Dependency Treatment (MAT)
What is MEDICATION ASSISTED TREATMENT (MAT)?
MAT is the term used when the disease being treated, is addiction/ dependency. Evidence has shown that successful treatment of addiction, especially early treatment of addiction, often includes both behavior changes and medication changes. A successful MAT program utilizes FDA-approved medications as needed and counseling components, such as patient-provider motivational counseling, to assist in the healing process. These are best met with counseling, group therapy, and/ or support from peers and professionals. Algone’s dependency program is the “bridge” from addiction to sobriety. These therapies help curb withdrawal symptoms and cravings, which then help release a person from the bondage of dependency on opioids. Addiction is a chronic disease and those with addiction suffer damage to areas of the brain that are integral to executive function and control. Through medication stabilization and behavioral changes, the brain can improve.
What does (MAT) treat?
For some adults, alcohol use is not harmful. However, around 18 million adult Americans have an alcohol use disorder. This disease causes craving, loss of control, physical dependence, and tolerance.
Common signs of alcoholism include:
Inability to control alcohol consumption
Craving alcohol when you’re not drinking
Putting alcohol above responsibilities
Feeling the need to keep drinking more
Spending a substantial amount of money on alcohol
Behaving differently after drinking
Feeling like you have to drink more than when you first started drinking (i.e. building up a tolerance).
MAT USED: Acamprosate, Naltrexone, & Disulfiram.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that more than 2 million Americans abuse opioids and on average, more than 90 Americans die from opioid overdose every day.
Common signs of opioid misuse include:
Avoiding time with family and friends
Losing interest in activities
Not bathing, changing clothes or brushing their teeth
Being very tired and sad, poor sleep schedule
Unusual eating habits: more or less than usual
Being overly energetic, talking fast and saying things that don’t make sense
Mood changes: being nervous or cranky and quickly changing moods
Missing important appointments
Getting into trouble with the law
Attending work or school on an erratic schedule
MAT USED: Methadone, Buprenorphine, and Naltrexone
In 2015, nearly 13,000 people died from heroin overdose and more than 1.5 million people aged 12 and older reported using heroin at least once, according to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The pain and suffering of addiction can end. Through education, prevention and treatment, it is possible to make heroin abuse a thing of the past.
Signs of Heroin Addiction:
Using the drug to relieve withdrawal symptoms
Making your life revolve around drug use
Abandoning activities you once enjoyed
Continuing use regardless of the consequences
Withdrawing from friends and family
MAT USED: Methadone, Buprenorphine, and Naltrexone
What is Bridge?
Bridge is a small electrical nerve stimulator device that contains a battery-powered chip and wires that are applied around a patient’s ear. It requires a prescription and is offered to qualified healthcare professionals with training. Bridge includes a kit containing everything required to apply the device.
Who Can Bridge Help?
Bridge can be used for patients* experiencing opioid withdrawal symptoms, while undergoing treatment for opioid use disorder when:
- Initiating treatment
- Transitioning to naltrexone
- Tapering off medication-assisted treatment
Disulfiram helps those dependent on alcohol by causing unpleasant effects when alcohol is consumed. These unpleasant effects take place about 10 minutes after alcohol is consumed and lasts for about an hour.
Methadone is a full-mu opioid agonist. It fully stimulates the receptors. It has a very long half life and can last for 8 to 59 hours in the system. This allows the patient’s brain to begin stabilizing with a continuous source of dopamine release. The brain is not left empty of dopamine but it is not going through rapid cycles of surges and lows, either. Methadone was the first medication approved for opioid use disorder and can only be dispensed from approved facilities. Because it is a full agonist, it fully activates the receptors and has no ceiling effect. It is indicated for patients who are on large amounts of opiates or for people who are too high-risk for outpatient, at home dispensing.
Buprenorphine is a partial mu-opioid, meaning it too stimulates the receptors but not to the full extent that methadone does. With buprenorphine, a ceiling effect occurs, meaning once a certain amount of medication is in the system, adding more medication won’t make the person feel any better. Providers with a special license can prescribe this schedule III control substance on an out-patient basis. As with methadone, the mu opioid receptors have a higher affinity for buprenorphine than they do for other opiates., meaning that if a patient uses other opioids while on methadone or buprenorphine, they will not feel the opioid effects (they won’t get “high”).
Medication assisted treatment (MAT). (2018). Behavioral Health Group. Retrieved from https://bhgrecovery.com/treatment-services/proven-treatment/