Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is a big step forward in the fight against addiction. It combines counseling and behavioral therapies with FDA-approved medications to help substance use disorders.
It’s a comprehensive approach that addresses the needs of the whole patient. The benefits of receiving MAT are profound and multifaceted, touching upon the physiological, psychological, and social aspects of addiction recovery.
The Synergy of Medication and Therapy
At the core of MAT’s effectiveness is the synergy between medication and therapy. MAT uses medicines that are meant to restore normal brain chemistry, stop the euphoric effects of alcohol and opioids, ease physical cravings, and keep body processes stable without the bad effects of the drugs that are being abused.
When combined with therapy, MAT addresses not only the physical aspects of addiction but also aids patients in dealing with the psychological triggers that contribute to substance abuse.
This dual approach is particularly potent, as it acknowledges that addiction is not solely a physical or psychological problem but a complex interplay between many factors. Learn more here.
Reducing the Risk of Relapse
One of the most significant benefits of MAT is its ability to reduce the risk of relapse. Addiction is often characterized by a high potential for relapse, and MAT can help to curb this risk by alleviating the withdrawal symptoms and cravings that typically lead to it.
This support is crucial in the early stages of recovery, where individuals are most vulnerable and are adjusting to life without their substance of choice. The stability provided by MAT can offer a safer transition period, increasing the chances of long-term recovery.
Improving Survival Rates
Research has shown that MAT can significantly improve patient survival. By reducing the risk of relapse, MAT also reduces the risk of overdose—a leading cause of death among individuals struggling with opioid addiction.
The medications can act as a protective barrier, lowering the potential for an accidental overdose should a relapse occur. This life-saving aspect of MAT cannot be overstated, as it gives patients the chance to continue their journey toward recovery even if they stumble along the way. Check out this page.
Increasing Retention in Treatment
Treatment retention is a critical component of successful addiction recovery. MAT has been shown to increase a patient’s retention in treatment programs.
By managing withdrawal symptoms and cravings, patients are more likely to remain engaged with their treatment plan. This ongoing engagement is crucial for recovery, as it allows individuals to benefit fully from the various supports and therapies that are part of their treatment program.
Improving the Chances of Employment
Addiction can be devastating to an individual’s work life. MAT can play a pivotal role in helping individuals regain and maintain steady employment. By stabilizing the patient’s condition and reducing the number of days of drug use, MAT can enhance overall functioning and reliability.
This stability can translate into better job performance and higher employment rates among individuals in recovery, which in turn, can improve their economic status and contribute to a healthier, more stable lifestyle.
Enhancing Birth Outcomes Among Women
For pregnant women who have problems with drugs or alcohol, MAT can help the birth go more smoothly. By reducing the use of the problem substance, MAT can lower the risk of premature birth, low birth weight, and mortality in newborns.
It also provides a safer alternative to the dangerous cycle of relapsing and withdrawing, which can be harmful to both the mother and the fetus. This can lead to healthier pregnancies and reduce the number of neonatal abstinence syndrome cases, which occurs when babies are exposed to drugs in the womb.
Contributing to a Decrease in Criminal Activity
Substance abuse is often linked to an increased rate of criminal activity, whether it’s due to the need to finance an addiction or the disinhibition associated with drug use. MAT has been correlated with a decrease in criminal activity among people with substance use disorders.
By mitigating the drug-seeking behavior that can lead to crime, medication assisted treatment can contribute to greater societal safety and reduce the legal consequences for the individuals involved.
Improving Patients’ Social Functioning
Beyond the individual, MAT has notable benefits for societal health. Patients receiving MAT often experience significant improvements in their social functioning.
They are more likely to rebuild strained relationships with family and friends and participate more fully in community life. This renewed social engagement can provide a support network that is vital for long-term recovery, as well as improve the overall quality of life for the individual.
Addressing Public Health Concerns
MAT plays a critical role in addressing broader public health concerns, such as the spread of infectious diseases. Individuals with substance use disorders are at a higher risk of diseases like HIV and hepatitis C due to risky behaviors such as needle sharing.
This type of treatment also reduces the behaviors associated with the transmission of these diseases, thereby playing a crucial role in public health efforts to contain and reduce the spread of infectious diseases.