The United States has been relaxing its drug laws in the past couple of years.
While this may seem like a good thing, the problem is that drugs are now more widely available and loved by many. It is not uncommon to have friends or family members who have had to deal with substance abuse at some point. As such, many are opting for medication-assisted treatment (MAT).
But is it the right option for you? Keep reading for all the information regarding addiction treatment and its benefits.
1. Relief From the Pain of Debilitating Withdrawal Symptoms
Medication assisted treatment here can provide both short- and long-term relief. It helps to ease painful, debilitating withdrawal symptoms. This includes restlessness, anxiety, and agitation, allowing users to focus on recovery.
MAT can also reduce the potential for relapse and is proactively used to support long-term sobriety. Patients are under monitoring during MAT to prevent the overuse of aids and to provide support for abstaining from substance use.
2. Minimizes Cravings
MAT minimizes cravings by providing a combination of medications. These medications block the physical and psychological effects of substance abuse. It supports this by providing therapy to help the individual cope with cravings and other symptoms of withdrawal.
The medications approved for use in MAT can help reduce the risk of relapse. They regulate opioid receptor activity. It does this by blocking the reward pathways in the brain, which can reduce cravings.
Counseling can provide support and structure to the individual. It helps to reduce the stress and anxiety that often accompany addictive behaviors. Individuals can cut cravings and gain control over their substance abuse.
This allows those in recovery to focus on restoring balance in their lives. They will spend less time obsessing about managing cravings.
3. Reduces Overdose Risks
The medication gives people with opioid addiction the ability to regulate dopamine levels. This eliminates the urge to use higher doses of drugs in pursuit of a greater high.
For example, due to the drug’s ability to block opioid receptors, doctors can use injectable Naloxone in the event of an opioid overdose. This can lead to a reversal of the overdose.
4. Supports Behavioral Modification
MAT supports behavioral modification by providing structure and routine. Skilled counselors help individuals begin to understand why they seek out drugs and alcohol. They help patients strive to build motivation for seeking an alternative pursuit.
MAT allows individuals to begin to build the mechanisms to change their behaviors. It helps people change their thought processes that once led to addiction and relapse.
In addition, MAT can increase independence. It allows individuals to manage medication abandonment and outpatient therapy on their own.
5. Increases Retention in Treatment
MAT is an effective tool to increase retention in recovery programs. MAT has been widely accepted and shown to provide consistently better outcomes than other forms of treatment.
This is because it combines both pharmacological and behavioral aspects of treatment. So it becomes a more effective form of addiction treatment than either modality alone.
The medications used in MAT reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms of substance use disorder. The use of MAT alongside therapy and/or group counseling is standard. So this provides individuals with a comprehensive approach as they strive to remain abstinent.
Additionally, MAT extends the treatment duration and duration of abstinence. The medications prescribed for MAT are only effective if a person is fully engaged in treatment. So it reinforces why retention in treatment is so important.
MAT provides an important piece of the puzzle for individuals to maintain their recovery. The treatment encourages and forces patients to work towards a fulfilling, drug-free life.
6. Improves the Effectiveness of Counseling
Because MAT can diminish cravings, counseling can focus on the psychological and social aspects of recovery. Counseling also allows a person to address any underlying issues that might have led to addiction. They can identify what might maintain or exacerbates it.
For example, counseling can help a person work on trauma or mental health issues that have a connection to their addiction. It can also reduce potential distractions and make it easier for a person to focus on the recovery process.
7. Decreases Severity of Underlying Mental Health Symptoms
MAT is a holistic and versatile approach to treating mental health issues. It addresses the underlying causes of mental health issues which can both lead to substance use disorders. This includes problems with self-regulation and emotion dysregulation.
The medications help to stabilize the mood, reduce anxiety levels, and reduce impulsive behaviors. So it allows the individual to take part in effective psychological therapy. Access to resources, such as support groups or housing opportunities, is also available for a better recovery process.
It is important to note that MAT is not a one size fits all approach. It caters to the individual needs of the patient. As such, patients can receive the treatment they need.
Additionally, due to the severity of some mental health issues, patients may need to combine MAT with other approaches. Patients might still need to undergo cognitive behavioral therapy. Or they may need motivational interviewing for their treatment to be successful.
8. Reduces Risk-Taking Behaviors
MAT helps to improve a person’s mental and emotional well-being. This allows the individual to have a better assessment of the contents or pleasures of their lives without having to consume a substance.
The support and guidance provided by MAT can help to reduce risky behaviors and help in better decision-making. Individuals can therefore start and maintain a healthy and substance-free life.
9. Improves Birth Outcomes for Women
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) has been shown to improve birth outcomes for women. The medications in the treatment can then help women stay in treatment and stick with their medication regimen. This is especially important during pregnancy, as withdrawals can cause preterm labor.
MAT can also reduce the chances of a risky delivery and/or Cesarean section, reduce birth defects, and improve postnatal outcomes. MAT is also related to better partner interactions and reduced substance use during pregnancy.
All these factors can help women to improve their outlook for a safe and healthy pregnancy and delivery. So in conclusion, MAT is a powerful tool for improving birth outcomes for women with substance use disorder.
10. Helps With Gaining and Maintaining Stable Employment
By taking prescribed medications, individuals can focus on finding and maintaining employment. This includes developing important job search and career development skills. Patients can better manage their time as well as enhance their problem-solving.
MAT can also stabilize mood and reduce anxiety, helping clients to become more successful in the workplace. Furthermore, being employed increases self-esteem and improves overall wellness.
MAT helps individuals to gain the social and financial security that can come with stable employment. They become more independent and gain a purpose in the world. The treatment provides a solid foundation for change and lasting addiction recovery.
11. No Straining the Budget
MAT medications are often less costly than prolonged inpatient and intensive outpatient therapies. It is a more affordable way for people suffering from addiction. They can address their behaviors, patterns, and perceptions of their cravings without going broke.
This addiction treatment also reduces the financial burden on families of those with the disorder. This is because the outpatient nature of treatments allows for the patient to access a wide range of care at an affordable rate. Thus, MAT presents a more financially sustainable option for people struggling with addiction.
Additionally, MAT can help reduce recidivism rates and give people a better chance at long-term sober living. This can reduce the burden on courts and jails, saving taxpayers money. It can also reduce the costs of buying more substances that patients may continue to use.
12. Reduces Mortality Rates
MAT for addiction has been proven to reduce mortality rates due to the prevention of relapse. Many medications used can help minimize negative symptoms of withdrawal. And they also block the euphoric effects of opiates.
13. Gives the People You Love Assurance
MAT is an invaluable tool for friends and loved ones of users. This is because it provides an evidence-based level of care that improves chances for long-term sobriety and quality of life.
MAT protocols allow those close to the user the ability to take comfort. They can rest assured knowing that there is an organized modality used to help in the addiction recovery process. It also speaks to larger policy initiatives on an institutional level for people suffering from addiction.
Take Control of Your Addiction Through Medication-Assisted Treatment
Medication-assisted treatment is an effective and scientific way of treating substance use disorders. It has a proven efficacy rate at reducing relapse and overdoses. Not to mention that it increases engagement in treatment and creates a more comprehensive continuum of care.
So if you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, consider the benefits of MAT. Take the first step today to get the treatment you need. Work your way towards a healthier, happier life.
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