Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a protocol for treating certain addictions that combines medication with therapy. It is most common in treating alcohol and opioid addictions. MAT programs rely on a deep base of evidence and research showing their effectiveness in helping people achieve sobriety. The history of MAT programs for substance abuse dates back to the 1950s. Since then, programs have become much more sophisticated as the medical understanding of opioids has advanced. Reach out to South Tampa Psychiatry at 866.273.5017 to better understand the elements of a MAT program.
Benefits of a MAT Program
Medications used in our treatment centers work by stopping the positive effects of drugs like alcohol or opioids. Many of the medications we use in our programs also reduce cravings and alleviate withdrawal symptoms that otherwise might derail recovery from an alcohol or opioid use disorder. Explore more of the specific benefits of MAT programs for substance abuse below.
Supports Safer Withdrawal
The withdrawal period experienced during detox from alcohol and opioids can be uncomfortable. In the case of severe alcohol addiction, it can even include delirium tremens and hallucinations. One benefit of MAT programs is that the medications used typically alleviate the worst aspects of withdrawal. Since this is the first major hurdle to achieving sobriety, it can make a significant difference in setting a proper foundation for long-term recovery.
Better Treatment Retention
People who access a MAT program display higher retention rates in treatment than people who engage in other kinds of addiction treatment. Since battling addiction is a lifelong process, persisting through treatment is critical.
Decreases Illegal Drug Use
Research indicates that using medication decreases illegal drug use among our treatment participants. This may be in part because of the way medications inherent to a MAT program target a reduction in someone’s usage. For instance, some medicines available in alcohol addiction treatment result in adverse side effects when someone has a drink. That helps their brain link alcohol use with those negative side effects, acting as a deterrent against future consumption. In the case of an opioid-focused MAT program, the medication cuts off the euphoric feeling they get from taking an opioid. Once that is eliminated, it is easier for them to maintain sobriety as their body is able to break its association between opioid use and positive impacts.
Another thing indicated by research on MAT programs is their ability to prevent relapse at higher rates than other treatment methods.
Fewer Health Concerns
One other significant benefit of this treatment method in our programs is decreasing health concerns related to alcohol and opioid addiction. Particularly in the case of opioid addictions, MAT programs can help lower the risk of HIV and Hepatitis C that might otherwise result from opioid use.
Moreover, opioid abuse and addiction come with a high risk of overdose. The MAT program approach lowers the risk of death. Another significant health benefit specific to women is that MAT improves pregnancy outcomes.
Consider Treatment at South Tampa Psychiatry Today
South Tampa Psychiatry’s MAT program in Florida is fully-equipped to treat a range of substance abuse disorders. The most common medications used in our treatment program include:
Each medication provides relief during withdrawal, reduces cravings, and supports abstinence. Moreover, South Tampa Psychiatry prioritizes incorporating mental health treatment within addiction treatment. We bolster our MAT program with a range of mental health supports and treatments, including TMS therapy for depression. Each of our clients can also expect robust professional support for anxiety disorders and bipolar disorder. Find the help you need with our MAT program for substance abuse by calling 866.273.5017.