If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid addiction, you may take several paths to recovery. Counseling, in-patient detoxification and medication-assisted treatment (MAT) are some of the most popular options available. You deserve to know about your options, including MAT. Here is our guide to misconceptions about MAT and why MAT works for many patients.
Three Common Medication-Assisted Treatment Misconceptions
The stigma surrounding opioid addiction and its treatments prevents many people from receiving accurate information about their options. Here are some of the most common misconceptions about medication-assisted treatment.
1. MAT Is a Replacement for Opiates
The idea that MAT replaces opiates is a myth. MAT uses a range of antagonists, partial agonists, agonists and opioids. A medical professional chooses your treatment regimen, and various medications can stimulate or protect the brain’s opioid receptors. MAT is an individualized treatment that doctors tailor to your needs. Coupled with counseling, MAT has been proven to reduce the chance of relapse.
2. MAT Is a Short-Term Recovery Option
Recovery looks different for everyone. It’s true that some patients use MAT for a few weeks, while others stay on a MAT regimen for years. Some patients receive MAT for a lifetime as part of their ongoing recovery. The dose of the medication and length of your regimen depends on your medical provider’s assessment.
3. MAT Is Ineffective
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) considers MAT a proven treatment for opiate dependency. SAMHSA cites MAT’s ability to reduce the need for inpatient detoxification. When patients receive MAT with counseling, they enjoy a more comprehensive, tailored recovery plan. Federal opioid treatment standards create rules for appropriate and effective use of opioid dependency medications.
Why MAT Works
The medications prescribed during MAT regimens have targeted effects on the symptoms of opioid withdrawal. This treatment is useful for patients recovering from addiction to short-acting and semi-synthetic opioids. MAT medications are safe, even over indefinite periods of use. The largest concern with these medications is that you should never discontinue use without consulting your medical provider. Always take your medication as directed.
- Buprenorphine: MAT with buprenorphine reduces cravings for various opioids.
- Suboxone®: Suboxone® is a compound medication. It contains buprenorphine and naloxone. Naxolone encourages patients to use their medication properly instead of seeking opioid effects.
Why Use MAT?
Many patients choose MAT because incorporating medication into opioid addiction treatment has proven results. The National Institute on Drug Abuse claims that patients who use medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction have better long-term recovery results than patients who rely on abstinence alone. Largely, the difference lies in the “whole patient” approach to recovery. Medical recommendations and federal regulations ensure that patients who receive MAT also attend counseling and other recovery services.
Trust AppleGate Recovery for MAT
At AppleGate Recovery, our recovery services include counseling and MAT with buprenorphine and Suboxone®. Our office-based opioid treatment (OBOT) allows you to recover while you live your life. That means you can spend time with your family and keep your job while receiving treatment.