What is Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction?

Opioids such as heroin, Percocet, fentanyl, OxyContin, morphine, Dilaudid, and many more can be absolutely fatal when abused. According to a recent study, approximately two million Americans are addicted to prescription opioids, while an additional one million are addicted to heroin. While these numbers are staggering, they continue to rise throughout the United States daily. Furthermore, when opioid addiction is left untreated, the results are fatal. The Center for Disease Control reports that 130 people in America die every day as a direct result of an opioid overdose.

Known as the “gold standard” of opioid addiction treatment, one of the most successful professional approaches is medication-assisted treatment. Recovering from drug and alcohol addiction consists of strong cravings and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Commonly, patients experience the temptations to use drugs long after the completion of detox and even treatment. This comprehensive treatment modality utilizes FDA-approved medications that promote abstinence and help combat cravings. Combining these medications with evidence-based therapies is proven to extend periods of sobriety. 

Some of the other benefits of choosing a medication-assisted treatment program for opioid addiction include:

  • Increase treatment retention
  • Reduces the risk of overdose
  • Eases extreme withdrawals and cravings
  • Decreases the risk of relapse 
  • Lowers the risk amongst pregnant women giving birth with substance use disorders
  • Improves better social integration and functioning
  • Decreases tendencies for criminal activities
  • Safe and effective 
  • Reduces the risk of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C
  • Increases the chances of maintaining continuous sobriety

Medications Used in Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment programs use FDA-approved medications that are safe and effective in treating opioid addiction. These medications are prescribed and distributed by nurses who are experienced and understand the complexity of substance abuse. While attending a medication-assisted treatment program, clients will begin to benefit from the very first day of treatment to the last day of treatment. During the initial phases of recovery, MAT helps with the physical and mental distress common to many individuals recovering from opioid addiction.

Opioids bind to opioid receptors in the brain, creating a sense of euphoria and altered perception of pain. These drugs interfere with the natural production of chemicals within the brain as well as disrupt communication. It is not uncommon for clients to feel sad or uncomfortable when detoxing from opioids. Medications used in MAT include naloxone, methadone, naltrexone, and buprenorphine. These safe medications are effective in managing opioid addiction and dependence. 

  • Methadone – Although California Behavioral Health doesn’t provide Methadone maintenance, we help people transition to a more thoughtful recovery process.Methadone is a full agonist that combines with receptors in the brain and nervous system to lessen the painful symptoms of opioid withdrawal while also blocking the euphoric effects of opiates. Methadone is administered once per day in a liquid solution. 
  • Vivitrol (Naltrexone) – Vivitrol is an FDA-approved injectable medication that is administered once a month to diminish cravings for an extended period of time. This naltrexone-based medication wards off opioid cravings, alleviates withdrawal symptoms, and prevents overdose. 
  • Suboxone (buprenorphine) – Suboxone is a partial agonist that does not bind to opioid receptors in the same way Methadone does. Suboxone is comprised of buprenorphine and naloxone and is effective in easing opioid withdrawal symptoms while also decreasing cravings. 

While many clients begin therapy during detox, the real work begins once the withdrawal symptoms have subsided. Implementing a full course of care includes individual therapy, group therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and other evidence-based therapies. Combining therapy with MAT is a vital component for clients to build a solid foundation for their sobriety. Clients will begin to thrive in the therapeutic setting while participating in the medication-assisted treatment program. 

Patients may continue the use of the medications prescribed for months or years after completing a medication-assisted treatment program. The medications administered in MAT programs are efficient for treatment withdrawal symptoms during detoxification and ongoing during treatment. Other medications utilized during MAT may include psychiatric medications as well as medications that address pre-existing medical conditions.

Medication-Assisted Treatment Program at California Behavioral Health

At California Behavioral Health, we recognize the value of MAT and the potential it has to change the lives of our clients who are trapped in the throes of opioid addiction. The medications and therapies offered in our Palm Springs medication-assisted treatment program offer all of the benefits discussed above as well as around-the-clock support from our compassionate team of addiction professionals. We work with each of our clients from start to finish to ensure that not only we create an individualized treatment plan, but that we also prescribe the most appropriate medication and therapeutic program that caters to your unique needs. 

Our medication-assisted treatment program includes the support of master level therapists, licensed nurses, and certified medical assistants that will treat your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. California Behavioral Health in Palm Springs provides high standard medication-assisted treatment. Don’t let your loved one suffer from opioid or alcohol addiction at home, call our compassionate staff today!

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  • My name is Matthew and I was a resident here at CBH from 6/22/2020 through 7/23/2020.. I just Graduated the program in 32 days and I am writing this because I am truly Thankful to them All.. I would like to Give CBH 7 Stars but it will only like me give 5.

    Matthew N.
  • I came to California Behavioral Health when I was finally at the point where I thought life was no longer worth living. Once I got to CBH my whole life changed as I have never met more caring people in my whole life.

    Julie C.
  • Let me start by saying that this place has saved my life as I had been struggling with alcoholism since getting out of college. I had tried numerous 12 step programs and always experienced somewhere that I always struggled to relate with. Once I arrived at California Behavioral Health, they welcomed me with open arms.

    Andy W

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