According to SAMSHA, the U.S Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, in 2018, there were an estimated 2 million people with an opioid use disorder. When people become dependent on opioids like prescription pain killers, recovery can be especially difficult. The withdrawal process includes sickness and intense cravings that can lead to people continuing their drug use even if they want to stop because withdrawal is so painful.
Medication-Assisted Treatment or MAT programs rely on the use of medication to treat substance use disorders. There are FDA approved medications such as Buprenorphine, Methadone, and Naltrexone that are highly effective in easing the withdrawal symptoms and preventing relapse. At Project Hope, our mission is to provide individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD) the tools necessary to support their recovery.
What are the goals of a MAT program?
Our MAT program help individuals live the life they want to live without drug addiction. With individualized and comprehensive treatment, we’re able to:
- Reduce the risk of relapse
- Address cravings
- Facilitate a controlled taper of the drug
- Decrease drug use
- Improve the transition to a drug-free life
- And more.
At Project Hope, we provide each participant with access to medication-assisted treatment and a case manager to help with job training and placement, housing issues, education opportunities, etc.
What Medications Are Used For MAT?
Buprenorphine, Methadone, and Naltrexone treatments have all been shown to be safe and effective at treating opioid use disorder. These MAT medications are used to treat opioids such as heroin, morphine, codeine, and semi-synthetic opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone.
Buprenorphine occupies the same receptors in the brain that opioids target. This helps to suppress cravings. While Buprenorphine has mildly addictive properties and produces some of the effects of opioids, it also reduces withdrawal symptoms. The dosage for Buprenorphine is gradually tapered with a medical professional’s supervision to support a full recovery.
Methadone therapy also uses a safer, controlled dose of opioid medication to taper off the drug’s effects. It helps to stabilize opioid dependence without the cravings, withdrawal, and effects of opioids.
Lastly, we use Naltrexone to block the effects of opioids like the euphoric and sedative feelings. Since it locks onto opioid receptors, it prevents users from feeling the effects of opioids and helps discourage drug use.
What are Suboxone and Naloxone?
Those familiar with treatment options for opioid use disorder have probably heard of Suboxone and Naloxone.
Suboxone is a combination of Buprenorphine and Naloxone to assist with the detoxification of opioids.
Naloxone is another medication used to treat opioid addiction, but this is for overdose prevention. In case of an emergency, Naloxone can save lives by reversing the effects of an opioid overdose.
What does a MAT Program look like?
It is common for those with opioid addiction issues to also struggle with a co-occurring mental health disorder. Our MAT program aims to support people overcome opioid dependency by helping them with all aspects of their life. Our treatment includes a combination of medication and evidence-based psychosocial support services like therapy and job placement.
Our team of psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, and social workers work closely with patients to support recovery, reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. If you or someone you know could use want to join Project Hope, please reach out to us for more information.