When it comes to alcohol addiction, many individuals are unaware of how serious it can become. At Coastal Detox, our staff knows that in order to become completely sober from alcohol after extended use, MAT, or medication-assisted treatment, is often needed. Research shows that a highly effective medication for MAT is Naltrexone.
We understand how scary being prescribed other medications while in rehab can be to some individuals already struggling with addiction. We want to assure each patient that comes through our facility that we take every precaution necessary.
Within our MAT treatments, all medication that is prescribed is heavily monitored, including dosages of Naltrexone. With this blog, we want to provide more helpful information to encourage current and future patients to no longer be afraid to consider MAT as a viable option.
What is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism is the term used to describe the addiction to alcohol an individual may be facing. Even though alcohol is a widely used substance within our society, it can often lead to many serious consequences if used over a prolonged period. Those suffering from alcoholism often aren’t even aware that a problem has occurred.
Once the problem has been addressed, it is often too late to fix it without medical assistance. This is where our staff at Coastal Detox can help. We are able to evaluate each patient and determine how severe their alcohol addiction is once admitted into our facility. Our specialists will then create a specific plan to combat the effects that alcoholism is having on an individual.
The History of Naltrexone: Why Do People Use It?
Originally created in 1963 by Endo Pharmaceuticals, modern Naltrexone is now know by three different brand names: Vivitrol, Depade, and ReVia. Naltrexone has been used to treat alcohol disorders since the mid-1990s, and it continues to perform leaps and bounds over other medications. It can be administered through long-lasting injectables or prescription tablets.
The reason Naltrexone is used to help cope with alcoholism is that it suppresses feelings of cravings. It is most typically used for those who have already overcome their withdrawal symptoms and who want to continue you to stay sober. Most of the time this is at the very end of their medical detox period. It further helps by taking away the feeling of being “rewarded” when a patient has a drink of alcohol.
What is Medical Detoxification?
Medical detox is the removal of a foreign substance, like alcohol, from an individual’s body over an extended period of time. Detox can be done in various different ways, but most often our licensed physicians administer smaller and smaller doses of the alcohol before completely cutting a patient off of it. This allows the body to slowly become acclimated to sobriety instead of being forced to stop altogether.
Medical detox is often a very painful part of the treatment process because of the withdrawal symptoms that can come along with it. Withdrawal symptoms can include things like tiredness, vomiting, and even be as serious as strokes and heart attacks. It all depends on the current state of the addiction at hand.
Detox can take anywhere from a couple of days to complete to a couple of months to complete. So, our physicians at Coastal Detox are equipped to handle even the most serious cases. We do everything we can to make sure each of our patients has as smooth and painless of detox as possible.
What is Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)?
Medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, is a type of treatment used within our facilities to help patients cope with cravings or pain they may be having due to their addiction disorders. It is used in combination with other forms of therapies and treatments to provide a “full-body” type of healing from addiction.
The goal of using MAT as part of the treatment process is to allow our patients to recover completely. When used side-by-side with behavioral therapy techniques, it has been proven to help patients with different life skills including:
- Survival skills
- Increase treatment technique retention
- Being hired and maintaining a steady job
- Discourage illegal activity after completing rehab
- Improves the birth outcomes of patients who are pregnant when in treatment
All of the substances prescribed during MAT are monitored by our licensed doctors and staff at Coastal Detox. We do not allow any patients to be given more than their needed amount. We also only suggest MAT if there is a true need for it because, in some cases, it could be more harmful than helpful.
How Naltrexone Helps the Alcohol Detox Process
Naltrexone is considered as an opioid antagonist. This means that it helps reduce the effects that alcohol has on a person’s brain. It blocks the feelings of satisfaction that come along with alcoholism, as well as preventing future cravings from happening.
Naltrexone is prescribed to those who are at the end of the detox process. Medical professionals start administering daily or monthly doses of Naltrexone to prepare an individual for possible relapse. Relapsing is when a patient falls back into the same cycle they were in before detox, and they start drinking alcohol again.
Because there is a significant chance that a patient may relapse after going through withdrawal, Naltrexone is very important. The Naltrexone will help discourage prolonged drinking if a patient decides to start abusing alcohol again.
The Side Effects of Using Naltrexone
Like with any other medication, Naltrexone has possible side effects. This is why each dose will be closely watched by our staff to ensure that no serious reactions happen. Some of the side effects that a patient may face when using Naltrexone can include things like:
- Mood swings
- Joint pain
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Lower or higher energy levels
- Vomiting, constipation or diarrhea
- Changes in weight, especially weight loss
Possible serious side effects of using Naltrexone can include:
- Feelings of guilt
- Allergic reactions
- Difficulty breathing
- Development of depression
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
- Feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness
- Development of eye problems like blurred vision
How to Know if MAT is Right For You
Medication-assisted treatment is clinically proven to help those struggling with alcohol addiction. It has significantly decreased the percentage of patient relapse. The use of Naltrexone in MAT has also made it possible to allow patients to avoid going through detox altogether.
MAT allows our doctors to help stabilize the brain chemistry of each of our patients. By using medications to suppress cravings or pain, the patient is able to focus on their recovery process instead of how uncomfortable they are. Each MAT program is tailored specifically to a patient’s needs and how severe their addiction is.
Although MAT can be an extremely helpful form of treatment, our staff only recommends it if needed. We take a lot of different factors into consideration if a patient is wanting to try MAT or if we believe it would be helpful. This also requires our staff to break the stigma that is often associated with using other medications to help further improve the treatment process. Our MAT program will only be used in coordination with other types of therapies, as well.
Why Choose Coastal Detox?
Coastal Detox is located on the beautiful Treasure Coast in Florida’s Martin County. In our 15,000 square foot facility, our patients will enjoy a relaxing environment while attending rehab. Our center is within walking distance to the St. Lucie River, as well as the Atlantic Coast.
Safety and privacy are two of our top priorities, and we want each of our patients to feel comfortable during their stay with us. We offer many different types of therapies besides MAT, as well. Some of these include holistic therapies, as well as individual and group therapy sessions. We also offer homemade, healthy meals daily. These are made by our in-house chef that plans and prepares each menu to cater to our patient’s health needs.
Our patients also have access to the many amenities that we offer here at Coastal Detox. The residential bedrooms are spacious, and they include a pillow-top mattress and LED TVs for each patient. Our common areas are designed for maximum comfort, and they allow patients to have a space to interact with peers.
We also have many outdoor activities available. These include taking walks on our walking paths, meditating in our Zen garden, and enjoying the waterfalls on campus.
Coastal Detox is Here to Help
Although drinking alcohol is so common in our society, alcohol addiction is not something to take lightly. If alcohol addiction occurs, our staff at Coastal Detox is here to assist. We not only provide state-of-the-art detox treatments, but we also encourage our patients to be placed into our MAT programs, if needed. Detox and the help of Naltrexone in MAT could potentially give someone their sobriety back.
If you believe you or someone you know is struggling with alcoholism, do not hesitate to reach out to our staff today. We are available 24/7 to answer your calls and messages. We understand our MAT treatment could be the turning point you have been waiting for.