What is medication assisted treatment?

MAT involves specialized treatment from dedicated professionals. Typically with medications and therapy designed to minimize side effects and withdrawal symptoms they experience during recovery. Combined, both courses of treatment also directly address both the behavioral health and mental health of recovering patients.

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    The benefits of medication assisted treatment in San Diego

    An effective combination and medication and therapy, applied by certified professionals, can have significant benefits both in and after detox. As outlined by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), MAT has shown to: 

    • Improve patient survival rates by focusing not just on immediate recovery but on positive long-term effects, as well.
    • Increase retention in treatment, thanks to effective treatment of side effects and withdrawal symptoms.
    • Decrease illicit use of opiates and other criminal activity among people diagnosed with substance abuse.
    • Improve birth outcomes among women who struggle with substance abuse while being pregnant.

    Medication assisted treatment has also shown to improve the ability of patients to not just gain, but maintain their employment. Their chances of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and habit improve drastically. Thus, creating a safer and more productive environment for both themselves and their loved ones.

    According to the SAMHSA, MAT has even contributed to lowering a former patient’s risk of contracting HIV and hepatitis C. This is simply because the chances of a relapse are lower as a result of its focus on long-term benefits. It has proven to be just as effective for opioid addiction as it has been for alcohol abuse and other drugs.  

    Our medication  assisted treatment has the potential to offer a more holistic path to recovery than many other types of rehabilitation. The combination of both medication and therapy treats not just the symptoms. 

    This holistic approach attacks the issue at the root cause of addiction. This leads to healthier patients that are more likely to continue their life on the right path. These patients may be less likely to fall into a potential relapse.

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    Medications approved for MAT therapies

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several medications for use in helping patients improve and recover from substance abuse. Each has slightly different benefits and uses, and they are not interchangeable. Instead, certified medical professionals should choose and prescribe the right medication for the right situation.

    For example, the best and most common medications to treat alcohol use disorder are acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone:

    • Acamprosate helps to adjust the brains of people who have been drinking alcohol for a long time. It does not prevent withdrawal symptoms. However, it helps the brain get back to chemical balance that can help to prevent it from craving alcohol.
    • Disulfiram is used to treat alcohol use disorder because it produces an immediate sensitivity to alcohol. Patients who take disulfiram will experience headaches, nausea, vomiting, weakness, sweating, choking, and anxiety. They can experience these symptoms as soon as 10 minutes after treatment. It should only ever be used in the presence of medical professionals and within the context of a larger treatment plan.
    • Naltrexone is a daily medication treatment that takes a long-term path to recovery. Not recommended for anyone younger than 18 years, it blocks the effects of alcohol opioids that makes it so effective. Because it is not an opioid itself, it does not come with the potential for abuse, addiction, or withdrawal symptoms

    For patients with an opioid dependence, on the other hand, the SAMHSA recommends Buprenorphine and Naltrexone:

    • Buprenorphine is best used in moderate doses. It produces feelings of euphoria and respiratory depression, creating similar effects to opioids that in turn reduce feelings of withdrawal. The body thinks it has what it craves, helping the recovery in the process.
    • Naltrexone can be used for opioid treatments as well. It works in similar ways to block the sedative and euphoric effects of taking drugs.

    Finally, Naloxone is an effective way to reverse the toxic effects of an opioid overdose and somewhat minimize its harmful effects. 

    Of course, none of these medications can work effectively in isolation. Instead, they are best used as part of a larger treatment plan. Including the right therapy, administered by professionals who know their craft. It is important for professionals to do everything they can to help their patients on the long road to recovery.

    Throughout the therapeutic process, much of the philosophy and principles of the twelve-step communities, such as AA and NA, and other recovery organizations, such as Refuge Recovery and Smart Recovery are introduced in a supportive setting in which the language used and the manner of presentation, helps to encourage participation.

    Finding Effective medication-assisted treatment options

    The benefits of MAT are both evidence-based and backed by extensive research. At the same time, the medications required for effective treatments are in many cases sensitive. Therefore they can only be used within the right context and measure. That’s what makes finding professional medication-assisted treatment in San Diego such an important task.

    Patients need both care and expertise to move from substance use disorder and back to a healthy life. They need it from certified professionals who always, and at all times, have their patients’ best interests in mind.

    Villa Oasis can be that place. Our addiction treatment options are extensive and can help even patients with severe use disorders. We aim to support all of our patients as they find their way back to a happy and healthy life. We offer an MAT program that includes holistic treatment options ranging from behavioral counseling to long-term therapy. 

    We’re also a dual diagnosis treatment center for concurrent mental health conditions like anxiety. Our holistic approach to treatment can prevent patients from falling into the cycle of relapse.

    If you or a loved one needs help, our professionals can help with effective and research-backed medication assisted treatment options. Contact us to schedule a tour and see why our rehab treatment programs are the best in Southern California.

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