Medication-Assisted Treatment is a treatment approach that combines medication with behavioral therapy to help clients recover from alcohol use disorder, opioid use disorder, and others.
With rates of overdose on the rise, Georgia has faced a growing opioid epidemic that has adversely affected the lives of countless individuals and families. According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, from 2019 to 2021, fentanyl-related drug overdose deaths increased 124%.
These alarming statistics highlights the need for effective treatment strategies to address substance use disorders. Within the past ten years, Medication-Assisted Treatment has shown great promise in helping people recover from opioid and alcohol use disorders. That’s why Peachtree Recovery Solutions utilizes this innovative and FDA-approached approach. In fact, Medication-Assisted Treatment has been shown to decrease emergency room visits. In a 2020 study, MAT decreased emergency room visits by 51%.
If you or a loved one are struggling, our opioid rehab in Atlanta or alcohol rehab can help you take your life back. Call us now at 866-430-3972 or verify your insurance today!
What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is a comprehensive approach to treating substance use disorders that combines the use of FDA-approved medications with group therapy and individual therapy. MAT aims to address the physical, psychological, and social aspects of addiction, providing patients with a well-rounded recovery plan while alleviating cravings, blocking opioid receptors, or cause unwanted effects. The primary goals of MAT is to reduce the risk of relapse, improve the individual’s ability to function, and enhance their quality of life.
What Are The Components of Medication-Assisted Treatment?
MAT consists of three main components:
Medication: FDA-approved medications are prescribed to help patients manage withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. These medications work by either blocking the effects of addictive substances or by reducing the pleasure derived from using them.
Counseling and behavioral therapy: Individual and group counseling sessions, along with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and other evidence-based therapies, are used to address the psychological aspects of addiction. These sessions help patients identify triggers, develop healthy coping strategies, and rebuild their lives free from substance abuse.
Support services: Access to resources like medical care, housing assistance, holistic therapy, and vocational training can be crucial in helping individuals overcome the social and economic barriers to recovery. MAT programs often connect patients with these essential support services.
Types of Medications Used For Addiction in MAT
There are several FDA-approved medications used in MAT to treat addiction, primarily focusing on opioid and alcohol use disorders. These medications are classified into three categories:
Agonists: These medications activate the same receptors in the brain as the addictive substance, but produce a milder effect. This helps to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. An example of an agonist is methadone.
Partial agonists: These medications also activate the same receptors, but to a lesser extent. They can help to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings while blocking the effects of the addictive substance. Buprenorphine is an example of a partial agonist.
Antagonists: Antagonist medications block the effects of alcohol and can precipitate withdrawal if used while the substance is still present in the body. Naltrexone is an example of an antagonist.
Medications for Opioid Use Disorder
MAT for opioid use disorder typically involves one of three medications:
Methadone: A long-acting synthetic opioid agonist that helps to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Methadone is typically administered daily in a controlled clinical setting. Peachtree Recovery Solutions does not offer Methadone administration.
Buprenorphine: Also known as Suboxone, buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that can be prescribed by qualified physicians and taken at home. It helps to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings while minimizing the risk of misuse.
Naltrexone: An opioid antagonist that blocks the effects of opioids and reduces cravings. It can be taken orally or as a monthly injection under the brand name Vivitrol.
Medications to Help Alcohol Use Disorder
There are three primary medications used in MAT for alcohol use disorder:
Disulfiram (Antabuse): This medication causes an unpleasant reaction when alcohol is consumed, including symptoms such as facial flushing, headache, nausea, and vomiting. By producing these adverse effects, disulfiram deters individuals from drinking alcohol. It is generally prescribed to patients who have completed detoxification and are committed to abstinence.
Naltrexone: As an opioid antagonist, naltrexone also has applications in treating alcohol use disorder. It works by blocking the pleasurable effects of alcohol, thereby reducing cravings and the desire to drink. Naltrexone can be taken orally or as a monthly injection under the brand name Vivitrol.
Acamprosate (Campral): Acamprosate helps to restore the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain that have been disrupted by long-term alcohol use. It is believed to reduce symptoms of protracted withdrawal, such as anxiety and insomnia, making it easier for individuals to maintain abstinence. Acamprosate is typically prescribed to patients who have already achieved abstinence and are working to maintain their recovery.
Is Medication-Assisted Treatment Effective?
Numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of MAT in treating substance use disorders, particularly opioid and alcohol use disorders. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, MAT has been shown to:
- Decrease illicit opioid use and other criminal activities associated with substance use disorders
- Improve patient survival rates
- Increase retention in treatment programs
- Reduce the risk of infectious diseases, such as HIV and hepatitis C
- Enhance patients’ ability to gain and maintain employment
Is Medication-Assisted Treatment Covered by Insurance?
Many insurance plans, including Medicaid and Medicare, cover MAT services. The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) requires most insurance providers to cover substance use disorder treatment at the same level as they cover other medical conditions. However, coverage can vary depending on the specific plan and the medications prescribed. At Peachtree Recovery Solutions, we provide a verification of benefits for all of our clients that are interested in treatment with us. These can determine what and what is not covered during the duration of your stay with us.
Find Medication-Assisted Treatment Near Atlanta Today
If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder, seeking help is the first step towards recovery. At Peachtree Recovery Solutions, we offer a comprehensive approach to addiction treatment in Atlanta. With multiple levels of care including Partial Hospitalization, Intensive Outpatient Programming, and more, we’ll create a treatment plan that fits your specific needs. Learn more about our programs today!