What is Medication Assisted Treatment?

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is a form of pharmacotherapy and refers to any treatment for a substance abuse disorder that includes pharmacological intervention as a part of a larger comprehensive substance abuse treatment plan. It helps people manage their addictions so that the benefits of recovery can be maintained. With the growing need for Opioid/Opiate Treatment in our communities Evolution Way and its Medical Team provide Medication Assisted Treatment. Some medication used to treat opioid use disorders can be used to manage withdrawal and as maintenance treatment to reduce craving, lessen withdrawal symptoms, and maintain recovery. The medications are used to help a patient function comfortably without illicit opioids or alcohol while balance is gradually restored to the brain circuits that have been altered by prolonged substance use.

Medications are an important element of treatment for many patients, especially when combined with counseling and other behavioral therapies. Evolution Way firmly believes in providing a “whole-patient” approach to our services to help you or your loved ones recover and live a long-term sober life. MAT is a highly effective treatment option for individuals with alcohol and opioid use disorders. Studies have repeatedly demonstrated the efficacy of MAT at reducing illicit drug use and overdose deaths, improving retention in treatment, and reducing HIV transmission.

Medication Assisted Treatment refers to the use of several medications that may be beneficial and have well-supported evidence backing their use for the treatment of alcohol, benzodiazepines and opiates/opioids. A benefit of these targeted medications is that they can help to ensure safety in the withdrawal process in the short-term and be used as a long-term method to maintain abstinence.

MAT services are not applicable or available for every client. Our treatment team is committed to completing a comprehensive assessment of each person to ensure that a unique substance abuse treatment plan is developed.

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Benefits of Medication Assisted Treatment:

  • Decreased Opiate Use

  • Decreased Criminal Activities

  • Increased Treatment Retention

  • Improved Survival Rate

  • Provide relief for withdrawal symptoms

FDA- Approved Medications for Substance Abuse Treatment and Tobacco Cessation

Medications for Alcohol Dependence Naltrexone

Disulfiram

Acamprosate Calcium

Medications for Opioid Dependence Buprenorphine

Naltrexone (Vivitrol)

Medications for Smoking Cessation Varenicline

Bupropion

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)

 

Buprenorphine

Buperenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, meaning that it binds to and activates opioid receptors but with less intensity than full agonists. Thus, there is an upper limit to how much euphoria, pain relief, or respiratory depression buprenorphine can produce. Clinical experience and research protocols indicate that buprenorphine initiation and stabilization during the induction period is an important part of successful treatment for individuals with opioid use disorder.

Naltrexone

Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist that binds to opioid receptors and blocks their activation; it produces no opioid-like effects and is not abusable. It prevents other opioids from binding to opioid receptors so that they have little to no effect. It also interrupts the effects of any opioids in a person’s system, precipitating an opioid withdrawal syndrome in opioid-dependent patients, so it can be administered only after a complete detoxification from opioids. There is also no withdrawal from naltrexone when the patient stops taking it. Naltrexone may be appropriate for people who have been successfully treated with buprenorphine or methadone who wish to discontinue use but still be protected from relapse.

Many studies have examined the effectiveness of naltrexone in treating alcohol use disorders. Several research reviews have found that it reduces the risk of heavy drinking in patients who are abstinent for at least several days at the time treatment begins.

Acamprosate

Acamprosate is a medication that normalizes the alcohol-related neurochemical changes in the brain glutamate systems and thereby reduces the symptoms of craving that can prompt a relapse to pathological drinking. Acamprosate has been found to be an effective medication when used concurrently with behavioral interventions and, as with other medications for alcohol use disorders, works best in motivated patients. Reviews show that Acamprosate is effective in reducing relapse and effective when used to maintain abstinence from alcohol.

Step 1: Assessment and Diagnosis

Evolution Way provides a comprehensive personalized substance abuse treatment assessment. No two people are the same and as such neither should two treatment plans be the exact same. Our team screens for the efficacy of MAT services.

Step 2: Short Term Outpatient Rapid Detox

MAT services can help limit and provide relief from withdrawal symptoms. Evolution Way is committed to a rapid short term detox to get you started on a path of recovery

Step 3: Evaluation for Longer Term Anti-Craving Medication

After completing detoxification clients are evaluated in consultation with a Board-Certified Doctor for longer term anti-craving medications. Long term treatment has shown well-supported results for long term success.

Step 4: Continued Care and Long Term MAT

Continuing your path in recovery through WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) around services and Long Term MAT is paramount for maintaining treatment. Studies have shown that continued treatment of 90-days and above increase the success rates and recovery from opiate/opioid substance use and other substance use disorders.

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