Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) in Pennsylvania
Medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, is available for people struggling with addiction in Pennsylvania. This form of addiction treatment has shown tremendous promise, and a lot of people have benefited from it. Addiction recovery is often more difficult because of withdrawal symptoms. MAT can help with them, but it can also do so much more.
At Peace Valley Recovery in Pennsylvania, we want people to know where to find the best recovery help in the local area. MAT is not offered everywhere, and we want as many people as possible to experience its benefits.
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) in PA: What is it and How Does it Work?
MAT involves the use of medications in combination with behavioral therapy and counseling during addiction recovery. This presents a “whole patient” approach to treating substance abuse. Every medication that doctors prescribe to patients receiving MAT is FDA approved.
Every patient receiving MAT should have an individual treatment plan that is tailored to their specific needs. No two people seeking addiction recovery are the same, even if they are addicted to the same drugs. At Peace Valley Recovery, we treat our clients as individuals.
Medications Used During MAT at PA Addiction Recovery Programs
MAT has been approved to treat three different types of addictions and conditions. It treats alcohol use disorder, opioid use disorder and it can also prevent an opioid overdose. There are specific medications that are prescribed in each instance.
Alcohol Use Disorder Medications – There are three medications that are commonly used to treat alcohol use disorder, or alcoholism. They are disulfiram, acamprosate and naltrexone. These medications are not to be considered a cure, but they can help with withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse.
Opioid Use Disorder Medications – There are several medications that can be used to treat opioid use disorder. They are methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone. They work well for people who are addicted to short-acting opioids like heroin and morphine. They are also often prescribed to people who are addicted to semi-synthetic drugs like Vicodin and Percocet. People can remain on them for a very long time.
Opioid Overdose Prevention Medications – Naloxone is a medication that has gotten a lot of attention in recent years. It is used to prevent an opioid overdose by reversing the effects of the drugs a person has taken. This medication has become widely available. It can be found in hospitals, treatment programs and other organizations. Emergency personnel usually have a supply with them in the event they are called to an overdose situation. Families may also keep some on hand if they have a loved one who is addicted to opioids.
Behavioral Therapy Used During MAT
Clients who are undergoing MAT must also be receiving therapy. This can include various types of counseling, including behavioral therapy.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is often used for clients who are receiving MAT. It helps by addressing their negative thoughts and looking objectively at how those thoughts are impacting their behaviors.
CBT is a great option for people with substance abuse problems because they gain new insight and perspectives into their behaviors. They learn how what they do has affected themselves, their friends and their family members. Best of all, clients receiving cognitive-behavioral therapy can learn new coping mechanisms and skills that will help them make the necessary changes in their lives.
How Effective is MAT?
SAMHSA estimates that in 2018, there were about 2 million people who had an opioid use disorder. That includes people who were addicted to prescription painkillers and those who were using heroin. MAT has shown to be a very effective tool during the detoxification process. It has actually reduced the need for inpatient detox.
Some of the goals of MAT include:
- Reducing the risk of overdose, which improves patient survival rates.
- Increasing the number of people who remain in treatment.
- Decreasing illegal opioid use.
- Decreasing criminal activity among people with addictions.
- Increasing the patient’s ability to become a productive member of society and hold down a job.
- Improving birth outcomes for pregnant women who are addicted to opioids or alcohol.