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Medication-Assisted Treatment for Alcohol & Opioids


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client in medication-assisted treatmentMedication-assisted treatment (MAT) for alcohol and opioids involves the use of FDA-approved medications, along with counseling and therapy, for effective addiction treatment. Since a substance use disorder can wreak havoc on a person’s physical health and alter their brain chemistry, medication may help reverse some of the effects and stabilize their situation. So, if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, reach out to Serenity Grove’s addiction treatment program in Athens, GA as soon as possible.

Medication-assisted treatment has been proven to prevent clients from returning to use, manage the painful withdrawal symptoms, reduce cravings, and much more. Moreover, depending on the type and severity of opioid addiction, MAT may include Suboxone treatment and Vivitrol treatment as well. To find out more about our medication-assisted treatment program in Athens, GA, contact us at 844.904.3485.

What is Medication-Assisted Treatment and How Does It Work?

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is a therapeutic approach used in the treatment of substance use disorders, particularly opioid addiction. It combines the use of FDA-approved medications with counseling and behavioral therapies to provide a “whole-patient” approach. The primary goal of MAT is to help individuals achieve and maintain recovery, improve patient survival, decrease illicit opioid use and other criminal activity associated with substance use disorders, and increase clients ability to gain and maintain employment.

The medications used in MAT are designed to normalize brain chemistry, block the euphoric effects of alcohol and opioids, relieve physiological cravings, and stabilize body functions without the negative effects of the abused drug. 

Types of Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction

These medications help to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms, making it easier for individuals to engage in and benefit from other forms of treatment like counseling and behavioral therapies. The most commonly used medications in MAT for opioid addiction are:

  1. Methadone: A long-acting opioid agonist, Methadone reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms by acting on the same opioid receptors in the brain that are affected by heroin and prescription opioids. It’s typically dispensed daily under supervision at specialized treatment centers.

  2. Buprenorphine: This medication, which includes formulations like Suboxone (buprenorphine combined with naloxone), is a partial opioid agonist. It helps to reduce opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms without producing the same “high” or dangerous side effects as other opioids. Buprenorphine can be prescribed by certified physicians in various settings, including primary care, making it more accessible than Methadone.

  3. Naltrexone: Unlike Methadone and Buprenorphine, Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist. It works by blocking the euphoric and sedative effects of opioids. This means that if a person relapses and uses opioids, Naltrexone prevents the feeling of getting high. Naltrexone is available in a pill form or as a monthly injection (Vivitrol).

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Types of Medication-Assisted Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

The most commonly used medications in MAT for alcohol addiction are:

  1. Disulfiram (Antabuse): This medication is best suited for people who have already stopped drinking and want to avoid relapse. Disulfiram works by causing a severe adverse reaction when alcohol is consumed, including symptoms like flushing, nausea, and palpitations. The fear of this unpleasant reaction can deter individuals from drinking.

  2. Naltrexone: Naltrexone is used to help people reduce heavy drinking. It works by blocking the euphoric and sedative effects of alcohol, thus reducing the pleasure associated with drinking. This can make it easier for individuals to cut back or quit drinking. Naltrexone is available in a daily pill form or a monthly injection (Vivitrol).

  3. Acamprosate (Campral): Acamprosate is designed to help people who have already stopped drinking maintain abstinence. It works by reducing cravings and the unpleasant symptoms that some people experience when they stop drinking, such as insomnia, anxiety, and restlessness.

Why We Offer Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

It is never advisable to quit drugs/alcohol cold turkey on one’s own. In fact, before seeking professional help, many clients may have tried to quit on their own and failed. It is also extremely dangerous, as the withdrawal symptoms may lead to significant health complications that may even require hospitalization.

Thus, most quality rehab centers, including Serenity Grove, offer MAT to carefully wean a person off addiction. Some of the unique benefits of medication-assisted treatment include:

  • It decreases the acute pain during the withdrawal phase, ensuring that the client is safe and comfortable.
  • Moreover, it reduces the intense cravings; the person is less likely to consume the drug while on medication.
  • MAT blocks the euphoric “highs” associated with drug use while also preventing the client from falling into acute depression.
  • Additionally, MAT helps to stabilize the client and prepares them for therapy and counseling sessions.
  • In fact, MAT improves survival rates significantly and prevents the chances of a client returning to use.
  • Finally, it ensures recovery in a timely and supervised manner with the help of doctors, nurses, and other experts.

Our Medication-Assisted Treatment Program in Athens, GA

There are several unique advantages to opting for our medication-assisted treatment program in Athens, GA, such as the following:

  • Dual-diagnosis treatment: We treat both the physical symptoms of addiction, as well as the mental side-effects for optimal recovery.
  • LGBTQ-friendly space: As a queer-friendly space, we welcome clients from all backgrounds and ensure that no one faces any discrimination due to gender identity or sexual orientation.
  • 24-hour nursing care: For high-risk clients, we offer around-the-clock nursing care to maximize their safety and comfort levels.
  • Drug and alcohol detox: At our family-owned rehab center, our clients can undergo medical detox in a safe and supportive environment.
  • Suboxone treatment: Suboxone is frequently administered to wean a client off an opioid addiction in a highly controlled environment.
  • Vivitrol treatment: Vivitrol (naltrexone) can reverse the effects of opioids, by reducing cravings and preventing a person from returning to use.
  • Lifelong continuing care: Even after treatment is formally complete, we continue to support our clients in whatever way they require. We monitor their progress over the years and ensure that they can always reach out to us in case of an emergency.

Find the Key to Long-Term Sobriety at Serenity Grove Recovery

At Serenity Grove, we steadfastly believe that a complete recovery is possible for anyone. With the help of medication-assisted treatment, behavioral therapy and emotional support, we guide our clients toward a healthier and happier life.

At our family-owned treatment center, we thus specialize in end-to-end care services, guiding our clients through the stages of medical detox, inpatient care, outpatient rehab, and beyond. In fact, with 24-hour nursing care for high-acuity detox, we make our client’s safety, comfort, and emotional well-being our highest priority.

It is never too late to change your life for the better. Take the first step towards healing and wellness by calling us at 844.904.3485.