At The Aviary Recovery Center, we are committed to using all appropriate and effective tools to help those battling a substance use disorder. To that end, we offer medication-assisted treatment (MAT) as part of our personalized, evidence-based approach to helping those we serve.
About Medication-Assisted Treatment
So what is Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) and is it right for you? The name is actually a straightforward description: MAT is an approach to substance use disorder treatment that takes advantage of the ways some medications can assist in the process of getting and staying sober. And studies suggest that MAT can reduce the risk of a life-ending overdose by as much as 50 percent.
At first, all of that might seem counterintuitive. After all, medications are undeniably drugs, and substance use disorder treatment is supposed to help you escape from your reliance on drugs. You might reasonably wonder if you can truly be considered sober if you have used medications to achieve your sobriety.
Fortunately, the answer to that question is yes. Research shows that MAT, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, results in demonstrable success for many clients. That success translates into sustainable sobriety and a resumption of a self-directed life that is not undermined by misuse of drugs or alcohol.
Positive outcomes associated with MAT include:
- Improved rates of retention in treatment and overall survival rates
- Improved chances of acquiring and maintaining gainful employment
- A reduction in the use of illicit drugs and related criminal activity
A Specific Example: Suboxone
How does medication help someone with a substance use disorder? Let’s look at Suboxone—a medication that is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Suboxone is among the medications used at The Aviary Recovery Center to assist in the treatment of opiate addiction.
The medication works in an interesting way, binding itself to the brain receptors that are affected by opiates like oxycodone, heroin, and morphine and diminishing the impact of those drugs. Use of Suboxone is also effective in reducing cravings, which is an important factor in the prevention of a relapse. There is broad consensus among those who treat individuals with substance use disorders that Suboxone is safe and effective.
That combination of safety and effectiveness is excellent news because the crisis of opiate and opioid addiction in America continues. With the help of a medication like Suboxone, treatment providers can help clients overcome their addiction to pain medications that may have been properly prescribed but have now become problematic. And they can also help those who have turned to illicit drugs like heroin.
Again, using a medication to battle a drug addiction may seem out of the ordinary, but the evidence for the efficacy of Suboxone is strong, making it a powerful tool for recovery and relapse prevention.
Medication-Assisted Treatment is not Limited to Opiate Abuse
While Suboxone is an important resource and appropriate for clients with specific addiction issues, The Aviary Recovery Center’s Medication-Assisted Treatment approach is not limited to a single medication for a single kind of substance use disorder.
For example, clients struggling with alcohol abuse can benefit from taking Librium (chlordiazepoxide) or naltrexone. The former can be used to address acute alcohol withdrawal while the latter can address craving for alcohol and/or for opiates.
The Aviary Recovery Center Has the Expertise to Administer MAT
The Aviary Recovery Center team is fully versed in the various medications that can help those with substance use disorders. It perhaps goes without saying that Medication-Assisted Therapy should only be pursued under the care of physicians who have expertise and experience in its use. The Aviary Recovery Center is a leader in MAT and its uses as part of a personalized approach to care.
This expertise is extremely important for reasons we touched on earlier. Medications are drugs—and taking drugs of any kind can be exceptionally problematic for those with substance use disorders. Used properly, however, and with appropriate supervision, medications can also be exceptionally helpful for those in the grip of a substance use problem. Under the right circumstances, MAT can help you establish your sobriety and help you maintain it over the long term.