How Medically Assisted Substance Abuse Treatment Works

Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) combines behavioral therapy, counseling, and pharmacotherapy that incorporates a patient-centric approach to treating substance use disorders.

However, this treatment is a controversial issue for recovering patients and medical professionals. Patients here have a difficult path to recovery from addiction and should remain vigilant when choosing the best substance abuse treatment.

Various methods are used for recovery, adequate for some patients and not others. Nevertheless, MAT is the most widely recognized approach by substance abuse treatment by professionals worldwide because of its effectiveness. Below is how medically-supported substance abuse treatment works.

How It Works

1. Types Of Medications In A Drug Addiction Treatment Center

Medically Assisted Treatment is the primary approach used by patients with alcohol and opioid addiction. If you are trying MAT for the first time, you need to understand that MAT contains various medicines. These medicines perform different functions depending on the type of addiction being treated.

The drug cannot act alone in the treatment of addiction. You must include therapy sessions to help you overcome the root cause of your addiction. In a drug addiction treatment center, you will be provided with medications that will help you reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Drugs approved by the FDA to treat addiction include buprenorphine, methadone, naltrexone, disulfiram, naloxone, and acamprosate.

2. MAT For Opioid Addiction

As mentioned earlier, MAT drugs cannot cure opioid addiction, but they can help overcome it. These medicines help block euphoria, while other medications block withdrawal symptoms. Methadone is the most commonly prescribed drug in many drug addiction treatment centers. Methadone is used to activate opioid receptors in the nervous system to reduce the thirst and effects of opioids.

Methadone must be used under your doctor’s instruction as it might be harmful to your body if overdosed. Breastfeeding and pregnant women are also approved to take this drug for MAT purposes.

3. MAT For Alcoholism

Alcoholism is one of the most challenging drug disorders to overcome. That is because alcohol is legal and readily available to consumers. In modern society, exposure to alcohol consumption is high, as shown in advertisements and movies. However, MAT is used to treat alcoholism by reprogramming the brain to correct hormonal and neurotransmitter imbalances.

Drugs such as disulfiram, naloxone, and acamprosate are commonly used in drug addiction treatment centers to treat alcoholism. Disulfiram changes the way the body processes alcohol, causing headaches and nausea when consumed. Experts say this is effective for detoxified patients.

If you’re trying to stop drinking alcohol altogether, acamprosate is the best medicine. This drug helps stabilize the chemical signaling of the nervous system, which is customarily interrupted by withdrawal symptoms.

4. Effectiveness Of MAT Programs

MAT is an impact strategy for the treatment of substance abuse disorders. Many research reports are showing that this is an effective treatment. These reports show that MAT is clinically effective in preventing overdose and many other conditions. MAT also has excellent reviews from patients who have completed the program.


Now that you understand how MAT works, you can comfortably take the first step in combating addiction. Make sure you choose a good clinic and follow what your doctor tells you to get successful results.

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