Medication-Assisted Treatment Program In NJ

Medication-Assisted Treatment Program

What is a Medication-Assisted Treatment Program?

A medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program is an approach to treat substance use disorders. It combines medication and counseling to manage withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse. MAT can be useful in treating many substance use disorders, but is most commonly used for opioid or alcohol addiction.

MAT programs are typically offered as outpatient treatments, but can be used in inpatient settings as well. MAT is a comprehensive approach that uses medication as an accompaniment with behavioral therapy and counseling. Individuals in this type of treatment program receive help in developing coping skills, managing stress, and identifying the root causes of their disorder, while also taking medication to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms.


Medication-Assisted Treatment Program

MAT vs. Medical Detox

Medication-assisted treatment and medical detoxification are similar but have a few key differences. Medical detox is often the first step in recovery and is offered at the beginning of treatment. Unlike MAT, medical detox is only available for inpatient or residential individuals. MAT is a treatment that providers can offer as inpatient or outpatient. While medical detox is used to clear drugs and alcohol from the body’s systems, MAT blocks the euphoric effects of drugs and alcohol and helps control cravings for substance use.

Both MAT and medical detox work in collaboration with psychotherapies, but MAT programs use counseling and behavioral therapies to support medication-assisted treatment. Detox prepares the mind for behavioral therapy, which commonly follows detox.

Medication-Assisted Treatment Program

What Types of Substances Require MAT?

If you have a substance use disorder, either MAT or medical detox will be part of your recovery. Substances such as alcohol, opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine, and benzodiazepines require medically assisted treatment. In less severe cases of addiction, MAT is approved because the withdrawal symptoms experienced are milder and don’t require round-the-clock supervision.

Medication-Assisted Treatment Program

What To Expect from a MAT Program

When you enter a MAT program, the first thing you can expect is an assessment of your medical history and substance abuse. A medical professional will evaluate you to determine if you’re a good candidate for medication-assisted treatment. This includes learning about your social life, mental health, and living situation since MAT can be completed at home. You’ll receive a prescription for a medication based on your substance use disorder. Often the medication is administered at the clinic or facility where you’re being treated, but you may also receive a prescription to take home.

Along with medication, you’ll have routine visits to receive counseling and attend behavioral therapy sessions. These therapies help you to develop skills to manage destructive thoughts and behaviors that may lead to abusing substances. While in therapy, you and your therapist will also work to identify and address the root cause of your substance use disorder. In a MAT program, you regularly attend therapy sessions and meet with your provider to adjust the dosage of your medication. MAT programs also offer group support which supplements other treatments.

Medication-Assisted Treatment Program

How Long Does Medication-Assisted Treatment Last?

Medication-assisted treatment may last 12 months or longer. The duration of treatment always depends on the patient. Individuals with a mild addiction and who use drugs or alcohol less frequently may only require a few months of MAT. But for an individual who has relapsed, engages in dangerous behavior, or experienced addiction for a long period of time before seeking help, MAT may extend past 12 months.

It’s important to keep regular appointments with your provider during MAT. These check-ins help reassess your condition and adjust treatment to your needs.

Medication-Assisted Treatment Program

What Medications Are Used in a MAT Program?

MAT uses several FDA-approved medications. Based on the substance use disorder, a prescriber may administer a different medicine. The commonly used medications in a MAT program include Buprenorphine, Methadone, Naloxone, and Disulfiram.

Buprenorphine reduces withdrawal symptoms and is most often used in treatments for opioid disorders. Methadone is also used in opioid addiction treatment and is long-acting. Providers use Naloxone for treating both alcohol and opioid abuse. It works by blocking the effects of drugs and alcohol and reduces the pleasure one may feel when drinking or using opioids. Disulfiram is exclusively for alcohol abuse treatment and causes unpleasant reactions when interacting with alcohol.

How Do MAT Medications Work?

MAT medications like Methadone and Buprenorphine work by attaching to receptors in the body and mimicking the effect of drugs. These medications can change the way your nervous system responds to pain and help replace and then quit opioid use. Naloxone also binds to receptors but then blocks the effects of substances. This medication is better able to bind to receptors than substances like opioids so it can reverse the effects of drugs.

Disulfiram works similarly to Naloxone in that it blocks the effects of alcohol. It does this by neutralizing the enzyme responsible for breaking down a toxic byproduct of alcohol. This leads to reactions such as nausea, headache, sweating, and difficulty breathing and makes drinking alcohol very unpleasant.

Medication-Assisted Treatment Program

Medication-Assisted Treatment Program At Pathways

Pathways Treatment Center has an outpatient medication-assisted treatment program that’s designed for flexibility and adapts to fit each patient. In our MAT program, you can recover in your own home while receiving medication, counseling, and behavioral therapy to treat addiction and set you on the path to recovery.

This is an evidence-based approach and is very effective in treating opioid and alcohol use disorders. Making a choice to quit is difficult, so don’t try to battle substance abuse challenges alone. Call Pathways today! We’ll address your concerns and provide you with a detailed assessment to help determine if MAT is a good option for you.

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