5 Essential Things to Know about Medication-Assisted Treatment

doctor and patient discussing medications

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is an evidence-based approach that helps individuals with substance use disorders overcome addiction. By combining medications with counseling and behavioral therapies, MAT provides a comprehensive and effective strategy for recovery. 

If you or a loved one is going through the recovery process, it’s helpful to understand what MAT is and how it works. Let’s explore five essential things to know about medication-assisted treatment, shedding light on its benefits, considerations and impact on the journey to sobriety.

1. Comprehensive Approach

Medication-assisted treatment takes a comprehensive approach to addiction recovery. It combines specific medications, such as methadone, buprenorphine or naltrexone, with counseling and behavioral therapies. This multi-faceted approach addresses the physical, psychological and behavioral aspects of addiction, providing a holistic framework for recovery.

2. FDA-Approved Medications 

MAT is most effective for opioid and alcohol use disorders. Medications used for opioid addiction, such as methadone and buprenorphine, work by reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms so that you can focus on your recovery. Medications like naltrexone block the effects of opioids and alcohol, making substance use less rewarding.

3. Individualized Treatment

MAT is an individualized treatment, taking into account each person's unique needs and circumstances. Healthcare professionals assess the severity of addiction, medical history and other factors to determine the most appropriate medication and dosage. All treatment plans support the individual's recovery journey, promoting long-term success.

4. Effectiveness and Benefits

MAT has been proven effective in reducing opioid and alcohol use, improving treatment retention rates and decreasing the risk of relapse. Research shows that combining medications with counseling and behavioral therapies leads to better outcomes compared to medication alone or no treatment at all. MAT can also reduce the risk of infectious diseases, criminal activity and overdose-related deaths.

5. Considerations and Misconceptions

It's important to address some misconceptions surrounding medication-assisted treatment. First, MAT is not substituting one addiction for another but rather providing a controlled and monitored medication to support recovery. 

Second, medications used in MAT are safe and approved by the FDA when prescribed and used as directed. Third, MAT is should be seen as a long-term treatment option, as the duration of medication use may vary for each individual.

Medication-Assisted Treatment in Pennsylvania 

Medication-assisted treatment is a valuable and evidence-based approach for individuals seeking recovery from opioid or alcohol use disorders. By combining medications with counseling and behavioral therapies, MAT provides a comprehensive and individualized path to sobriety. 

Recovery Cove offers medication-assisted treatment to reduce withdrawal symptoms and minimize cravings. Contact our team today to learn more about our outpatient services. Our medical team will determine if MAT is the right fit for your recovery needs.