Indiana is one of the many states that have suffered from the U.S. opioid crisis. Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is an opioid dependency treatment approach that combines behavioral therapy with stabilizing medication. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines MAT as the use of FDA-approved medications as part of the treatment process to help individuals struggling with a substance use disorder. This treatment is not a prescription for medication alone, but rather a focus on therapy while the individual receives customized care under the guidance of medical professionals.
Medication-Assisted Treatment is most commonly used to treat opioid addiction. After all, it is one of the most innovative methods of treatment. This treatment is administered in conjunction with therapy, counseling, and support groups in a medically-supervised rehabilitation center. Across the U.S. an estimated 130 individuals die each day from an opioid-related overdose. This combination of medication and behavioral therapies is an effective method of treating opioid dependency. In addition, it helps individuals sustain long-term recovery.
Types of Medications Used in MAT for Opioid Dependency
Addiction affects each individual in different ways and Medication-Assisted Treatment is an effective method in combating the disease throughout the recovery process. Research shows that MAT can help patients adhere to the recovery process while mitigating cravings and reducing the likelihood of relapse compared with other non-medicated approaches.
Medications approved by the FDA are prescribed and distributed by medical professionals who understand the complex nature of opioid dependency. Here are the different types of medications used in Medication-Assisted Treatment in Indiana.
Vivitrol is an FDA-approved injectable medication designed to mitigate opioid cravings for an extended period of time. The injection is administered once a month during treatment. Naltrexone is designed to ward off opioid cravings, alleviate physical withdrawal symptoms, and prevent potential overdose. Before the first injection, patients are required to abstain from opiates for 14 days to avoid potentially provoking precipitated withdrawals.
Suboxone is a partial agonist that is administered in pill or sublingual film form. Essentially, this specific medication does not fully bind to opioid receptors. Suboxone is comprised of buprenorphine and naloxone which is effective for treating opioid withdrawal and mitigating opioid cravings. If an individual relapses – on heroin or prescription painkillers – while taking Suboxone, he/she will experience adverse effects as naloxone counteracts the effects of opioids on the brain.
Methadone is a medication administered in pill, liquid, and wafer forms. This medication is a full agonist which means it combines with receptors in the brain and central nervous system in order to produce the desired effect. Lessening the uncomfortable opioid withdrawal symptoms, Methadone also blocks the euphoric effects produced by opioids. When properly administered, Methadone helps mitigate opioid cravings.
Benefits of Medication Assisted Treatment
Medication-Assisted Treatment programs in Indiana incorporate the use of medications and therapy. The goal is to reduce risky behaviors and increase the patient’s adherence to recovery as a whole. MAT combines this dual approach with the common goals of:
- Addressing underlying behaviors that often lead to opioid dependency
- Encouraging patients to treat any existing psychiatric disorders
- Participating in individual/group counseling
- Reconnecting to family support systems
- Establishing participation in 12-step fellowships
- Mitigating opioid cravings
- Minimizing opioid withdrawal symptoms
- Increasing patients’ retention in treatment
- Improving social functioning
- Lowering risks of infectious-disease transmission
- Reducing criminal activities
- Establishing healthy coping skills
- Lowering patients’ risk of relapse
- Preventing overdose deaths
- Promoting mental/physical stability
By reducing withdrawal symptoms and eliminating cravings, individuals in treatment are able to focus more on their therapy and recovery than on obsessive thoughts about drug use. As a result, patients will have an easier time staying clean. In addition, when therapy is used for longer amounts of time, the treatment process significantly improves the odds that a person will remain sober.
In addition, there are federal laws regulating the use of MAT. For example, patients receiving MAT must have access to counseling, medical care, vocational assistance, educational services, and other treatment services. In the end, the ultimate goal of MAT is to help individuals achieve a full recovery and the ability to live a life free from addictive substances.
Medication Therapy Program at PAX Riverbend
During your stay here at PAX Recovery Center in Jeffersonville, we will also provide you the opportunity to express your feelings in both group therapy, and individual therapy. Talking about any negative emotions or reservations about living sober are addressed while you are here and our drug counselors will help create an individualized treatment plan to help you decrease your chances of relapsing. Our certified addiction specialists will also discuss how to help you avoid triggers that cause drug cravings as well as helping you learn how to find support groups when you leave our facility.