What Is Medication-assisted Treatment?
The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has stated that the use of FDA-approved medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and evidence-based therapy in treating opioid use disorders is more effective in achieving long-term sobriety compared to therapy alone.
The use of these opioid treatment medications in combination with therapy lessens withdrawal symptoms and reduces cravings drastically with alcohol or opioid use disorders. MAT is one of the most effective treatments for opioid addiction. Opioids include many prescription pain medications.
There are currently medications to treat addiction being researched that would allow for medication-assisted treatment of cocaine use disorders and benzodiazepine use disorder.
Medication-assisted treatment does not cure drug addiction. MAT works best when combined with other opioid treatment programs such as 12-step groups, mental health counseling, behavioral health treatment of substance use disorders and strong aftercare plans.
Long-term sobriety takes daily effort. GateHouse’s medication-assisted treatment offers a solid foundation for our clients’ early recovery through behavioral health and mental health services.
How Does Medication-assisted Treatment Work?
- Medication-assisted Treatment reduces withdrawal symptoms, such as Post-Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)
- Medication-assisted Treatment works to reduce cravings common in early stages of recovery
- Length of medication use varies by case
- Allows a physician to closely supervise during early recovery
- Works by locking onto the opioid receptors in the brain
Is Medication-assisted Treatment Safe?
While there are certain medications used in medication-assisted treatment that can cause dependency, the ones we use do not. GateHouse only uses Naltrexone in its medication-assisted treatment, prescribed by a physician and administered under close, frequent monitoring.
Naltrexone has the least amount of side effects in medication-assisted treatment. When a client chooses medication-assisted treatment at GateHouse, they are under the close supervision of medical and behavioral health care professionals who check in with them weekly on any side effects from the medication.
If someone on medication-assisted treatment relapses back into opioid addiction, it is important to note that their tolerance level is lowered, and they can be more susceptible to opioid overdose.
Our goal at GateHouse is to provide all the necessary tools for recovery from opioid use disorders, including counseling and behavioral therapies, an introduction to 12-step programs and aftercare plans to give clients the best chance at avoiding relapse.
What Is Vivitrol?
Vivitrol is the brand name for extended-release Naltrexone and is the medication GateHouse offers as part of our medication-assisted treatment. It targets two of the most common problems in addiction: alcohol use disorder and opioid dependence.
Vivitrol is an injectable drug that must only be administered by medical professionals. At GateHouse, we have the medical staff certified to administer and monitor Vivitrol in our clients who choose to participate in our medication-assisted treatment programs for opioid addiction.
Vivitrol works by blocking opioid receptors in the brain, resulting in patients being unable to feel the “high” from opiates and alcohol. It also works in the parts of the brain that control cravings, reducing the urges to use drugs and alcohol.
GateHouse is at the forefront of drug abuse and mental health treatment by offering medication-assisted treatment to our clients. We work to ensure every client has the best chance to achieve long-term sobriety.