Medicated-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of FDA- approved medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. To maintain our evidence based approach we require our clients on suboxone or naltrexone to enroll in one of our substance use groups.
Medications Used in MAT
FDA has approved several different medications to treat opioid addiction and alcohol dependence.
Opioid Dependency Medications
Methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone are used to treat opioid dependence and addiction to short-acting opioids such as heroin, morphine, and codeine, as well as semi-synthetic opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone. People may safely take medications used in MAT for months, years, several years, or even a lifetime. Plans to stop a medication must always be discussed with a doctor.
Buprenorphine suppresses and reduces cravings for the abused drug. It can come in a pill form or sublingual tablet that is placed under the tongue. Learn more about buprenorphine.
Naltrexone works differently than methadone and buprenorphine in the treatment of opioid dependency. If a person using naltrexone relapses and uses the abused drug, naltrexone blocks the euphoric and sedative effects of the abused drug and prevents feelings of euphoria. At Veritas Health, PLLC we recommend Vivitrol, a long acting injectable form of Naltrexone that last 30 days.
Opioid Overdose Prevention Medication
FDA approved naloxone, an injectable drug used to prevent an opioid overdose.
Alcohol Use Disorder Medications
Disulfiram, acamprosate, and naltrexone are the most common drugs used to treat alcohol use disorder. None of these drugs provide a cure for the disorder, but they are most effective in people who participate in a MAT program. Learn more about the impact of alcohol misuse.
Disulfiram is a medication that treats chronic alcoholism. It is most effective in people who have already gone through detoxification or are in the initial stage of abstinence. This drug is offered in a tablet form and is taken once a day. Disulfiram should never be taken while intoxicated and it should not be taken for at least 12 hours after drinking alcohol. Unpleasant side effects (nausea, headache, vomiting, chest pains, difficulty breathing) can occur as soon as ten minutes after drinking even a small amount of alcohol and can last for an hour or more.
Acamprosate is a medication for people in recovery who have already stopped drinking alcohol and want to avoid drinking. It works to prevent people from drinking alcohol, but it does not prevent withdrawal symptoms after people drink alcohol. It has not been shown to work in people who continue drinking alcohol, consume illicit drugs, and/or engage in prescription drug misuse and abuse. The use of acamprosate typically begins on the fifth day of abstinence, reaching full effectiveness in five to eight days. It is offered in tablet form and taken three times a day, preferably at the same time every day. The medication’s side effects may include diarrhea, upset stomach, appetite loss, anxiety, dizziness, and difficulty sleeping.
When used as a treatment for alcohol dependency, naltrexone blocks the euphoric effects and feelings of intoxication. This allows people with alcohol addiction to reduce their drinking behaviors enough to remain motivated to stay in treatment, avoid relapses, and take medications. At Veritas Health, PLLC we recommend Vivitrol, a long acting injectable form of Naltrexone that last 30 days.
For more research on substance abuse please see the following link: https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment