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What is Medication-Assisted Treatment and How Does it Work?

There are several options to be considered for addiction treatment, but medication-assisted treatment is proven to be one of the best. While some may talk highly about the treatment procedure, some might question its place in the recovery process. In this article, we will discuss what is medication-assisted treatment and how does it work?

What is medication-assisted treatment?

Under a medication-assisted treatment, patients are given FDA approved medicines to control withdrawal symptoms and reduce chances of relapse. It is not a standalone process in its own, but an add-on to the traditional addiction rehab. Medications are used against opioid addictions including heroin and prescription painkiller addiction, and more.

Medications for drug addiction include Buprenorphine, Probuphine, Methadone, Naloxone, Naltrexone, Disulfiram, and Acamprosate.

How does it work?

As mentioned before, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is not a standalone treatment procedure, but a part of a larger, more comprehensive treatment plan. Every patient needs a specially devised addiction treatment plan based on the type of addiction, their history with drug abuse, and other critical factors. And MAT is just a small part of it, but very effective in overall progress of patient’s recovery.

In no way should MAT be seen as an alternative to replace other aspects of the treatment such as therapy, support groups, sponsors, and meetings etc. Think of it as an enabler or a catalyst in the treatment procedure and nothing more. Also, each patient is prescribed a different dosage and different medication than others, based on their specific recovery requirements. Medications are mostly used in the early stage of recovery to make it simpler and reduce the chances of relapse.

When it comes to the duration of consumption of medication, no one bill fits all. It completely depends on how your body reacts to the medication, and the pace of your recovery.

While medication-assisted treatment is a good and viable option, it is totally up to a patients discretion to agree to the medication or not. If someone is not comfortable consuming medication for drug treatment, they can deny it and the doctor can alter the treatment plan accordingly.