Therapy is a vital tool in recovery from substance abuse, but sometimes it’s not enough to help you end certain addictions. In some cases, you may also benefit from medication along with counseling to help keep you sober for the long-term.
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) combines psychotherapy with medications to provide a whole-patient approach to treating substance abuse. MAT uses FDA-approved drugs to help prevent overdose and sustain your recovery.
At Coping Nurse Practitioner in Psychiatry Services in Uniondale, New York, Judy E. Vansiea, DNP, MA, MS, APRN, NPP, provides MAT for patients who are addicted to opioids, alcohol, and smoking. Through the right therapies and ongoing administration and monitoring of your prescribed medication, we can help you end your substance use disorder.
What can medication-assisted treatment help with?
The FDA has approved medication-assisted treatment for use with alcohol use disorders, opioid addiction, and tobacco dependence. MAT can help reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings for these substances by changing your brain chemistry.
Medication helps regulate your brain chemistry and block the euphoric feeling you experience when you use drugs or alcohol. It can also lessen your cravings for the substance so you aren’t tempted to relapse.
By reducing your desire for using, you can focus on the therapy component of MAT. Through different therapeutic techniques, you can learn the root cause of your addiction and develop healthier ways to cope so you no longer turn to drugs to find relief.
Studies have shown that MAT is the most effective treatment for opioid addiction and can sharply reduce illicit use of opioids, as well as overdoses. Similar studies have shown its effectiveness in helping those with alcohol addiction and an addition to nicotine sustain abstinence.
Medications used in MAT
The FDA has approved several prescription drugs that can be used in medication-assisted treatment. These include:
- Acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone for treating alcohol use disorder
- Buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone to treat opioid use disorders
- Naloxone to prevent opioid overdose
- Varenicline to reduce nicotine cravings
Depending on the medication, it may be administered via pill, injections, a film that dissolves in your mouth, or as an implant. We use the lowest dose needed to help you achieve your goals.
We typically administer your medication for you in our office to ensure that it gets taken properly and that there are no side effects.
Benefits of medication-assisted treatment
When done under the supervision of a trained professional, medication-assisted treatment can be an essential tool in your recovery from an addiction to substances. We tailor your MAT to you so you only receive the therapy and medications that are needed to aid in your recovery.
MAT has shown the following benefits for people struggling with addiction:
- Increased treatment retention
- Decreased risk of relapse
- Reduced risk of overdose
- Increased ability to get and keep a job
- Decreased illicit drug use
- Lessened risk of contracting an STD
MAT can be used as long as needed to help you stay sober. We evaluate your treatment plan periodically and make changes when appropriate.
Medication-assisted treatment may be the key to finally helping you end your addiction. To find out more about MAT, call our office or send us a message online today.