Is Medication-Assisted Treatment a Safe Approach?

Medication-Assisted Treatment, more commonly referred to as MAT, is the use of certain safe and effective medications combined with behavioral therapy to provide comprehensive treatment for individuals suffering from opioid use disorders. All of the medications that are used for this form of treatment are FDA approved, have been researched extensively, and have been proven effective.

More About Medication-Assisted Treatment

The majority of medical detox facilities and inpatient treatment centers evaluate each client upon his or her admission. During this evaluation, the clinical team determines whether or not MAT is a necessary part of the overall treatment program. If it is deemed appropriate, clients will be started on a medication that will be carefully administered by a team of medical professionals. It is important to note that while Medication-Assisted Treatment can be effective as part of a comprehensive treatment program, it should never be considered a standalone solution to opioid addiction.

Is Medication-Assisted Treatment a Safe Approach?

Does Medication-Assisted Treatment Work?

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, close to 2 million American adults suffered at the hands of an opioid use disorder during the year 2018 alone. Opioid abuse and addiction have become serious and widespread problems, and result in thousands of untimely deaths on an annual basis. In many cases, turning to Medication-Assisted Treatment is truly a matter of life and death.

Medication such as buprenorphine has been proven to be clinically effective and works by reducing psychological cravings and helps alleviate the more severe symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal. In short – yes, Medication-Assisted Treatment does work. However, it is important to acknowledge that the MAT is always more effective when combined with a comprehensive counseling program. Some of how MAT works include:

  • Reducing the number of overdose-related deaths that occur on an annual basis.
  • Improving patient survival rates.
  • Increasing retention in inpatient rehab – clients are more inclined to get the most they can out of the treatment experience when they can pay attention (when they are not distracted by symptoms of acute and post-acute withdrawal).
  • Decreasing legal issues among men and women who suffer at the hands of opiate addiction.
  • Helping men and women who suffer from opiate addiction gain and maintain employment, so that they can support themselves and their dependents.
  • Decreasing the risk of contracting blood-borne diseases like hepatitis C and HIV.

Is Medication-Assisted Treatment Safe?

Medication-assisted treatment is safe when it is overseen by a team of experienced medical professionals. Administering drugs like buprenorphine should never be attempted in an at-home setting. When drugs like buprenorphine are administered in a medically monitored detox facility or at an inpatient treatment center, they are completely safe to use.

However, it is important to note that buprenorphine and other drugs that are commonly used for medication-assisted treatment do have some potential for abuse. This is why they are always prescribed to be taken short-term, and why the dose that is taken is closely monitored.

Recreate Life Counseling and Medication-Assisted Treatment

At Recreate Life Counseling we will only utilize medication-assisted treatment when we deem doing so completely necessary. If one of our clients is experiencing severe symptoms of post-acute withdrawal, such as psychological drug cravings that could easily lead to relapse, our clinical team might suggest buprenorphine – however, we ensure that administration of the drug is closely overseen by a licensed clinician and that as soon as a client graduates from our program he or she discontinues use unless otherwise instructed.

For more medication information assisted treatment or to learn more about our comprehensive and individualized program of drug addiction recovery, feel free to contact us at any time of the day or night.