Facts About Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

LSAS is committed to a holistic approach; treating the “whole person” by utilizing various modalities of care such as assessment, referral, counseling, case management, education, and peer support. In addition, our physicians and nurse practitioners specialize in Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). Based on the most current addiction science, MAT combines U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved medications with behavioral therapy and counseling to target chemical dependence and promote a sustainable recovery. The focus of MAT is on individualized patient care that addresses the physical, mental, and behavioral aspects of drug and alcohol addiction.

What MAT Is & Is Not

Critics of medication assisted treatment say patients give up one addiction for another (treatment medications). But this thinking overlooks the larger point: substance use disorder is not a character defect but a chronic disease of the brain and treatment medications address the chemical imbalances that cause drug and alcohol addiction.

The medications prescribed in MAT prevent cravings and withdrawal symptoms for patients, as well as reduce the rates of disease, violent crime, and overdose-related deaths. Healthcare providers at Lake Substance Abuse Center also carefully prescribe prescriptions and monitor usage to ensure patients take doses as directed.

Medication is just one aspect of MAT. This holistic treatment approach also includes psychological counseling so patients can rediscover their lives and break free from addiction forever.

Medications For Substance Abuse Treatment

The healthcare providers at Lake Substance Abuse Solutions may prescribe any of the following three medications to treat alcohol or opioid dependence.

Opioid Medications

Alcohol Medications

  • Naltrexone
  • Acamprosate
  • Disulfiram

Methadone

Methadone is an agonist opioid that prevents opioid withdrawal by convincing the brain it is still receiving the illicit or abused opioid drug. The patient does not get a high feeling from methadone. Instead, he or she feels normal and withdrawal-symptom free.

The chemical composition of methadone does not contain any ingredient to block patients from taking other narcotics while on the medication. Methadone is typically prescribed for daily use in a liquid form and is dispensed only by specially regulated opioid abuse treatment clinics.

Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine is a partial agonist (agonist/antagonist) opioid prescribed in the maintenance treatment of opioid dependence. Buprenorphine suppresses drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms by partially blocking opioid receptors in the brain. This also prevents patients from taking other narcotics during treatment, which can reduce the odds of relapse. Healthcare providers at Lake Substance Abuse Solutions prescribe buprenorphine as a dissolving tablet or film that is taken daily under the tongue or inside the cheek; another option is 6-month buprenorphine implants.

Naltrexone

Naltrexone is a non-addictive antagonist opioid used in the treatment of alcohol and opioid addiction. In contrast with buprenorphine and methadone, naltrexone prevents all euphoric and sedative effects from opioids or alcohol. As a result, patients over time experience decreasing urges to use and abuse chemical substances.

Disulfiram

Disulfiram is prescribed for the treatment of chronic alcohol dependency. Because it creates a severe physical sensitivity to alcohol, disulfiram deters patients from drinking because by doing so they immediately experience hangover symptoms. When used in conjunction with counseling and other aspects of medication-assisted treatment, disulfiram can help promote long-term recovery from alcoholism.

Acamprosate

One of the most widely prescribed alcohol treatment medications, acamprosate helps patients fight the urge to drink by reducing the euphoric effects of alcohol. Acamprosate over time reduces the brain’s dependence on alcohol so the patient can live a normal life free of drinking.

What Is An Opiate & Opioid?

Opiate and opioid are often used interchangeably to refer to the same class of drugs. However, there is a difference between them.

Opiates are natural substances that originate from opium, a byproduct of the poppy plant. Morphine and codeine are common types of opiates.

Opioids are synthetic drugs designed to emulate opiates. Examples include fentanyl, methadone, oxycodone, and hydrocodone.

Most people, including physicians, no longer differentiate between opiates and opioids. Instead, they refer to them both commonly as opioids.

Opium Poppy
Synthetic Opioid