Could Medication Assisted Treatment Be Right For You?
Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of certain medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a unique approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. MAT can make a world of difference in long-term recovery for those struggling with addiction or alcoholism.
Medications for Alcohol Use Disorder (MAUD)
Acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone are the most common drugs used to treat alcohol use disorder (AUD). They do not provide a cure for the disorder but are most effective in people who participate in a MAUD program.
Acamprosate - is for people in recovery, who are no longer drinking alcohol and want to avoid drinking. It works to prevent people from drinking alcohol, but it does not prevent withdrawal symptoms after people drink alcohol. The use of acamprosate typically begins on the fifth day of abstinence, reaching full effectiveness in five to eight days. It is taken in tablet form three times a day.
Disulfiram - treats chronic alcoholism and is most effective in people who have already stopped drinking alcohol or are in the initial stage of abstinence. Taken in a tablet form once a day, disulfiram should never be taken while intoxicated and it should not be taken for at least 12 hours after drinking alcohol. Unpleasant side effects (nausea, headache, vomiting, chest pains, difficulty breathing) can occur as soon as ten minutes after drinking even a small amount of alcohol.
Naltrexone - blocks the euphoric effects and feelings of intoxication and allows people with alcohol use disorders to reduce alcohol use and to remain motivated to continue to take the medication, stay in treatment, and avoid relapses.
Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD)
Suboxone, methadone, and naltrexone are often used to treat opioid use disorders (OUD) to short-acting opioids such as heroin, morphine, and codeine, as well as semi-synthetic opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone. These medications are safe to use for months or years. As with any medication, consult your doctor before discontinuing use.
Suboxone - is a brand name of Buprenorphine. It suppresses and reduces cravings for opioids.
Methadone - reduces opioid cravings and withdrawal and blunts or blocks the effects of opioids.
Naltrexone - blocks the euphoric and sedative effects of opioids and prevents feelings of euphoria.
Know Your Rights:
You can receive MAT without counseling or out-patient treatment for an OUD. While not advisable it is within your rights as per 'Section 1262 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023.' Read a letter issued from the Department of Health and Human Services regarding MAT.