Addiction to alcohol and drugs is a serious problem that affects millions of people in the USA. These substances affect the health and social lives of the users to the extent that many addicts lose all hope in life. There are several ways of dealing with drug addiction, but the most effective is Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT).
This is a treatment method that involves the use of medications to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms. With the help of these medications, the addicts will be able to maintain some normality in their brain functioning and behavior as they start off in their recovery.
When is Medication Assisted Treatment Used?
MAT is mainly used in the treatment of addiction to opioids such as prescription drugs and heroin. People addicted to painkillers that contain opiates can also be treated through this method. The medications used to treat these problems contain a milder amount of opioids, so the addicts will experience less severe withdrawal symptoms.
There are also medications used to treat addiction to alcohol, marijuana, and nicotine. However, the treatment method is not commonly used with these types of drug addiction.
What Medications Are Used to Treat Drug Addiction?
All medications used in this treatment are FDA-approved and safe for use. Here are some commonly used drugs:
This medication can be used to relieve pain. They are used in rehab centers to treat addiction to opioids. Suboxone is derived from poppy flowers, although it can also be made artificially in a lab. When used as a pain reliever, it is typically formulated in combination with other medications such as ibuprofen.
Suboxone can cause dependence in otherwise healthy people. It should always be taken as prescribed since it can easily lead to serious side effects such as depressed breathing. The medication is a weaker opioid compared to drugs such as heroin. This is why they are used to help addicts recover from their dependency. It helps to alleviate physical withdrawal symptoms, and at the same time, reduces the need for the strong opioids.
The medication is used to treat addicts aged 16 and over.
Vivitrol is also known as Naltrexone. It helps to prevent relapses to alcohol and drug abuse. When using this medication to treat drug addiction, patients should avoid drinking alcohol since the resulting interaction can be very dangerous. Vivitrol itself is non-addictive and is delivered once a month through an injection. Besides helping to reduce withdrawal symptoms, this medication blocks the opioid receptors in the brain. This means the addict will not experience the euphoria and high commonly associated with these substances.
Before starting off with this treatment, you will need to go for 7 to 14 days without any opioid. One side effect of this medication is a severe reaction at the point of the injection. This should get better over time and generally heals in two weeks. However, there is a risk of tissue death. If you notice lumps, blisters, swellings, and hardening at the injection site, you should contact your healthcare provider for further directions.
The medication might also cause liver problems. It is essential to monitor your urine and eyes for the period that you will be taking the drug. If you notice your urine getting dark and your eyes become yellow, you might have to stop taking Vivitrol. Also, if you experience persistent pain in the stomach area, you may be developing a serious liver problem.
This medicine is commonly known as Antabuse. It helps to treat alcoholism in a slightly different way. It works by altering the process by which alcohol is oxidized in the body, and this means the patient will not experience any euphoria when they drink alcohol. Instead, any alcohol consumed will result in severe hangovers. That way, the addict will be discouraged from drinking.
This is used to treat addiction to heroin and other opioids such as Oxycontin. As long as you take this drug as prescribed, you will be safe and can effectively get through your addiction. Buprenorphine does not necessarily have to be used in a rehab center. It can legally be purchased in a pharmacy, although you will need to have a prescription.
This medication has a much lower potential for misuse and can significantly diminish the signs of withdrawal. Overdosing on this medicine is also not as serious as cases involving street opioids.
What Else Does MAT Involve?
It is a legal requirement for all MAT treatments to include counseling sessions and behavioral therapy, in addition to the medications. This will help the individuals to learn how to correct their behaviors and get through the issues that drive them to drugs in the first place. Counseling will also help to strengthen self-control.
What Are the Benefits of Medically Assisted Treatment?
Here are some notable benefits of this treatment technique:
• It has been proven to be highly effective in treating addiction to drugs
• It will help prevent drug overdoses and possible death
• It will help prevent the onset of drug-related illnesses
• It reduces and eventually eliminates the craving for drugs
• It reduces the risk of relapsing
• You will not need to be hospitalized for the withdrawal symptoms
At the end of the day, MAT treatment will allow you to leave a healthy and normal life. You will be able to find and keep a job and even manage your money better.
Addiction to alcohol and drugs is highly destructive. Patients are usually unable to manage their money wisely, and many even end up living in the streets. The drugs also affect their health considerably. Liver diseases are particularly common among drug addicts since this particular organ gets overworked with all the toxins ingested.
You don’t have to live with your addiction. You can still regain your health and live a stable life with no cravings for drugs. Medication-assisted treatment is one of the best techniques available for helping drug addicts. It involves the use of medications and behavioral therapy. If you are addicted to opioids or alcohol and are interested in getting clean and sober today, call us today 877-978-3125