Medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, is an approach to substance use disorder treatment that implements medications that counter addiction and withdrawal symptoms, allowing for an easier and safer recovery. MAT has been a widely-used companion treatment to more traditional therapy styles that helps improve retention rates and reduces the risk of relapse after rehab.
Multiple medications have different methods of diminishing the properties of drugs and alcohol, so it’s essential to discuss with your provider which would work best for you. At Clear Steps Recovery, we offer guided counseling and care for our patients to ensure the best medication-assisted treatment results. To find out about our medication-assisted treatment in Billerica, Massachusetts, contact us today at 603.769.8981 to learn more about the benefits of MAT or any of our adjacent therapy programs.
Is MAT Beneficial? Looking at the Results of MAT
Since MAT describes the use of various medications to treat different substance use disorders, not everybody will experience the same effects. Our team’s objective is to give our patients a structured medication-assisted treatment program that works best for their situation.
Across the board, the application of MAT has helped patients struggling with opioid and alcohol addiction. It’s a valuable tool that helps keep withdrawal symptoms in check, reduces the risk of relapse, and overall improves the likelihood that patients will stick to their treatment plan. However, medication-assisted treatment results only in the easement of symptoms and reduction of triggers. Alone, it does nothing to address the roots of an individual’s substance use disorder. That’s why combining MAT with individual, group, or family therapy is such common practice.
The Effects of Medication-Assisted Treatment
The medications used in MAT go about reducing the risk of relapse in several ways. Some medications, like disulfiram, cause extreme sensitivity to ethanol, disincentivizing alcohol consumption. Others make the impulse to continue using lower by occupying the pleasure centers of the brain that opioids attach to. Above all, each MAT medication seeks to achieve these five effects:
One of the main benefits of MAT is that it can help reduce cravings for drugs. Cravings can become a major trigger for relapse, which is why many MAT medications work to stabilize the urge to take drugs.
Withdrawal symptom management
Withdrawal symptoms are a major contributor to dropping out of rehab programs and relapsing. When a person has become accustomed to or even dependent on having an addictive substance in their body, the absence of that substance can cause uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Most MAT medications make withdrawal symptoms manageable, allowing patients to focus on treatment without the burden of withdrawal.
Improved treatment retention
By reducing withdrawal symptoms, MAT has been shown to increase retention in treatment programs. Consistency is the key to recovering from addiction, which is why staying in a rehab program is so critical. When patients have access to support and medications to help manage cravings and reduce discomfort, they’re more likely to adhere to treatment.
Lowered health risk
The symptoms of withdrawal aren’t just discomforting—sometimes, they can pose a legitimate health risk if left untreated. MAT combined with professional supervision can reduce the risk of health complications significantly.
Reduced risk of relapse
All of these factors help keep patients from relapsing, undoing potentially months of hard work and progress. Relapse is a major setback in any case, which is why MAT is such an effective component of treatment. Minimizing relapse will always result in higher odds of long-term sobriety.
Contact Clear Steps Recovery Today for MAT in Massachusetts and New Hampshire
It’s clear that MAT can be an extremely valuable tool for treating substance use disorder. As with any tool, it has to be used correctly and when appropriate. That’s why, at Clear Steps Recovery, we make it easy to connect with specialists who can work with you or your loved one to determine the best medication-assisted treatment results possible.
Call us today at 603.769.8981 or reach out online to learn more about medication-assisted treatment or any of our other recovery programs. Our goal is to make your recovery safe, comfortable, and long-lasting, no matter your situation.