Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Studies prove that a mix of medication and therapy not only can actively heal substance use disorder but also maintain rehabilitation for some.

Steadily, medication-assisted treatments prove to be the most effective way to reduce symptoms of withdrawal, eliminate cravings, and addiction treatment. In many cases, combining medication-assisted treatment and addiction counseling can significantly increase the potential for long-term recovery. Medication-assisted treatments are most potent during the early recovery stage when the recovering person is experiencing heroin detoxification and withdrawal. When you quit administering the addictive substance, be it caffeine or heroin, your body enters into withdrawal mode. As the body get rid of its dependence on the habitual substance it enters into a state of withdrawal.

Withdrawal symptoms can include fever, headache, coldness, sickness, and more. The duration of these physical symptoms can last minimum one week and maximum one month. As for the mental symptoms, including anxiety, low spirits, anger, and stress, they can last a few months. Evidently, medications can treat these symptoms, which leads to fewer cravings for the drug. Studies show that MAT can help addiction patients to improve their social lives. As patients who are treated with medication have a better chance to continue to receive addiction treatment as opposed to those who rely on addiction counseling solely.

Furthermore, medication can help the recovering person reduce cravings and prevent relapse. Even if the person didn’t go through heroin detoxification first. What’s more, medication can prevent death from opioids overdose. Drug overdose is ranked as one of the top causes of accidental death in America. According to the CDC WONDER, more than 64,000 Americans lost their lives to a drug overdose with over 20,000 deaths related to synthetic opioids overdose.

Understanding MAT, and how it Works

To understand how MAT works, it is of utmost importance to understand the effects of opioids like heroin on the brain and the body. Opiates work by penetrating through the blood-brain barrier and sticking to the receptors on brain cells, which unleash a flood of neurotransmitters and brain activity. That’s why and how people feel a rush when they consume the opioids. The brain activity can develop a physiological dependence on the drug but not always. For some people can become addicted but only if their genetic and psychological makeups alter how the drug is perceived.

MAT can work in two different ways. Firstly, Dr. Simon Casey can give people a weaker opiate that has the same effect on the brain but with slow absorption into the blood, which breaks the psychological link between the drug and the immediate high. In effect, it can also help the withdrawal symptoms. Secondly, Dr. Simon Casey can also give opioid antagonist, a non-opioid drug that connects to the brain and blocks the receptors. When and if the person relapse, he won’t feel high. Notably, if someone stops the addiction treatment and relapse, there will serious implications. The person’s tolerance for the drug will decline after long months of sobriety, especially when subjected to antagonist treatment.

Ousted health secretary Tom Price who is an outspoken skeptic of MAT pointed out that “if we’re just substituting one opioid for another, we’re not moving the dial much.” While a valid point, Dr. Stuart Gitlow, past president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine counter-argued that “the drug that we’re replacing is a dangerous one that will kill you, and we’re replacing it with a drug that allows you to go back to work and have money in your pocket and allow you to live normally again.”

Granted, what worked for someone doesn’t have to work for everybody. According to the experts, MAT has indeed worked for a lot of people but that isn’t an automatic guarantee that it will work for everyone. Given that, everybody is different, leading a different life, with a different personality, and different brain.

MAT is Science-based Not Opinion-based

However, there’s no reason to believe MAT will not help you overcome your addiction. The evidence clearly suggests that MAT will most likely give better results than psychotherapy alone. Firstly, it greatly reduces the risk of relapse. Secondly, MAT proved itself as a strong defense against infectious diseases such as HIV. Finally, medication-assisted therapy can prevent overdoses to a great degree.

Dr. Simon Casey has been treating people with opioid addictions for years. With effective heroin detox that help you get started on your journey to full recovery. Your safety always comes first. Dr. Simon Casey uses FDA-approved medications, including buprenorphine, naltrexone, and methadone. Each comes with risks and rewards, but Dr. Simon Casey will help you find what will work for you at the right dose.