Medication-Assisted Treatment

In recent years, the idea of using medications to assist in substance addiction treatment has blossomed into a common thread among many programs in the United States.

Early on, there were many opposed to the idea of providing medications to a person struggling with addiction because they figured it was trading one addiction for another. However, now with decades of proof showing the effectiveness of medication-assisted treatment (MAT), the thoughts have shifted to “How do we make this more accessible?”

At Ripple Ranch Recovery Center, we believe providing a well-rounded MAT program to some of our clients is a must.

What is Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)?

Medication-assisted treatment is the use of specific medications combined with counseling to treat opioid use disorder.

MAT has been proved to be effective in helping people manage withdrawal symptoms from drugs like heroin.

As a whole, MAT is still new and growing as a form of treatment for substance use disorders. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration continues to approve MAT drugs that will benefit people for years to come.

The most commonly used medications in MAT are buprenorphine, naltrexone, and naloxone.

medication assisted training

What Medications Are Included in MAT?

The three most-used MAT medications feature different effects. They are buprenorphine, naltrexone, and naloxone.

Brand name buprenorphine medications include:

  • Suboxone (combined with naloxone)
  • Subutex
  • Butrans
  • Sublocade
  • Belbuca

Brand name naltrexone medications include:

  • Vivitrol
  • ReVia
  • Depade
  • Contrave (combined with bupropion)

Brand name naloxone mediations include:

  • Suboxone (combined with buprenorphine)
  • Narcan
  • Evzio
  • Kloxxado

How Do Medication-Assisted Treatment Drugs Work?

There are multiple FDA approved MAT medications, and they feature differing effects.

Buprenorphine dampens the effects of opioid withdrawal symptoms. It also reduces the craving to use opioids. It does this by acting as a partial opioid agonist. This means the drug works like an opioid (e.g. fentanyl) but with lesser effects.

Buprenorphine has been proved effective in treating those with opioid use disorder, regardless of the exact substance. It has helped those with addictions to painkillers like Vicodin and those addicted to heroin.

Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist, meaning it cancels out the effects of opioids.

This means if you were to take naltrexone and then take an opioid painkiller or drink alcohol, you would not experience the high related to the drugs.

Naloxone, similar to Naltrexone, cancels out the effects of opioids.

Buprenorphine and naloxone are often combined for a fuller effect, most notably in the brand name drug Suboxone.

Do the MAT medications cure me?

Medication alone is likely not enough to overcome opioid use disorder. Maintaining recovery in the long-term will require the help of therapists and others with similar experiences to discuss your journey with.

To reach long-term recovery, successful MAT programming must include the following:

  • Medication
  • Evidence-based behavioral therapy
  • Relapse prevention
  • Education
  • Life-skills training

Without therapy and the other components listed above, it will be incredibly difficult to reach long-term recovery. Regardless, the drugs used in MAT are effective in stopping the symptoms of opioid withdrawal.

Contact Us Today to Get Started

Our team is standing by to teach you more about what we offer and help you figure out a care plan that will be most effective for you and your unique situation.

Do I Qualify for MAT?

Upon entering treatment, a client will receive an intake evaluation from a mental health professional.

This evaluation will help in determining if MAT is the correct path for you.

The goals of the evaluation are to adequately diagnose a substance use disorder, determine the severity of the addiction the client is facing, and assess for the possibility of a co-occurring mental health disorder.

Once this is complete, the professional will determine if a client is a good candidate for the MAT program.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a person is a suitable candidate for MAT if they:

  • Have received a diagnosis of opioid or alcohol addiction
  • Have a willingness to follow all provided instructions
  • Have no physical health problems that would be aggravated by the medications prescribed
  • Have been educated on other forms of treatment

At the same time, SAMHSA states that a person can be a poor candidate because of any of the following:

  • A history of medication misuse
  • Addiction to a substance that cannot be treated with medications
  • A severe physical limitation such as heart or lung disease
  • Lack of commitment to a program

Regardless of the lists above, it’s important to reach out if you think MAT could benefit you. A medical professional will be able to properly address these things with you. 

Does Insurance Cover MAT?

All insurance companies are different, so this is hard to answer.

At Ripple Ranch Recovery, we work with, and are in-network with, Christus Health Plan, Cigna, Magellan Health, BlueCross BlueShield, Aetna, and First Health Network.

If you do not see your insurance company listed, contact us to discuss further options.

mat

Call Ripple Ranch Recovery Recovery Today

At Ripple Ranch Recovery Center, we understand medication-assisted treatment offers incredible opportunity to our clients.

We believe that MAT, along with the support of a well-trained and highly skilled staff, can help many reeling from their addictions. It can bring peace and comfort back to your life.

If you are interested in learning more about MAT for yourself or a loved one, please reach out to learn more. We would love to provide you with answers to all of your questions.

Call today at (830) 302-3490!

Contact Us Today to Get Started

Our team is standing by to teach you more about what we offer and help you figure out a care plan that will be most effective for you and your unique situation.

FAQ

What is MAT (medication-assisted treatment)?

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of medications combined with counseling to treat opioid use disorder.

MAT has been proved to be effective in helping people withdraw from dangerous drugs like heroin.

What are the components of medication-assisted treatment?

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is an approach to treatment that combines the use of counseling and therapy with medications.

The components of MAT vary from treatment center to treatment center, as it depends greatly on their abilities to provide care with the resources they have available.

  • A true standard treatment model for MAT does not exist, but standard components of a MAT program will include:
  • Qualified medical professionals to prescribe medications
  • An agreement in place with the client as to a treatment plan
  • Counseling and onsite support access

How do MAT medications work?

The three most-used MAT drugs feature different effects.

Buprenorphine dampens the effects of opioid withdrawal symptoms. It also reduces the craving to use opioids. It does this by working as a partial opioid agonist. This means the drug works like an opioid (e.g. fentanyl) but with lesser effects.

Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist, meaning it cancels out the effects of opioids.

This means if you were to take naltrexone and then take an opioid painkiller or drink alcohol, you would not experience the high related to the drugs.

Naloxone, similar to Naltrexone, cancels out the effects of opioids.

Buprenorphine and naloxone are often combined for a fuller effect, most notably in the brand name drug Suboxone.

How effective is medication-assisted treatment?

Incredibly effective. At Ripple Ranch, we believe it is the gold standard in substance use treatment.

Many studies over the last 10-15 years have shown the incredible benefits of MAT in the lives and recovery of those participating in it.

If you have further questions about its effectiveness, we would love to chat.

Ripple Ranch Recovery