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What is Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Using complementary or alternative medications during substance use disorder treatment is referred to as Medically Assisted Treatment. MAT can help reduce relapse rates, improve treatment outcomes, and manage withdrawal symptoms during the detoxification stage of treatment.

Why Medically Assisted Treatment may be right for you

Many types of treatment exist to enable people to recover from substance use disorders. Some of these treatments have abstinence-based approaches, a concept that has proven to be not only beneficial but lifesaving to those who have chosen it. However, when it comes to abstinence the struggle is real and many find that they cannot get over the initial hurdle of quitting their drug of choice. The power of physical addiction should never be underestimated, and this is where MAT can play a vital role.

The outcome of medication-assisted therapy for people who struggle with abstinence-based programs has proven to be effective in reducing relapse rates and increasing the rates of long-term sobriety.

How does MAT work?

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of specific medications alongside counseling and behavioral therapies, treating mainly drug and alcohol use disorders. The MAT treatment modality incorporates specific FDA approved medications to help manage withdrawal symptoms and safely stop using drugs and/or alcohol. Also incorporated into the MAT modality is some kind of behavioral therapy, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This helps manage behaviors and past traumas which may trigger further substance misuse in the future and the combination of both therapies ensures better outcomes for those in recovery.

There has been a significant amount of research on the outcomes of medication-assisted treatment for those who have chosen it.  It appears that the results are favorable with increased survival and retention in treatment at the top of the list. Substance Use and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), also reports that those who have chosen MAT as part of their recovery treatment have better outcomes in their overall physical health, employment retention and mental health.

How do I find medication-assisted treatment near me?

It is important to always seek evidence-based treatment and approved treatment centers for your recovery needs. To find reputable treatment clinics it is advised to do your research and start with your national health advisor in your country. For example in The United States of America, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) provides a comprehensive list of treatment providers by state. In the UK the NHS provides the same information for the relevant areas.

As with any treatment option you decide to embark on, it’s what you are willing to invest into it that makes the biggest impact. Including family and creating community also leads to greater success in recovery. Why not start today and begin your bright future.

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