One of the ways to help clients struggling with addiction is through Medication-Assisted Treatment. Although not right for everyone, this strategy can be useful for many clients. At Gateway Foundation Gurnee, Medication-Assisted Treatment is an option that clinicians discuss and implement under medical supervision.

What is MAT?

Continued exposure to alcohol and drugs causes changes within the brain. Upon discontinuation of alcohol and drugs brain cells are used to receiving the substance and continues to function or exhibit the need for continued exposure to the substance. Withdrawal is associated with abrupt discontinuation of substance.

Medication-Assisted Treatment is used to decrease discomfort associated with active withdrawal. However, since there have been changes in the brain due to alcohol and drugs, cravings continue much longer after abrupt use. MAT allows us to decrease cravings so clients can have better success in their journey to recovery.

How do MAT medications work?

smiling woman undergoes medication-assisted therapyThere are a number of oral and injectable FDA approved medications used to treat an alcohol use disorder; naltrexone, vivitrol, acamprosate, disulfiram, and antabuse. These medications help with behavioral management to decrease cravings. MAT is most effective in conjunction with formal alcohol dependence treatment which is evidence-based, as well as attending support groups.

The FDA has also approved various oral and injectable medications to help with opioid withdrawals. Some of these medications are various buprenorphine products such as naltrexone and vivitrol. For an opioid use disorder, these medications work as a partial agonist at mu receptors which help with cravings and will block the euphoric effect of opioids if someone relapses or uses an opioid. Medications such as naltrexone and vivitol are mu receptor blockers which help to prevent the effects of opioids if someone uses while on medication.

Various studies to date show us that past success rates in opioid treatment are achieved with a combination of Medication-Assisted Treatment replacement therapy and active evidence-based addiction treatment.

Suitable for Certain Addiction Types

Medication-Assisted Treatment is not right for everyone. It is only appropriate for specific clients. Plus, not all addiction types will respond well to medication. Currently, it is only suitable for those addicted to alcohol, benzodiazepines, and opioids.

Supplementing Medication-Assisted Treatment at Gateway Foundation Gurnee

MAT is just one of many recovery options at the Gurnee location of the Gateway Foundation. The addiction treatment staff at Gateway Foundation can also help clients as they work toward recovery through all of the following strategies and treatment methods:

Medication-Assisted Treatment has the potential to make recovery more comfortable for certain clients. At Gateway Foundation Gurnee, you can begin fighting for sobriety with access to a wide range of resources. Live your life with health and happiness by calling 847.473.6233 today.