Medically Assisted Treatment For Addiction Really Works – Here’s Why

Written by Chloe Nicosia

The Case For Medically Assisted Treatment For Addiction

Addiction treatment for both drugs and alcohol has benefited from medicines that ease symptoms during withdrawal and those that reduce the risk of relapse. Medically assisted treatment (MAT) for addiction has proven to an effective tool for people recovering from addiction. As the United States deals with an escalating opioid crisis, medical treatment for addiction is expected to play a greater role in reducing overdoses and increasing recovery rates.

Medically Assisted Treatment For Addiction

When individuals stop using an addictive substance, the body goes through a withdrawal that creates a number of symptoms. Depending on the substance used, some symptoms can be extremely difficult to deal with. Fear of withdrawal symptoms are the primary reason may addicts don’t get help, and the reason so many fail during a withdrawal attempt. Some withdrawal symptoms include pain, nausea, diarrhea, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and irritability. Medical detox is available in all top rate addiction treatment facilities, and makes the process so much easier for the addict seeking to get clean.

Medically assisted treatment is the use of approved medications for addiction treatment along with rehab, counseling, and therapy. Better Addiction Care (BAC) is a free addiction treatment referral service. BAC only refers people to the very best treatment facilities that offer continuous care. You can speak to one of their professional rehab advisors by calling 1.800.429.7690. Discuss the circumstances of your needs or that of a loved one and let them connect you to the right treatment facility providing medically assisted treatment for addiction.

Medically Assisted Treatment For Opioid Addiction

The purpose behind medically assisted treatment for opioid addiction is the normalization of brain chemistry, the blocking of euphoric effects, relief from physiological cravings, and normalization of body functions. The primary drugs used to treat opioid addiction are methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone.

  • Methadone – When methadone is taken, the brain is tricked into thinking it is still receiving the drug that was being abused. It doesn’t create a euphoric sensation so the person feels normal and withdrawal does not occur.
  • Buprenorphine – This drug also suppresses and reduces cravings for the opioid drug that was being abused. It can be used in a sublingual tablet that is placed under the tongue or in traditional pill form.
  • Naltrexone – When using naltrexone for the treatment of opioid addiction, if the individual relapses and takes a dose of the previously abused drug, the feelings of euphoria associated with the opioid are blocked as are the effects of the drug.

It’s often the case that people can safely take these MAT medications for months or several years. Their treatment program must be under the direction of a doctor who will decide when they are ready to stop taking the medication.

Medically Assisted Treatment For Alcohol

Individuals abusing alcohol also have hope in the form of three medications approved by the FDA for treating addiction. The drugs are naltrexone, acamprosate (Campral®),  and disulfiram (Antabuse®). Medically assisted treatment for alcohol is restoring lives.

  • Naltrexone – This drug is an opioid receptor blocker that interferes with the reward effects of alcohol use and reduces cravings. It has also been highly effective in preventing relapse to heavy drinking. Genetic differences can affect how in works in certain people.
  • Acamprosate (Campral®) – The long-lasting withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, and dysphoria can be reduced by the use of acamprosate. The drug tends to be most effective for patients experiencing severe addiction.
  • Disulfiram (Antabuse®) – This drug interferes with how alcohol breaks down. It causes unpleasant symptoms if a person drinks alcohol after taking the medication as directed. It causes acetaldehyde to build up in the body, which causes flushing, nausea, and irregular heartbeat if alcohol is consumed. Individuals who are motivated to quit can do well with disulfiram. If there is no motivation, the individuals may not take the medication as prescribed.

Better Addiction Care (BAC) is a free addiction treatment center referral service. Call 1.800.429.7690 now, to speak to an addiction counselor and discuss the needs you have for yourself or a family member. After asking you some questions, BAC will be able to determine the best addiction treatment facility for you or your loved one. Medicine is available that makes it possible for everyone to get rid of drugs or alcohol and go into recovery. Don’t waste another day of life when you can recover it.

Sources:

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-approaches-drug-addiction

https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/treatment#medications-used-in-mat