Medication-Assisted Treatment: A Safe and Effective Way to Overcome Addiction

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Addiction is a chronic disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a complex disorder that can have severe physical, emotional, and social consequences. Though many people want to overcome addiction, the process can be extremely challenging, making it one of the most significant healthcare challenges in today’s world.

Fortunately, medication-assisted treatment has emerged as a safe and effective way to manage addiction. In this blog post, we’ll explore what Medication-Assisted Treatment is, its benefits, and its effectiveness in addressing addiction.

What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)is the use of medications in conjunction with behavioral therapy to help people overcome addiction. MAT is currently the most effective treatment for addiction to opioids, such as heroin and prescription pain medications. The medications used in MAT work by reducing cravings and preventing withdrawal symptoms, which can be powerful triggers for relapse.

Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment:

MAT has various benefits that make it an attractive option for people trying to overcome addiction.

MAT Improves Recovery Success Rates

If you have been struggling with addiction or have a loved one struggling with drug addiction, consider looking into medication-assisted treatments. The use of these medical treatments, in addition to behavioral therapy, increases the individual’s success rate for recovery from addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, recovering individuals who engage in Medication-Assisted Treatment have a significantly higher chance of maintaining sobriety.

MAT Can Stop Cravings and Withdrawals

Medications such as methadone, buprenorphine, and Naltrexone have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration(FDA) for the treatment of opioid addiction. These medications are designed to block the adverse effects of opioids on the brain’s reward system. Patients who have been off opioids for some time go through severe cravings and withdrawals that can be challenging to control. MAT can significantly reduce withdrawal and cravings, making their journey to sobriety a lot easier.

MAT Can Help Patients Manage Co-Occurring Disorders

Addiction and mental illness often come hand in hand. If that’s the case, settling depressive symptoms, anxiety, and other mental health conditions makes treatment more effective. MAT can help individuals manage symptoms, improving their overall mental health and ensuring that their withdrawal symptoms aren’t too severe.

MAT Can Help Prevent Overdose

A considerable risk of opioid addiction is the possibility of overdose. According to the CDC, around 128 Americans die from opioid overdose each day. Studies have shown that medication-assisted treatment can help decrease the chances of overdosing on opioids. The medication serves to normalize patients, reducing their risk of taking too much and potentially dying.

MAT Therapy Can Be Safe and Effective

Contrary to popular belief, MAT doesn’t exchange one addiction for another. Using medication prescribed by a qualified medical professional helps manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings for drugs or alcohol without the possibility of experiencing drug-like effects. MAT therapies are safe and effective.

Effectiveness of Medication-Assisted Treatment

MAT has proven to be highly effective in treating opioid addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, MAT significantly decreases opioid use, opioid-related overdose deaths, criminal activity, and disease transmission associated with drug use. In addition to opioid addiction, MAT is also effective in treating alcohol and other substance use disorders.

Types of Medications Used in Medication-Assisted Treatment

There are three FDA-approved medications used in MAT: methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. Methadone and buprenorphine work by blocking the euphoric effects of opioids, reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Naltrexone works by blocking the receptor sites in the brain that make the user feel high, leading to a decrease in drug-seeking behavior.

In conclusion, Medication-Assisted Treatment is an effective and safe way to treat addiction to opioids and other substances. MAT has various benefits, including reducing cravings, preventing withdrawal symptoms, and preventing relapse, and has proven to be highly effective in treating addiction. Though MAT is not a one size fits all approach and may not be suitable for everyone, it is one of the best treatment options available today. If you are seeking help for addiction, talk to your healthcare provider to find out if MAT is the right option for you.

Remember, you don’t have to go through addiction alone. With the right treatment and support, it is possible to overcome addiction and live a healthy, happy life.

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I am Jessica Moretti, mother of 1 boy and 2 beautiful twin angels, and live in on Burnaby Mountain in British Columbia. I started this blog to discuss issues on parenting, motherhood and to explore my own experiences as a parent. I hope to help you and inspire you through simple ideas for happier family life!

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