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Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is often used to navigate detox, manage withdrawal symptoms, and help clients through early recovery. However, some people feel odd about using medications to manage substance use disorder (SUD). Feeling weary about taking medications during rehab is natural, but MAT in recovery can be an effective tool to help you get sober. Of course, treatment plans should be unique to each client. Professionals evaluate clients to determine if MAT is useful, and is often most effective when combined with additional evidence-based modalities. 

West Coast Recovery Centers supports MAT in recovery along with many other clinical approaches. You can utilize these clinical approaches in our beautiful, luxurious rehabilitation facility. There’s no better time to focus on you, your mental health, and your recovery, and West Coast can help you through it. Contact us to learn more about MAT, and to see what options best fit your treatment plan.

What Is MAT?

So, what exactly is MAT? Let’s look to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to help answer the question. According to SAMHSA, MAT is a method that utilizes medications along with counseling and behavioral therapies to provide a holistic approach to treatment. These medications used in this modality are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are “clinically driven and tailored to meet each patient’s needs.” 

The first step toward a life of sobriety is treatment. Yet, before treatment, many individuals need to participate in a detoxification program, depending on where they are in their recovery journey. When an exorbitant amount of time is spent using drugs or alcohol, the body becomes physically and psychologically dependent on the substance. In this case, once an individual stops using alcohol or other drugs, their body will experience a number of withdrawal symptoms, which may include: 

When a person stops using drugs or alcohol, 

  • Agitation and irritability 
  • Erratic mood changes or behaviors 
  • Depression and anxiety 
  • Intense cravings 
  • Body aches and pains 
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Tremors and shaking 
  • Inability to sleep 

On more severe occasions, individuals may experience paranoia, hallucinations, seizures, or other psychiatric problems. With professional drug detox or alcohol detox, however, individuals can safely withdraw from substance use and prepare for treatment. So, where does MAT come into play? 

The Implementation of MAT in Recovery

Facilities implement MAT in many different ways, but they more or less serve the same purpose. One of those purposes is to help manage any number of the systems listed above. The key with MAT is to implement the use of medication along with participation in behavioral therapies. 

Simply using medications is not enough. The medications are supposed to make the early stages of treatment and detox more manageable. Getting through the early stages is critical for individuals to get into the thick of treatment – getting to the root cause of addiction. 

Does MAT in Recovery Improve Sobriety Outcomes?

Of course, treatment success depends on many factors, such as: 

  • How is it being implemented? 
  • What other treatments are being used? 
  • Is a client receptive to the current treatment plan? 
  • What modifications should be made to ensure clients achieve sustainable recovery? 
  • Does MAT help clients achieve sustainable recovery? 

In response to the last question, many feel it does. Likewise, these are all questions treatment professionals and clients should consider when utilizing any treatment method. 

Why do people use MAT? Simply, MAT in recovery can help improve patient survival and treatment retention. Withdrawal can be painful, and the cravings during this time are intense. Medications help clients get over that hump, and once the cravings and withdrawal symptoms subside, they can focus on long-term goals and recovery. 

Nevertheless, like anything, there are potential setbacks to implementing MAT into your addiction treatment. Individuals should understand the pros and cons and then, with a professional, decide whether it’s the right course of action. 

What Are the Potential Cons Associated With MAT?

The potential risks associated with MAT may or may not impact you during treatment. Nevertheless, it’s important to stay informed. Some of those potential cons include the following: 

  • Potential side effects you may experience while using the medication during treatment 
  • It must be implemented with close medical supervision, and sometimes, with round-the-clock care
  • Any medication can be missed, and as such, may cause a risk of trading one addiction for another 

With these in mind, you must determine whether or not the potential risks of MAT are worth the many benefits it can produce. 

What Are the Benefits of MAT in Recovery?

So, all in all, here are some of the benefits to note when considering MAT in recovery. It can: 

  • Significantly reduce withdrawal symptoms during detox 
  • Increase patient survival and prompt long-term, sustainable recovery 
  • Block the euphoric effects of substance use, reducing the desire to use 
  • Reduce intense cravings or potential triggers, especially in early recovery 
  • Increase the client’s ability to gain employment, create healthy relationships, and stay sober post-treatment 

Interested in learning more about MAT and addiction recovery? If so, consider West Coast Recovery Centers for yourself or a loved one. The journey toward healing and recovery can begin today.  

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a method of addiction treatment that utilizes medications along with counseling and behavioral therapies to provide clients with a whole-person approach to treatment. These medications are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and have been shown to help manage withdrawal symptoms during detox, increase treatment retention, and increase a person’s ability to get a job, create healthy relationships, and stay sober long-term post-treatment. Like any treatment method, you should consider MAT in recovery with a professional. Together, you’ll decide if it’s the best course of action for you and your recovery journey. To learn more about MAT and its benefits, call (760) 492-6509 and consider working with West Coast Recovery Centers today.