MEDICATION ASSISTED TREATMENT
Today the opioid crisis is more pressing than ever before. In 2017 and 2018, 47,000+ Americans died as a result of opioid overdose, or about 130+ every day. These victims of opioid dependence come from many backgrounds, with 45% or more starting out with prescription opiates. With nearly 1% of the total population struggling with an opioid use disorder, and a staggering 58.5 opiate prescriptions per 100 Americans, Americans are at risk.
For those struggling with an opioid use disorder, rehab and treatment are life-saving. Medication Assisted Treatment or MAT is the current government-recommended standard in opioid dependence treatment, combining medication with other types of therapy. At 12 South Recovery, we use MAT when appropriate as part of our commitment to evidence-based drug treatment practices to help you and your loved ones see the best results and the fullest recovery.
WHAT IS MEDICATION ASSISTED TREATMENT?
Recovering from an opioid use disorder is a long and difficult process, frequently marked by relapse, dangerous withdrawal symptoms, and trauma. Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is an FDA approved treatment method to help patients normalize brain chemistry, block the effects of opioids and alcohol, relieve cravings, and normalize the body without the negative effects of abusing an opioid.
At 12 South Recovery, our MAT programs combine medication with counseling and behavioral therapies for a “whole patient” approach. We believe this approach is the most effective way to help individuals struggling with addiction because it works to sustain recovery, resulting in statistically lower relapse rates and longer periods of abstinence than any other form of opioid treatment, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
STAGES OF MEDICATION ASSISTED TREATMENT
Medication assisted treatment is divided into three phases, detox, recovery, and maintenance.
During recovery you will begin your MAT program, which will include either a continuation of detox medication or a new prescription based on your needs, condition, and cravings. At 12 South Recovery, our MAT program involves medication, counseling, and behavioral therapy:
Medication – Medication is prescribed on a needs-basis, as required by the patient. Medication is prescribed to help patients restore a chemical balance in the brain and body, allowing them to recover and attend therapy in a way that will have meaningful results. Medication works to reduce cravings, reduce the symptoms and side-effects of anxiety and depression, and helps individuals to balance and feel physically and mentally healthy while attending treatment.
12 South Recovery partners with a network of carefully vetted detox centers to ensure you get the best possible care during withdrawal. Our program specializes in helping you into a detox center that meets your needs based on health, the opiates you are abusing, and level of abuse, so that you receive the best care throughout the process. With a focus on comfort, medical care, nutrition, and a calm environment, our detox partners will help you through the first stage of recovery in dignity and comfort.
- Counseling and Group Therapy – Counseling at 12 South Recovery includes group therapy sessions 2-4 times per day, with therapies including Experiential, Process, Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Psychoeducational Groups, Life skills, Journaling, Spirituality, Boundary Power, and Relapse Prevention. These counseling sessions are intended to help individuals to learn in an environment where they can connect with others and learn in more adaptive ways.
Therapy – Individual therapy is the primary focus of our MAT program. Here, each individual is treated based on a clinical assessment based on their treatment goals, which are determined to best treat the symptoms and underlying causes of addiction, while tackling the short and long-term goals of the individual. Individual therapy includes a mix of CBT, DBT, and EMDR.
The maintenance phase is the period where users are typically ready to leave rehab and go back to their everyday lives. Here, MAT programs serve to prevent relapse in the real world, where individuals are more exposed to drugs, stress, and triggers than ever before. Maintenance is sometimes called aftercare, and will differ based on the individual, their history of drug use, and whether or not they choose aftercare.
MEDICATIONS USED IN TREATMENT
Medication Assisted Treatment involves a total-body approach to treat mental and physical symptoms of substance dependence. Here, medications including Suboxone, Subutex, Vivitrol, Methadone, and Buprenorphine are all common.
NALTREXONE / VIVITROL
Naltrexone is available in pill form and in extended-release injections, sold under the brand name Vivitrol. Naltrexone is an opioid agonist and should not be used in a person who has taken opioids within 7-10 days. Also used to treat alcohol disorder, the drug works by competing with the opioid receptor, preventing opioids from effecting the brain, reducing cravings, and preventing an opioid high. In studies, Naltrexone and Vivitrol users had a 90% confirmed abstinence versus 35% for placebo groups, with an increase in treatment retention from 42 to 58%.
BUPRENORPHINE / SUBUTEX / SUBOXONE
Buprenorphine, commonly sold as Subutex and Suboxone, is an opioid agonist used to block the effects of opioid drugs. While an opioid itself, Buprenorphine has a lower potential for addiction, does not get the user “high”, and can be controlled to prevent harmful side-effects while reducing cravings and drug use in the individual. In one study, Subutex and Suboxone treatment resulted in a 1.82x increase in patients staying in treatment with a 14.2% decrease in opioid positive drug tests.
DOES MEDICATION ASSISTED TREATMENT WORK?
Medication Assisted Treatment is an evidence-based treatment, built around research showing the safety and efficacy of using medication to treat opioid dependence. Giving individuals an alternative to cravings, physical illness, and traumatic stress and depression gives them the ability to seek out therapy and begin the journey to recovery, making them much more likely to succeed. While there is some controversy relating to the fact that Suboxone and Methadone are opioids themselves, MAT medications are opiate agonists, partial agonists, or antagonists, which block the effects of opioids.
The MAT program at 12 South Recovery follows FDA regulation 42 Code CFR Part 8, and is accredited under the Joint Commission Opioid Treatment Program Accreditation (JCOTP).
Medication assisted treatment ensures the comfort of the individual during recovery, gives individuals the ability to focus on recovery rather than symptoms, and may be medically necessary. Most studies report an increase in positive outcomes for patients, although actual results depend on the program, length of program, and follow-up care.
CHOOSING 12 SOUTH RECOVERY
At 12 South Recovery, we believe in providing clinical comfort, evidence-based treatment, and dignity in recovery. If someone is suffering from a substance abuse problem, it is their right to receive holistic medical care, covering every aspect of mental and physical health needs.
We utilize evidence-based practices, have experienced and qualified staff, offer dual diagnosis support, and a range of treatment options to ensure that every individual MAT program best meets the needs of our patients.
If you or a loved one needs help, we are here for you. Contact us 24/7 at 888-830-8374.