25 North Main Street, Fall River, MA 02720

101 Jeremiah V Sullivan Dr, Fall River, MA 02721

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(508) – 217 – 3418

What is Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)


Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a comprehensive and evidence-based approach to treating substance use disorders, particularly opioid and alcohol use disorders. It involves using FDA-approved medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies to provide effective treatment.

This article will examine what medication-assisted treatment is and its role in effectively treating opioid use disorder. 


How Does MAT Work?


MAT recognizes that addiction is a complex condition involving physiological and psychological factors. By addressing both aspects, it offers a holistic approach to treatment. Medications used in MAT help reduce the euphoric effects of opioids, alleviate withdrawal symptoms, and suppress opioid cravings, making it easier for individuals to abstain from drug use and focus on recovery.

Counseling and behavioral therapies are essential components of MAT. They help individuals develop coping strategies, identify triggers for substance use, and learn healthier ways of managing stress and cravings. By combining medications with counseling, MAT increases the chances of successful recovery and helps individuals make lasting changes.

Where Can You Find MAT?


MAT is available in different settings, including opioid treatment programs (OTPs), addiction treatment centers, and primary care settings. Individuals with substance use disorders need to seek the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional or treatment provider who can tailor a treatment plan based on their specific needs.

MAT offers a comprehensive and effective approach to addressing substance use disorders. It helps individuals regain control of their lives, reduces the risk of overdose and overdose deaths, and improves retention in treatment. 

Why Is Medication-Assisted Treatment Needed?


MAT is a crucial and necessary approach in treating opioid use disorder (OUD) and other substance use disorders. OUD is a chronic condition characterized by the compulsive use of opioids despite adverse consequences. 

Opioids, such as prescription pain relievers and illicit drugs like heroin, create chemical imbalances in the brain, producing euphoric effects. Moreover, when individuals with OUD stop using opioids, they often experience severe withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings, making it incredibly difficult to maintain abstinence.

MAT addresses these challenges by utilizing FDA-approved medications, such as buprenorphine and methadone, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies. These medications help reduce the euphoric effects of opioids, alleviate withdrawal symptoms, and suppress cravings, allowing individuals to focus on their recovery journey. 

By combining medications with counseling, MAT increases the effectiveness of treatment and improves the chances of long-term recovery. It offers a whole-patient approach, addressing addiction’s physiological and psychological aspects.

Understanding Opioid Use Disorder 


Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) is a severe and complex condition characterized by the compulsive use and misuse of opioids, regardless of the negative consequences it may bring. It can range in severity from mild to severe and can occur with any type of opioid, including prescription pain relievers or illicit drugs like heroin.

The underlying factors that contribute to OUD are multifaceted: 

  1. Opioids profoundly affect the brain’s reward system, producing euphoric effects and reinforcing the desire for continued use. 
  2. There is evidence of a genetic predisposition to opioid addiction, suggesting a hereditary component. 
  3. Life experiences such as trauma, mental health disorders, and certain environmental factors can also increase the risk of developing OUD.

The impact of OUD extends far beyond the individual struggling with the disorder. It can lead to a decline in physical and mental health, strained relationships, financial difficulties, and involvement in criminal activity. Opioid overdoses and overdose deaths have reached alarming rates in recent years, highlighting the urgent need for effective treatment options.

The Role of MAT in Treating OUD and SUDs


Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) plays a crucial role in treating Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) and Substance Use Disorders (SUDs). This evidence-based approach combines FDA-approved medications, such as methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone, with behavioral services to effectively sustain recovery.

Methadone, a long-acting opioid agonist, helps reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, also alleviates cravings and withdrawal while minimizing the risk of misuse. Naltrexone, an opioid antagonist, blocks the euphoric effects of opioids, further supporting recovery.

When combined with counseling and behavioral therapy, these medications provide a holistic approach to treatment. They address the physiological aspects of addiction and the psychological and social factors that contribute to it. MAT allows individuals to focus on their recovery journey by reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Sustaining recovery is a challenging process, and MAT offers invaluable support. It improves retention in treatment, reduces the risk of relapse, and ultimately improves the quality of life for individuals with OUD and SUDs.

Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment


MAT is a highly effective approach to treating opioid use disorder (OUD), offering a range of benefits that contribute to improved outcomes for individuals seeking recovery.

One of the key advantages of MAT is its ability to reduce relapse rates significantly. By utilizing FDA-approved medications like methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone, MAT helps alleviate withdrawal symptoms and curb cravings, making it easier for individuals to overcome the urge to use opioids again. The increased stability and reduction in cravings allow individuals to focus on their recovery journey and develop the necessary coping skills to maintain abstinence in the long term.

Additionally, MAT can lower instances of risky behavior associated with OUD, such as using dirty needles. By providing access to these medications, MAT decreases the need for individuals to engage in unsafe injection practices, thereby reducing the risk of contracting bloodborne infections like HIV and Hepatitis C. It benefits the individual’s health and contributes to the overall public health by helping decrease the spread of these diseases in the community.

Break the Cycle of Addiction 


Overall, the effectiveness of medication-assisted treatment in reducing relapse rates, curbing cravings, lowering risky behavior, and decreasing infection rates has been well-documented. 

Fall River Suboxone Doctor offers a comprehensive and evidence-based approach to treating opioid use disorder, providing individuals with the support they need to break the cycle of addiction and achieve lasting recovery.

If you or someone you know could benefit from medication-assisted treatment, please get in touch with Fall River Suboxone Doctor to learn more about our services and how we can help.

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