The abuse of opioids is an ongoing crisis in this country. Each day hundreds die from overdoses and related issues surrounding addiction. Treatment experts in the field are always looking for innovative strategies that will save lives. Medication-assisted therapy or MAT is one of those strategies and is available at Northern Illinois Recovery. Our medication-assisted treatment center can help those dealing with opioid addiction manage their cravings and withdrawal symptoms as they work through rehab.
What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?
Medication-assisted therapy (MAT) is a unique program available to those with an opioid or alcohol addiction. It combines drug therapy and behavioral management to create a path to recovery.
MAT is a primary element in The Substance Use Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities (SUPPORT) Act. This law gives the medical community greater flexibility in using drug therapy to treat addiction.
How Does Medication-Assisted Treatment Work?
What is medication-assisted treatment for, exactly, though, how does it work? The goal of MAT is to provide medication that helps promote sobriety while at the same time using counseling and therapy to change behaviors that lead to abuse. During MAT, our team strictly administers medications to help clients manage their addiction. We monitor progress and adjust treatment as necessary. During this treatment, individuals will be able to take advantage of several therapies, such as:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Family therapy
- Group therapy
- Yoga therapy
- Individual therapy
- Trauma therapy
How it works depends on different factors, including whether your addiction is to an opioid such as a prescription pain reliever or a street drug like heroin or alcohol. As a result, the two programs take a somewhat different approach.
What Is Medication-Assisted Therapy for Opioid Abuse?
One of the biggest obstacles in opioid recovery is the craving to use. Opioids stimulate the production of dopamine in the brain — the feel-good chemical. When dopamine floods the brain, it creates a feeling of euphoria.
The risk of addiction is very high with opioids, in part, because of this euphoric effect. Medication-assisted therapy uses drugs that help reduce the urge to use opioids and, at the same time, may help control some of the harsh withdrawal symptoms.
Drugs like methadone, for example, work in much the same way as an opioid but are easier to stop using because there are fewer harsh withdrawal symptoms. In addition, when someone is on a methadone program, it gives their body a chance to detox from the opioid drugs safely.
Buprenorphine products are often part of a medication-assisted therapy program. This drug helps to reduce the effects of withdrawal. However, a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone can also block the effect of an opioid. As a result, if someone does relapse, they don’t experience the same feeling, making drug use less effective.
What Is Medication-Assisted Therapy for Alcohol Abuse?
When asking what medication-assisted treatment is, you might be asking about its use in alcohol rehab. The core concept is about the same, but the medication is different. For alcohol, MAT uses Disulfiram, sometimes called Antabuse. It works by making drinking alcohol unpleasant. You get the hangover immediately, so you might experience nausea, a headache, and vomiting when you drink.
Where to Get Medication-Assisted Treatment?
Maybe your question is not what is medication-assisted treatment, but where can I find it? Unfortunately, it is only available in specific treatment facilities such as Northern Illinois Recovery. Northern Illinois Recovery offers:
- Inpatient/residential care
- Partial hospitalization
- Intensive outpatient treatment
- Outpatient services
- Sober living
We also specialize in medication-assisted therapy. We work with both men and women, handle any addiction, and offer evidence-based treatment like MAT. Northern Illinois Recovery provides an alternative to driving into Chicago to find a treatment center. Our facility sits in Crystal Lake and services northern Illinois plus some areas of Wisconsin. If you or someone you love suffers from an opioid or alcohol addiction disorder, give us a call at 855.786.1978 today and ask about medication-assisted treatment.