Addiction causes the body to lose its chemical stability. The body tries to maintain a sort of internal equilibrium known as homeostasis. The introduction of drugs into the system can cause significant disruptions to body temperature, neurotransmitter efficiency, and more. Most prescriptions avoid creating this imbalance by keeping dosage relatively low and punctuating when the medication is taken. Unregulated substances, on the other hand, have only a self-imposed limit on their destruction.
Finding a way to wean off stronger substances is a common difficulty for those seeking to reduce and ultimately end their drug usage. Fortunately, most recovery centers employ a practice called medication-assisted therapy, also known as medication-assisted treatment, or simply MAT. MAT is a widely-used, rigorously tested means of reducing the effects of opioids and alcohol on the body and is an integral part of our therapy programs. To learn even more about the many medication-assisted therapy benefits, contact the team at Clear Steps Recovery today at 603.769.8981 and ask about medication-assisted therapy in New Hampshire.
5 Benefits of Medication-Assisted Therapy
1. Lowers Risk of Relapse
Relapse is always a concern during and after the detox process. It takes significantly more time to build a healthy habit than it does to tear one down. Fortunately, MAT reduces the risk of relapse by the process of habituation—it helps remove the addictive drive for opioids or alcohol from the body.
2. Eases Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal is another obstacle in the way of recovery, with intense pains lasting for weeks or longer. By gradually reining in the effects of the drug, withdrawal symptoms eventually become manageable before finally disappearing. Therapists monitor the severity of withdrawal throughout treatment to ensure comfort.
3. Rebalances Brain Chemistry
By reducing the amount of opioids taken, as well as reducing the body’s cravings and withdrawal symptoms, the process of reaching homeostasis again is significantly easier. Depending on the severity of the substance use disorder (SUD), it can take different amounts of time, but MAT can help bring levels back to pre-SUD conditions.
4. Disables Opioid Receptors
Opioid agonists, the primary medication typically used in MAT, are similar to opioids in name and shape. They attach to the same dopamine neurotransmitters as opioids but are entirely ineffectual. Doing so satisfies part of the withdrawal pains and reduces the compulsion to take more opioids.
5. Strengthens Additional Therapies
When MAT is incorporated into other therapy styles, it can benefit the quality of the entire process. Allowing oneself to take their focus off the pain of withdrawal or the craving for opioids can allow for clearer decision-making, more honest introspection, and an ability to return to typical day-to-day life much more naturally.
Other MAT Benefits
In addition to the five above, medication-assisted therapy benefits extend beyond the recovery process. MAT is a way to ensure that clients leaving therapy can return to living as usual, with a significantly reduced drive to return to opioid or alcohol use again. The 2-8 week window following departure from recovery is the most vital time to ensure clients have a safe landing. Individuals who return to living life following MAT tend to find employment easier to obtain, something denied to many afflicted with substance use disorders.
Discover the Benefits of MAT in New Hampshire at Clear Steps Recovery
Each of the medication-assisted therapy benefits excels in easing the difficulty of treatment. With that said, there is no easy recovery. It takes perseverance, dedication, and care from others to see it through to the end. Taking that first step means saddling new, unexpected challenges in order to improve one’s life for years to come.
At Clear Steps Recovery, we understand the uphill battle that is addiction recovery. We employ MAT, in addition to a number of other therapeutic practices, to give you the advantage necessary to overcome substance use disorders and live healthily. Contact us at 603.769.8981 or reach out online to learn what makes our medication-assisted therapy in New Hampshire so effective.