncontrolled irritability; sometimes, you won’t know why it comes.
- You might feel anxious, making it nearly impossible to feel at peace.
- Some start to sweat non-stop, which can be unsettling and can make you feel uncomfortable.
- A few people feel chills in varying degrees.
- Diarrhea is another unfortunate symptom you might go through, and it may not stop for a long time unless you are medicated.
- Nausea is something else you might deal with during this process; some people even vomit.
- You may feel cramps that can be quite painful.
- On top of everything else, you might experience insomnia, which could rob you of energy and mood control.
- Some people feel headaches whereas others deal with joint pain in varying degrees.
We know that what you go through will be unbearable, but we will do our best to ensure that you can overcome these symptoms with minimal discomfort.
Another reason we believe this treatment to be effective is we do more than just one process to help you. Our team of specialists at Granite Recovery Centers focus on other therapies to foster long-lasting success.
This is the reason we emphasize additional support in the form of education, counseling, and much more that is provided by our outpatient clinics. When you come to us, we do our best to provide you with everything you need and might need later on.
Misinformation Linked to Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Dependency
MAT is effective, yet the truth is that a lot of people don’t know about this treatment. To make things worse, some people have been misinformed concerning this option, which could lead them to avoid it.
One of the most damaging myths about this type of treatment is that you are going to end up trading one drug addiction for another.
On the surface, you can see why some people might fall for this myth. Drugs are used to help you feel better during the detoxing process, and this can sound dangerous since your dependency started with a drug that made you feel better.
Part of the reason drugs are administered is to make sure that you don’t overdose. The drugs used during treatment are powerful and can be dangerous when used incorrectly. At Granite Recovery Centers, we go to incredible measures to ensure that we administer each drug the right way.
Rehabilitation can take a long time, yet you’d be surprised how many people think that MAT is a quick fix. The truth is treatment can be an ongoing process. It isn’t possible to predict how long you are going to be in recovery because each person is different. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you are taking a shortcut by choosing a medication-assisted treatment. Our team is going to be with you for a long time because sobriety is a lifelong commitment.
There are a few people who believe that MAT could hinder their paths towards sobriety. Some people think this because they’ll be using drugs, but such an assumption is not the case. For some individuals, this step is the one push that gets the ball rolling towards sobriety. If you choose this path, we’ll make sure that the drugs we use are administered the way they should be.
Keep in mind that most health insurance companies cover this treatment, including Medicaid. However, it doesn’t hurt to talk to your health insurance provider so that you know where you stand.
Granite Recovery Centers are filled with understanding people who know what you are going through. We are here to make sobriety a possibility, and we are here because of the road bumps you are going to hit on your way to sobriety. Don’t hesitate to call our center to find out more about what you can expect from our medication-assisted treatment or anything else you’re interested in.