Medication-Assisted Treatment

Mediation Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is used for opioid abuse, nicotine addiction, tobacco use, and alcohol use disorder and consists of a combination of medications that works to alleviate the withdrawal effects so the recovery journey can go as smooth as possible. Alcohol withdrawal can be excruciating, anxiety-ridden, and even life-threatening. Therefore, the combination of medically assisted treatment for alcohol and psychotherapy is known to be the most successful in the treatment of alcohol use disorder.

How Does MAT Work?

When a person makes the decision to enroll in a treatment program for their addiction, it is often a huge and stressful decision. Even though it can be a happy time for family and loves ones, there are a lot of scary unknowns for the person entering treatment. One of the biggest and scariest unknows is how the detox process will feel. Depending on the length and severity of the addiction, detox can range from mild to debilitating symptoms.

One of the many reasons it is almost impossible to quit drugs or alcohol cold turkey is the painful withdrawal symptoms. Physical symptoms are painful, emotional symptoms are unbearable, and cravings are at an all-time high. Instead of having to subject oneself to these intense symptoms, people can choose to get MAT and make the detox process much more comfortable. That way, people can more quickly focus on their recovery and begin to receive the treatment they need.

During MAT, medications are administered to help alleviate painful withdrawal symptoms. They are also administered to help slowly wean patients off of drugs so that the detox process isn’t such a shock to their body. Medications are also given to help prevent cravings, as well as to prevent patients from getting high or drunk at all. These preventative measures help as an extra buffer in early recovery when relapse is most likely, and sobriety is most fragile.

Detox Withdrawal Symptoms

Detox symptoms can vary from person to person, depending on the length and severity of the addiction. Some people may experience every symptom possible, while some people only experience a few. The length of the withdrawal symptoms varies greatly, as well. Some people are able to get through the detox process in just a few short weeks, while some people may feel acute symptoms for months or years. In general, the withdrawal symptoms that someone can experience during the detox process in treatment include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Hunger
  • Lethargy
  • Hunger or loss of appetite
  • Night sweats
  • Insomnia
  • Shakiness
  • Shivers or sweating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Anger
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Anxiety
  • Nightmares
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Teeth chattering
  • Tremors