Medication Assisted Treatment
man meets doctor at medication assisted treatment center in chesapeake va
By BrightView
Author Dan Bielecki, LPCC-S, LICDC-CS
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Dan Bielecki, LPCC-S, LICDC-CS

Dan is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor with supervision designation (LPCC-S) and a Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor... read more

Published: October 6, 2021
Updated: October 6, 2021

Although substance use disorder has increased over the years, addiction treatment has advanced to improve recovery rates. Medication assisted treatment (MAT) is a highly effective treatment approach for alcohol and opioid use disorders. Getting help from evidence-based programs, like those at BrightView’s Chesapeake, VA addiction treatment center, will provide you with treatment that is proven to work.

When you choose BrightView, you are giving yourself the gift of a healthy recovery. Our MAT programs incorporate medication, individual counseling, group therapy, and social support to set you up for recovery success. Give us a call at 888.501.9865 to learn more about our medication assisted treatment in Chesapeake, VA.

What Is Medication Assisted Treatment?

Medication assisted treatment (MAT) is an addiction treatment that uses medication to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and cravings. A client will receive various types of therapy and support as found in most traditional addiction treatment programs. By adding specific medications, a person can experience greater comfort throughout treatment.

Medication assisted treatment is primarily used for alcohol and opioid use disorders. Certain medications have been found to interact with brain receptors activated by alcohol and opioid drugs:

  • Buprenorphine – This is a partial agonist, meaning it produces a similar euphoric effect to opioids but in a weaker dose.
  • Methadone – This is a long-acting opioid agonist that blocks the effects of opioids.
  • Naltrexone – This is an opioid antagonist that binds to and blocks opioid receptors.
  • Suboxone – This is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone that binds to opioid receptors without producing a euphoric high.
  • Naloxone – This is an opioid antagonist medication used in the event of an opioid overdose. It binds to opioid receptors to reverse and block the effects of opioids. Naloxone can help save a person’s life if they overdose, but it is not intended to be a substitute for a complete MAT program.

As mentioned, these medications can help alleviate withdrawal symptoms, reduce cravings, and reverse an overdose. However, they will not be an effective tool for recovery from alcohol or opioid use disorder on their own. MAT is a comprehensive treatment program that includes counseling, behavioral therapies, and support to treat the whole person for the most effective recovery.

How Does Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction Support Recovery?

Medication assisted treatment provides several benefits beyond those of a traditional addiction treatment program. By incorporating medication into addiction treatment:

  • The rate of program retention is increased.
  • The risk of relapse is reduced.
  • The risk of fatal overdose is lower.
  • The rate of successful recovery is higher.

As you can see, medication can make all the difference in addiction treatment outcomes. The main reason behind this is that medications help minimize the discomfort and cravings that arise during and after withdrawal. By alleviating or eliminating the primary obstacles in early recovery, medications help you get through the rough patch so you can stay focused on treatment.

While medications keep you comfortable, you can begin therapy to explore the underlying causes of substance use disorder. Without medication, some people find it challenging to stay present and follow through with treatment as they are distracted by the overwhelming need to decrease their discomfort by taking opioids.

Therapy provides a complete addiction treatment experience since it tackles mental health conditions, trauma, stress, and dysfunctional relationships. The benefits of combining therapy with medication as part of MAT include:

  • Identifying triggers and formulating a plan for removing, avoiding, or handling them differently
  • Learning healthy coping skills for stress and difficult emotions
  • Exploring unhealthy patterns in family and romantic relationships and learning healthier ways to interact
  • Developing more effective problem-solving skills

Therapy will empower you to take back control of your thoughts and feelings so you can choose behaviors that lead you toward the healthy, sober lifestyle you desire.

BrightView: Safe, Reliable Medication Assisted Treatment in Chesapeake, VA

When you need medication assisted treatment for opioid addiction in Chesapeake, VA, you can count on BrightView. Our MAT program is customized to meet your individual needs for the most effective outpatient treatment. Give us a call at 888.501.9865 to get started today.