Who Is Eligible to Receive Medication-Assisted Treatment?
Those who are eligible for medication-assisted treatment include opiate addicts and alcoholics. These are often the two most difficult and dangerous addictions to treat. Opioid medications such as buprenorphine and suboxone are used during detox and therapy. MAT programs are required to provide behavioral counseling or some type of therapy along with life skills training. In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported there were over 72,000 drug-related overdose deaths and over 88,000 annual deaths because of alcohol use. The American Medical Association recommended the approach of medication-assisted treatment. Between 2017 and 2018, over 15,000 physicians became certified to treat patients with opioid addiction, and or those struggling with alcohol addiction. Medication-assisted treatment combines behavioral therapy and medication to treat these addictions. The medications are FDA approved and are used in combination with counseling at inpatient or outpatient drug rehab centers. Per the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the MAT approach has seen success with opiate addicts.
For example, SAMHSA has shown that it improves patient survival, and increases their retention in treatment. The length of time someone requires this medication is a discussion between the patient and the prescribing doctor. Some patients choose to stay on it for long periods of time, but it is important to know the user will develop a tolerance for these drugs. The medications are safe to use under proper medical supervision. However, the goal should be to strive to become completely drug-free. During aftercare treatment, a recovering addict will spend a lot of time working on his or her recovery. This may be difficult to do if they are relying on a medication to help them maintain sobriety. These are still opioids, and will affect the person the same way, but are not as potent. Being totally drug-free does help improve your health overall and make it easier to accomplish the things you need. If you choose medication-assisted treatment, it is important to consider all your options, and ensure you receive the proper counseling and aftercare treatment.