For decades, the addiction treatment industry relied almost solely on standard addiction treatment methods to treat patients. The results always pointed toward high relapse rates. When treatment ceases to be effective, it’s time to start looking for other alternatives. It’s truly amazing to see that so many top treatment specialists went to work to find those better alternatives. In recent years, Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is one method that has been gaining traction.
What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is an evidence-based practice that combines medication interventions with progressive counseling options and social interactions. It seems odd that addiction treatment specialists would want to use medication to treat drug addiction. It creates a bit of a paradox and appears to violate common sense. With that said, the results have been quite positive. Experts call the use of medication to treat an addiction “Pharmacotherapy.”
It’s worth noting that a Medication-Assisted Treatment program may not be ideal for everyone. Still, it seems to be an excellent alternative for certain patients living with specific circumstances. The basic premise of this type of treatment program is to treat the “whole” individual. That means looking beyond the individual’s addiction and focusing as much on their psychological profile and physical welfare.
As for the medications a doctor might prescribe, it generally depends on the patient’s addiction. For alcohol addiction, doctors seem to prefer using medicines like Naltrexone, Disulfiram, and Acamprosate Calcium. For heroin or opiate addiction, the medications that seem to work best include Methadone, Buprenorphine, and Naltrexone. Still, other drugs might be appropriate for different types of substance addictions.
Beyond the use of medications, patients still need intensive therapy sessions. The search for causation plays a crucial role in helping patients understand the depths of their addiction and how to develop coping skills. These skills are necessary to stave off relapses in the future. By adding holistic treatment options to address the patient’s physical and mental health, the process works to heal the whole individual.
The Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment
The reason this type of treatment option is gaining traction is that it provides many benefits for the patient. At Gateway Foundation Chicago Independence facility, we strongly support this treatment methodology. Why? Because we see good results across the board.
To better explain why we feel this is a viable treatment option, consider this list of potential benefits:
- MAT seems to result in fewer relapses
- Patients leave rehab with the ability to better focus on responsibilities like work
- MAT addresses potential psychological issues
- Holistic treatment options show patients how to better care for their minds and bodies
Here’s a great example of how medication intervention can help patients stop using. When someone enters rehab with alcohol addiction, the doctor might prescribe Disulfiram during treatment. Any attempts by the patient to drink alcohol while taking this medication will create some unpleasant side effects. The patient loses interest in drinking alcohol. The drug acts to modify the patient’s behavior.
What We Do At Gateway Foundation Chicago Independence
Gateway Chicago Independence operates under the flagship of Gateway Foundation, a nonprofit organization that exists to treat addictions. While we choose to refer patients to detox, we do offer a full range of addiction treatment programs that include:
- Withdrawal Management – the continuation of medication after detox
- Outpatient and Intensive Outpatient treatment
- 12-Step Facilitation
- Men’s Addiction Treatment
- Women’s Addiction Treatment
- Dual Diagnosis Treatment
- Individual and group therapy options
The fact you are reading this information indicates you may be dealing with an addiction. If you would like more information about Medication-Assisted Treatment, we encourage you to call Gateway Foundation Chicago Independence right away. You can speak to one of our staff members at 773.826.1916. Remember, addiction is an illness, an illness that demands treatment. You can start combating your addiction by picking up the phone and asking someone for help.