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April 26, 2023

What Is Medical Treatment For Addiction?


A successful, evidence-based drug treatment program features many components. When we think of those components, programs like medical detox, 12-step programs, and therapy come to mind. Another essential component of drug treatment that’s become increasingly population is medical treatment for addiction or medication-assisted treatment (MAT). When used in conjunction with other programs and services, addiction medical treatment can be an effective tool in helping addicts overcome substance abuse and helps them to lead healthy and happy lives.

This article will explore medical treatment for addiction, common medications used in MAT, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of medication-assisted addiction treatment. If you need more information on the benefits of MAT, contact the Last House today. Our men’s sober living programs feature the clinical and peer support you need to break free from addiction. Call us today to learn more about our Los Angeles sober living homes.

What is Medical Treatment for Addiction?

Medical treatment for addiction involves the use of medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in conjunction with evidence-based behavioral therapy and other forms of counseling. Medications can greatly benefit addicts early in the recovery process when they experience physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms that are often painful and uncomfortable to endure. Medication-assisted addiction therapy can help make withdrawal symptoms more tolerable and help clients become both physically and psychologically stable.

It is important to note that MAT programs will only be used if treatment staff deems it necessary after a thorough evaluation at the start of treatment. If medication-assisted treatment is utilized, experienced treatment staff will carefully administer the proper medication at the right doses to patients in a controlled and safe environment. Additionally, staff will monitor clients throughout the process and administer other interventions if necessary to safeguard the client’s health.

What Types of Medications Are Used in Medication-Assisted Addiction Treatment?

While MAT programs are relatively new to drug rehab and treatment, the roots of medication-based treatment go back to the 1950s with the introduction of methadone. Created as a pain reliever by German scientists during World War II, methadone was first used in drug treatment in the 1950s. While effective, methadone is also highly addictive. Over the years, medications such as Suboxone, buprenorphine, and naloxone were formulated and introduced into MAT programs. These medications are highly effective and have less risk of dependence when compared to methadone.

What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Medical Treatment for Addiction?

Addiction medical treatment provides clients with numerous benefits that aid them in the recovery process. As stated earlier, MAT programs are effective in easing the pain and discomfort of withdrawal symptoms. MAT programs also are beneficial in reducing cravings and lowering the risk of an overdose. Additionally, MAT programs help clients who are struggling early in recovery gain confidence. By design, these programs help ease the transition to a more intensive drug treatment program.

While effective, there are drawbacks associated with medication-assisted therapy. Firstly, MAT programs are not a cure. While effective, these programs won’t work for everyone. Each person who enters treatment has unique and specific needs, and they need to carefully weigh all options. Secondly, there is a risk of being addicted to medications. For example, buprenorphine is a synthesized opioid, and people can experience the same euphoria and rush they felt when using opioids or other drugs. Many MAT medications are only effective when substances have completely cleared one’s system.

There is also the matter of insurance. While an increasing number of insurance companies are covering MAT programs, the cost of me many insurance companies either won’t cover the cost or only provide a small discount. If clients are uninsured or underinsured, MAT programs can be difficult to get into or may be out of reach altogether. Most importantly, MAT programs are not a cure. These programs are designed to be effective for the short term, are they are meant to be a part of a comprehensive drug treatment program.

Reclaim Your Health with Help from The Nook

Addiction destroys lives and ruins families. If you or a loved one are sliding further down the rabbit hole of addiction, The Nook can help. We offer quality sober living programs designed for both men and women. In addition to sober living, The Nook also offers evidence-based outpatient treatment focused on giving you the tools and support you need to find lasting sobriety. We are committed to helping you transform your life. Call The Nook today and take back control of your life.

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