What is MAT- Medication Assisted Treatment?

mat-medication assisted treatment from New Life Medical Addiciton Services

In recent years, MAT, or Medication Assisted Treatment, has become an effective method of addressing addiction to alcohol and opioid drugs. New Life Medical Addiction Services, located in Marlton, is on the forefront of MAT addiction treatment in New Jersey.

As a mode of addiction treatment, MAT has some significant advantages over previous treatments, however, MAT requires strict supervision by the physicians and medical staff at New Life.  Before deciding if MAT is for you, it is important to understand how it works.

The Dangers of Opioids

Resinous material from the opium poppy plant is source of the naturally occurring opioids like heroin, morphine and codeine. Synthetic opioids, like fentanyl, carfentanil and methadone, are lab-created drugs. A third group, the semisynthetic opioids, include oxycodone, oxymorphone, and hydrocodone. These substances provide powerful pain-relieving and sedative effects, but they also have a significant potential for misuse and resulting physical and psychological dependence.

It doesn’t matter if the addictive substance is a prescribed by a doctor for pain management or is acquired illegally on the street – the effects are highly similar. Besides the possibility for addiction, there is also a severe risk of overdose from opioid use. This class of drugs can suppress respiratory response and slow or stop breathing. There are also significant risks associated with seeking illegal drugs and sharing needles including contracting HIV, Hepatitis or other life-threatening diseases and conditions.

The Benefits of MAT for Substance Abuse

Medication Assisted Treatment involves the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapy, in the treatment of substance abuse and addiction.  Because of its successful application, MAT It has become the therapy of choice for many suffering from substance use disorders, especially opioid dependence, and alcoholism. The evidence-based MAT approach to treatment is strongly endorsed as an effective treatment by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), American Medical Association (AMA), and other agencies dedicated to public health care.

The medications prescribed for Medication Assisted Treatment work on a patient’s brain chemistry by blocking the euphoric effects of the drugs used. It also reduces the physical and psychological cravings and normalizes the body chemistry over time. As a treatment of opioid use, as well as substance use disorder treatment, it has evolved considerably since treatment with methadone was first used for heroin addiction. Opioid treatment programs are now equipped with better knowledge of opioid addiction treatment as well as drug addiction overall through the help of MAT.

The Use of Medication Assisted Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

MAT is also an effective therapy for the treatment of alcoholism, especially when abstinence alone has failed. Several drugs can be used for the treatment of alcohol addiction. Naltrexone, taken daily orally, or monthly as an extended-release injection, blocks the rewarding effects of alcohol consumption as well as the cravings for alcohol.  Disulfiram is another deterrent to alcohol use when taken daily by mouth because it results in a physical reaction that includes nausea, vomiting, and heart palpitations. Another therapeutic, acamprosate, can be taken orally as extended-release tablets helps to reduce the desire to consume alcohol by mitigating the changes to the brain brought on by long-term alcohol use. All these medications must be used under medical supervision.

  • MAT for addiction offers the following benefits:
  • Provides safer withdrawal from usage by relieving symptoms and controlling cravings
  • Reduces the chance of death through overdose
  • Increases the probability of successful treatment through safer medications
  • Decreases illegal drug use and its associated risks
  • Prevents relapse when combined with therapeutic counseling

While New Life successfully uses MAT approaches, patients need to understand this this is a medical treatment and for the therapy to be successful, they need to strictly follow our doctor’s guidance and supervision by our staff.

To learn more, call us at: 856-942-3700 or send us a Text Message.

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