Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Benefits, Side-Effects and Timeline
In 2018, an estimated 2 million people had an opioid use disorder which includes prescription pain medication containing opiates and heroin. MAT has proved to be clinically effective and significantly reduce the need for inpatient detoxification services for these individuals. Medication-Assisted Treatment provides a more comprehensive, individually tailored program of medication and behavioral therapy that addresses the needs of most patients. 
Medication-Assisted Treatment or MAT is one of the most effective ways to deal with drug addiction. In fact, it is also one of the safest and has a proven track record when it comes to reducing health care costs, and improving patient outcomes. Most importantly, it is giving people an opportunity for a happier, and healthier life.
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders.
Medication-Assisted Treatment for Substance Abuse
Many medications in the treatment of addiction help to restore balance to the very neurochemical processes that are disrupted due to addiction. Seeing that, many rehabs now are prescribing medications due to several reasons.
Medication-Assisted Treatment Includes Medications for Comfortable Withdrawal
The temporary use of certain FDA-approved medications such as Benzodiazepines, Naltrexone, Acamprosate, or Disulfiram might be prescribed to address more acute and debilitating alcohol withdrawal reactions.
Withdrawal Symptoms of Alcohol
You may feel or have these symptoms anywhere from six hours to a few days after your last drink:
- An increased heart rate
- High blood pressure
If you have severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms, it is a medical emergency because of the following possible effects on your body:
- Extreme confusion
- Extreme agitation
- A fever
- Tactile hallucinations, such as having a sense of itching, burning, or numbness that is not actually occurring
- Auditory hallucinations or hearing sounds that do not exist
- Visual hallucinations, or seeing images that do not exist
Medication-Assisted Treatment for Drug Addiction
Safe Medication for Opioid Addiction Treatment
There are three drugs approved by the FDA for the treatment of opioid dependence: buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone. All three of these treatments have been demonstrated to be safe and effective in combination with counseling and psychosocial support. 
Status of Medication for Cocaine & Heroin Addiction
Currently, there are no medications that are FDA approved for the treatment of cocaine dependence. However, recent advances in the understanding of the processes involved in cocaine addiction have allowed researchers to identify several promising new candidate medications. 
Moreover, the Federal government is expanding the use of MAT because it is supporting the research, development, and approval of pain medications that are less prone to abuse.
Also, the government is supporting the development and distribution of life-saving drugs such as naloxone to reduce prescription opioid painkillers and heroin overdose deaths. 
Meth Addiction & Medication
Currently, there is no meth MAT program in any treatment centers in the U.S. because there are no approved drugs for the use of treating meth addiction. Fortunately, there are other evidence-based treatments that are particularly good for treating meth abusers. Furthermore, as withdrawal from meth can bring up very unpleasant symptoms to your body and mind, medications can also help to ease the discomfort caused by these symptoms.
- Strong meth cravings
- Increased appetite
- Mood swings
- Red, itchy eyes
Listed above are the common symptoms of meth withdrawal.
Safe Benzo Withdrawal
Often, benzodiazepine detox can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms. However, proper care and medical supervision will greatly reduce the chances of developing these symptoms and ensure a safe detox process. In other words, the individual detoxing will be weaned from the substance slowly and carefully. Depending on their biology, dosage, and frequency of use, the time it takes to taper off varies but is usually achieved within a few weeks.
Some addictions to specific drugs such as alcohol or benzodiazepines will necessitate a person to go to a medical detox clinic before entering a rehab program for their own safety. This is because the withdrawals from specific drugs can make them physically ill and lead to severe withdrawal symptoms, including unpredictable or violent behavior, seizures, or death.
MAT for Prescription Drugs Addiction
In some cases, the withdrawal symptoms from prescription drugs addiction can even turn deadly. The medications can be prescribed to ease the detox process. Firstly, it should be with professional care and close monitoring.
Most of The Withdrawal Symptoms are:
- Drowsiness, lethargy, and/or random sleeping habits
- Nausea and headaches
- Poor hygiene
- Compromised judgement
- Ignoring responsibilities
- Difficulty with personal and professional relationships
- Weight loss, or other issues around eating
- Lack of desire to exercise
- Shallow or poor breathing
- Decreased or nonexistent libido
- Cold and/or flu-like symptoms
- Jumpy or over-energetic
- High body temperature
- Delusions and paranoia
- Chest pain
- Fast and excessive speech
- Erratic heartbeat
- Random sleep patterns
- High blood pressure
- Constant hyperactivity
- Poor memory
- Pupil dilation
- Agitation or aggression
- Slurred speech
- Poor coordination
Managing Withdrawal Symptoms & Treating Dual Diagnosis
Counseling and aftercare support approach and help many of our mental and emotional challenges. Then, the medications used for addiction treatment or substance abuse can assist with breaking the chains of physical dependence, helping to ease the difficult withdrawal periods, and managing any other medical or mental health issues that may have been left untreated.
Given that, here at We Level Up NJ, our comprehensive team prescribing medications can alleviate your withdrawal pains while monitoring your health 24 hours. Assuring both your safety and comfort. Once detox is complete, you will be in our residential level of care. Our residential care program slowly and effectively introduces the individual to an atmosphere of therapeutic growth. Marked by master’s level therapists, clinicians, group counselors, psychiatrists, and a community of like-minded individuals with the same aim: to attain sobriety and live a great life.
We Level Up NJ Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
Furthermore, a medically supervised detox works to minimize the symptoms of a withdrawal. Additionally, this makes the initial days of breaking addiction as comfortable and pain-free as possible.
Breaking an addiction is necessary to achieve a healthier life and a stronger mind, and we have seen this breaking of said addiction being the most essential part of anyone’s recovery. Although not everyone who detoxes from drugs will experience dangerous withdrawal symptoms, it is never an easy process. For instance, alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawal being the most dangerous, especially in combination. Therefore, Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) in our time-honored and effective setting will reduce the pressure and anxiety that comes with the first few days of the process and heavily increase the possibility of avoiding relapse.
Our compassionate team proactively guides clients in ways to stay focused on their goals for sobriety and recovery. Our approach at We Level Up NJ Treatment is holistic because we provide a comprehensive experience. This life-changing experience addresses clients’ physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health & wellbeing. If needed, we provide over-the-counter medicine, as well as short-term prescriptions for substances including Suboxone, Naltrexone, Acamprosate, and Disulfiram. These medications can be used to manage the more severe side effects, symptoms, and cravings that present during detox. Above all, this is all a part of our team’s role in relapse prevention.
If you are looking to take the first step toward sobriety, call us at We Level Up NJ today.
 https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration
 Information About MAT – U.S. Food and Drug Administration
 MAT – National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine
 https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/heroin/index.html – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention