Medication-assisted treatment, abbreviated as MAT, is a substance abuse treatment that involves medication use. It is a holistic treatment approach that integrates medicine with counselling and behavioral therapies. It is mainly applicable for alcohol addiction, opioid addiction, and overdose.

Research studies show that medication assisted treatment has successively been used to treat addiction disorders. This is mainly achieved through alleviating withdrawal symptoms and reprogramming the brain. Additionally, since most drugs affect hormone production and neurotransmitters, MAT reverses this. It readjusts the imbalances in neurotransmitters and hormones.

Despite this effectiveness, there are controversies about whether medication assisted treatment is the right option for substance abuse disorder. If you are aware of this, you will probably question it too. To ascertain your worries, it is necessary to seek the professional advice of a medical specialist. Below are four questions you can ask a medical professional about medication assisted treatment.

Will this affect my sobriety?

 Primarily, medication assisted treatment is supposed to help you get sober. It is known for treating addiction and helping in the recovery process. For instance, medicines such as suboxone (a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone) are used in withdrawal from opioids. This is the primary step. After stopping drug use, you are bound to experience withdrawal symptoms that are difficult to get past. There are drugs given to alleviate this.

Secondly, counselling and behavioral therapy, which is part of medication assisted treatment, are used to address underlying issues that cause addiction. Other co-occurring disorders such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) are what drive many people to drug abuse. Therefore, the therapy sessions help find the root cause of addiction and handle it. This will be effective in preventing relapse.

What Are The Side Effects?

Medication assisted treatment causes side effects depending on the medicine used. The commonly used medicines in medication assisted treatment include methadone, buprenorphine, naltrexone, and Antabuse, and acamprosate. Since methadone and buprenorphine have close to similar chemical configurations, the side effects are similar. The side effects include;





Muscle aches

Sleeping difficulties

Side Effects Of Naltrexone Include;

  • Stomach pain
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Joint pain
  • Vomiting

Side Effects Of Acamprosate Include;

  • Restlessness
  • Dysphoria
  • Anxiety insomnia

Length of the treatment

The length of medication assisted treatment varies depending on the drugs used. But averagely, it spans from months to two years. The decision to stop the treatment is based on tolerance, side effects, and response. Ideally, long-term medications are used to minimize the chances of relapses.

Effectiveness of medication assisted treatment.

Research studies show that medication assisted therapy significantly improves outcomes of addiction recovery. This can be attributed to its efficiency in preventing relapse by dealing with co-occurring disorders through therapy. Additionally, the therapy increases the social functioning of the addicts. Medication assisted treatment is a comprehensive method that increases the chances of a successful path of addiction recovery. Ideally, the treatment works by blocking any euphoric effects that drug use causes. These blockages then minimize the cravings for the specific drugs. Despite the side effects of the treatment methods, it is an effective method for substance abuse recovery and treatment.