Frequently Asked Questions About Medication-Assisted Treatment

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What Is Medication-Assisted Treatment?

When an individual is suffering from an addiction to opioids such as heroin or prescription painkillers, that person is likely to endure a process of withdrawal if he or she stops abusing these substances. Medication assisted treatment is an option for care that helps these individuals get through this process by providing them with relief from the physical and psychological distress that emerges once the abuse of heroin or painkillers has ceased.

An invaluable method for treating opioid addiction, medication assisted treatment includes medications that are specially designed to help individuals recover from heroin and painkiller addictions. By interacting with the same receptors in the brain that opioids do, the medications prescribed within this level of care prevent an individual from experiencing nagging cravings for more heroin and/or painkillers and the physical side effects that are part of the withdrawal process.

Additionally, medication assisted treatment provides patients with the beneficial therapeutic interventions that individuals need to develop the confidence and skills required to prepare for a lifetime of recovery. Individual therapy and group therapy, the primary methods of therapeutic care utilized, enable those engaged in medication assisted treatment to garner support and guidance as the road to an opioid-free life is navigated.

Do Comprehensive Treatment Centers Offer Take-Home Medication Doses?

Comprehensive Treatment Centers (CTCs) offer take-home medication doses in accordance with state and federal regulations. Take-home dose procedures prioritize patient safety while helping to normalize MAT and improve access to essential treatment. This treatment option can provide greater flexibility for patients, allowing them to receive care that meets their needs and increases their level of engagement and satisfaction. To learn more about take-home medication options and eligibility, please contact your local CTC.

How Do I Know If Medication-Assisted Treatment Is Right For Me?

Adults ages 18 and above who have been abusing opioids for at least one year can benefit from medication assisted treatment. Even if a person has attempted to defeat an addiction to opioids in the past, but was unsuccessful, this type of treatment can help individuals achieve the recovered lives they deserve. Additionally, those who have completed detox prior can engage in medication assisted treatment to enhance their recovery journey and keep them focused on abstaining from heroin and/or prescription painkillers.

What Medications Are Offered In Medication-Assisted Treatment Programs?

To meet the varying needs of those who require medication assisted treatment, programs typically offer one or more of the following medications:

Methadone: Backed by decades of research, methadone has been used to treat opioid addiction because of its effectiveness in alleviating cravings and the physical symptoms of withdrawal. Administered in the form of a liquid or dissolvable tablet, this medication is consumed once daily and enables individuals once in the throes of opioid addictions to achieve the clarity of mind required to focus on other aspects of their recovery.

SUBOXONE®: SUBOXONE® contains buprenorphine as one of its active ingredients in order to help individuals fend off withdrawal symptoms and the urge to use opioids. It also includes naloxone as its other ingredient, which has the ability to induce a powerful and uncomfortable physical reaction if opioids are ingested at any point during the course of treatment. Also approved by the FDA and administered as a tablet once daily, SUBOXONE® is a medication that can be utilized for the long-term without causing users to experience adverse health concerns while using it.

Vivitrol: Medication assisted treatment’s only injectable medication, Vivitrol is a medication that is comprised of naltrexone hydrochloride and is given one time per month intravenously. Vivitrol not only prevents opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms, but also decreases the likelihood that a person will relapse or experience an overdose.

The medication that an individual will take is dependent on the needs of the person. This decision is made in collaboration with the patient, his or her doctor, and counselor at the individual’s treatment center.

Can I Become Addicted To A Medication Prescribed To Me In Medication Assisted Treatment?

The medications used within medication assisted treatment programs are closely monitored to prevent individuals from misusing them. Because medications, like methadone, have a high potential for abuse, staff within medication assisted treatment programs also administer them at the center so that the dosage and frequency with which medications are taken can be supervised and controlled.

It is possible for a person to become addicted to certain medications used within medication assisted treatment. Though, the likelihood of that happening under the watchful eye of the treatment professionals facilitating this type of care is low.

Will A Medication I Am Prescribed In Medication-Assisted Treatment Show Up On A Drug Screen?

In the event a person is required to complete a drug screen while consuming methadone, SUBOXONE®, or Vivitrol, it is unlikely that that individual will test positive. A specific type of drug screen is required in order to detect these types of medications.

However, what is important to know is that if a person is consuming a medication that was prescribed to him or her within a medication assisted treatment program, that individual’s use is legal.

How Long Will I Need To Participate In Medication-Assisted Treatment?

The length of time that an individual remains a patient within a medication assisted treatment program is strictly based on his or her treatment needs. Some people only continue receiving this type of care until they are ready to taper off of the medication that was prescribed to him or her, while others remain patients for longer periods of time.

If you are curious as to how long you will require medication assisted treatment, it is best to consult with a treatment provider who offered this type of care.

Do The Medications Offered In Medication-Assisted Treatment Interact With Other Drugs Or Medications?

As with other prescription medications, the medications offered within medication assisted treatment can interact with other prescriptions, supplements, and other illicit drugs in an adverse manner. For this reason, it is important for a person to disclose the other substances that he or she is consuming so as to preserve the safety of the individual and the effectiveness of any prescriptions that are being taken.

What Is The Cost For Medication-Assisted Treatment?

The amount that a person can expect to pay for medication assisted treatment can vary depending on a number of factors. The type of medication that is prescribed, the method of payment that is chosen, and the frequency of the other therapeutic interventions that an individual participates in at the center can all impact the final cost of care.

To learn more about the potential cost of medication assisted treatment or to get more information about this life-saving type of care, contact the comprehensive treatment center in your area today.

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