Category: Medication-Assisted Therapy

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Opioids and alcohol are two of the most prevalent addictions in the United States today and have an almost uniform status across each state. Massachusetts is no different, with an estimated 6-7% of people over 12 suffering from AUD—nearly 300,000 people1. Medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, is a highly effective means of reducing some of the most physically and mentally demanding points of recovery. By combining certain medications with counseling and behavioral therapy, MAT can be an effective tool to have in your arsenal of coping and management skills. 

For those seeking medication-assisted treatment in Lowell, MA, Clear Steps Recovery is here to help. Our compassionate staff has years of experience in applying MAT in comprehensive treatment. Call us today at 603.769.8981 or reach us online to learn how you can qualify for MAT or about our Lowell, Massachusetts, medication-assisted treatment program.

What Is Medication-Assisted Therapy?

Medication-assisted therapy is a treatment approach that combines the use of certain cleared medications with behavioral therapy to help individuals manage their addiction. Currently, MAT has various uses in treating alcohol and opioid use disorders. The medications used for MAT attempt to reduce symptoms of withdrawal and cravings. They do so in different ways, either by making the substance physically repulsive or by neutering its ability to excite the reward centers of the brain. Some of the common medications used for MAT include:

  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Naltrexone
  • Acamprosate
  • Disulfiram

While it might seem counterintuitive to substitute reliance on one medication for another, the objective of MAT meds is to reduce their own cause for use as quickly and safely as possible. Medications used for MAT are not just non-addictive; they are addiction antagonists, meaning they make addictive substances ineffectual or even unpleasant. MAT medications are restricted to prescriptions given by a healthcare professional as part of comprehensive treatment.

Why Choose MAT in Massachusetts?

MAT is an extremely helpful tool for reducing the most unpleasant or alluring aspects of substance abuse. Its only major drawback is, besides its limitations to just alcohol and opioid cases, the fact that it’s a form of reactive treatment rather than being proactive. Alone, it does very little to treat the underlying causes of substance use disorder. For that reason, MAT is often utilized as a part of a comprehensive treatment program that involves therapy and lifestyle adjustments.

Those who suffer from opioid or alcohol use disorder have to be eligible to participate in medication-assisted treatment in Lowell, MA. The first major step is to receive an official diagnosis from a physician. This assessment isn’t arbitrary. It’s a way to gauge which medication will prove most effective in MAT or if it’s even the correct course of action. Patients who do learn that MAT is the right call will be able to overcome their withdrawal symptoms faster, suffer from fewer to no cravings, and feel more at ease during treatment.

Clear Steps Recovery Provides Lowell Medication-Assisted Treatment

At Clear Steps Recovery, we want to make treatment as safe and comfortable as possible for our patients. Recovering from substance use disorder can be a painful ordeal at times, but with the right oversight, the process can be smooth and painless. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be effortless—breaking addiction is still a mentally and physically demanding task regardless of medication assistance. It takes a high constitution and total commitment to seeing your recovery through to achieve sobriety that will last.

We’re willing to work with you all the way to your goal. Call the team at Clear Steps Recovery today at 603.769.8981 to learn how our medication-assisted treatment in Lowell, MA, can improve your journey to recovery.


1SAMHSA – “2016-2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health National Maps of Prevalence Estimates, by Substate Region”

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.

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