Have you been researching medically assisted treatment (MAT) programs in Massachusetts? If you or your loved one has been struggling with drug and alcohol use, you’re in the right place. Treatment for a physical dependency on drugs and alcohol may seem daunting; not to worry, you’re in good hands with Psyclarity. Keep reading to learn more about MAT for drug and alcohol addiction and how rehab works.
What Is MAT?
In simplified terms, medically assisted treatment is just what it sounds like; a treatment for substance use disorder that uses medication in conjunction with counseling and behavioral therapies. Science has shown us that MAT, in combination with other therapies, gives individuals their best chance at recovery. Unfortunately, most individuals can’t access MAT for their recovery program. Every day roughly 20 million Americans live with a physical dependency on drugs and alcohol, yet only 1 in 10 ever receive treatment. 60% of residential treatment facilities don’t offer MAT, and only 1% offer all three types of medication. Only one out of four doctors said they’d received addiction training in their medical education.
The reason behind this lack of education and options for treatment is the terrible stigma surrounding substance use disorders. Stigma is an ancient word from biblical times and translates essentially into “a mark of disgrace.” Stigma works on several different levels as a barrier to accessing treatment. The first is public stigma, which is negative attitudes and fears that isolate those with a substance use disorder. Over 80% of us don’t want a friend, neighbor, or co-worker with a substance use disorder. The second is the thoughts and feelings we hold about ourselves. If most of the general public despises those with a substance use disorder, how can anyone living with this disease not internalize those attitudes? Accepting and believing these incorrect and unhelpful attitudes surrounding addiction prevents many people from seeking treatment. Another reason many people don’t receive adequate addiction treatment is the criminal aspect of using Schedule I drugs. Addiction is the only criminalized disease, even though punishment does nothing to reduce drug use or overdose.
Fortunately, you have landed on the website of PsyClarity, which offers MAT and other cutting-edge, evidence-based therapies to treat substance use disorders, also called addiction. We know that negative attitudes about people with addiction directly impact their ability to recover, and you will never experience any blame from our team of experts. We understand that addiction is a disease of the brain, like cancer is a disease of the body, and can be put into remission with appropriate treatment, medication, and support. We also know that MAT can be critical in the recovery of anyone living with addiction. Many poorly-informed people deride drugs like buprenorphine in treating opioid use disorder, claiming it’s just exchanging one addiction for another. They could not be more wrong, like someone with diabetes who needs insulin to function; someone with a severe opioid use disorder also requires medication. These medications are life-saving, and organizations like the American Association of Addiction Psychiatry and the American Society of Addiction Medicine unequivocally support their use. Someone who has a severe form of addiction can function in society, maintain a job, and meet family obligations with MAT. Research also shows that MAT reduces the risk of overdose by a whopping 50% and lowers their chance of contracting diseases like Hepatitis-C and HIV.
What To Expect During MAT?
You’ll begin the intake process by contacting our admissions specialists via phone or online form. Our team will conduct a comprehensive interview for family history, drug use, and any concurrent health problems. A medical expert will screen you for co-occurring disorders like depression, PTSD, anxiety, ADHD, and bipolar disorder. This screening is crucial, as people with a mental illness are far more likely to develop a substance use disorder than those without. Over 9 million people living with addiction also have a co-occurring condition in the United States, although that doesn’t mean one caused the other. Instead, it means that environmental changes like stress and trauma are passed down through generations and that those with a mental illness may attempt to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol.
During your interview, you’ll work with your case manager and medical team to build the treatment program that meets your unique needs. Not everyone requires MAT; factors like age, metabolism, substance use and length of use help our medical team determine the options needed to keep you safe and comfortable. Generally, the people with the most acute withdrawal symptoms use opioids, alcohol, or benzodiazepines. Due to the risk of seizures, these three drugs are also the most dangerous to withdraw from and should never be abruptly stopped. MAT for opioid use consists of one of the three drugs approved by the FDA, either buprenorphine, methadone, or naltrexone. MATs for alcohol use disorder are acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone. A quick breakdown of these medications is listed below.
- Buprenorphine. A long-acting opioid that doesn’t provide the same high as short-acting opioids like heroin or oxycontin. Buprenorphine lasts between 24-36 hours in the body, while someone using short-acting opioids would need to use them 3-4 times per day to prevent withdrawal symptoms.
- Methadone. Another long-acting opioid taken once a day, methadone, functions in the body similarly to buprenorphine.
- Naltrexone. Used for both opioid and alcohol use disorder, naltrexone blocks cravings and euphoria associated with use. It is not a narcotic and will not prevent withdrawal symptoms in users. Naltrexone is used after the physical process of detoxing finishes.
- Acamprosate. Functioning in the brain like naltrexone, acamprosate will not prevent physical withdrawal symptoms but helps block cravings after detox.
- Disulfiram. This drug is perhaps the most well-known MAT for alcohol use disorder due to its side effects. When taking this medication, drinking the slightest amount of alcohol will induce copious amounts of vomiting and other unpleasant hangover symptoms. The idea behind this drug is that someone with an alcohol use disorder will abstain from drinking to avoid the massive amounts of barfing it induces.
All these medications are used alongside vigorous therapy treatment programs to give someone their best chance in recovery. When you enter treatment with PsyClarity, you’ll benefit from our years of experience helping people withdraw from drug and alcohol use. You’ll take medications as needed to keep you safe and comfortable through the process and receive 24/7 medical and emotional support.
Why Choose Psyclarity Health For Medically Assisted Treatment for Addiction
At Psyclarity Health, we know and understand the disease of addiction. We know how devastating addiction is to families and how substance use disorders isolate people, making them afraid and ashamed to ask for help. Our team is dedicated to helping people living with addiction recover from this disease in a safe and non-judgmental environment. Our approach to treatment is well-rounded, including medication if needed, intensive evidenced-based psychotherapy, nutrition, and complementary and holistic therapies. If you decide inpatient programs suit your needs, you’ll undergo therapy in our beautiful, luxurious facility that will never feel like a hospital. We offer gender-responsive treatment at our Massachusetts facility, providing a men-only environment that supports the life experiences of men and substance use disorders. A different way of life is waiting for you at Psyclarity Health; you are stronger than you might think and capable of change. You must make the first step on your path to sobriety. Pick up the phone and call us at (1)855-924-5350 to begin your journey.