Faith Based Suboxone and Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Suboxone and Medically Assisted Treatment increase success rates in addition recovery.


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    It is crucial to educate yourself about addiction and the various treatments and medication options available to assist with recovery from drug addiction.  Unfortunately, there are many common myths about Suboxone to treat opiate addiction.  Simply stated, Medially Assisted Treatment with medications like Suboxone saves lives and is effective in treating opiate addiction.

    Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT)

    The chemical changes that occur within the brain because of substance abuse contribute significantly to the challenges in successfully recovering from drugs or alcohol.  However, there are some medications that can help to restore these chemical imbalances within the brain and assist with recovery. Each drug affects a person’s brain in some way and the comprehensive assessment helps to gain an understanding of what substances were used and over what period of time. This information is key in determining which addiction medications are right for the person.

    Medically assisted treatment, or MAT, can be a key part of your overall treatment plan, which is tailored specifically for each client.  The specific addiction medicine prescribed will depend on each person, the type and quantity of drugs abuses, the rehab facility, and the doctor’s advice.

    How Medications Help with Addiction Treatment

    Addiction Medications

    Addiction medications can help in many ways.  Drugs and alcohol abuse causes chemical changes in the brain that can make it hard to finish detox, and contribute to challenges with long-term recovery. Such addiction treatment medications work to:

    • Limit symptoms of withdrawal during detox
    • Limit drug or alcohol cravings
    • Limit the effects of drugs or alcohol
    • Cause adverse side effects when alcohol or drugs are used
    • Help to successfully quit abstain from alcohol or drugs

    Types of Alcohol Addiction Medications

    The withdrawal from alcohol can lead to dangerous and potentially deadly side effects.   For this reason, medical detox may be the safest way to stop drinking if a person has an alcohol dependency.   The necessary for detox is determined during the comprehensive diagnosis and according to specific criteria. During detox, doctors monitor the patient’s status and may use medications to ease symptoms.

    Some medicines can also help end heavy drinking. They reduce the good feelings of alcohol use to disrupt the reward response to drinking. This can help stop cravings.

    • Acamprosate can be started after alcohol withdrawal symptoms are resolved. Acamprosate is a daily medication that helps to decrease cravings.
    • Disulfiram makes people feel ill after drinking alcohol, and this medication is used to change the habitual behavior of drinking.  If a person drinks alcohol while taking disulfiram, it causes symptoms of headaches, nausea, and vomiting.
    • Naltrexone is a pill taken daily, which blocks the positive feelings that happen when a person drinks alcohol.   Naltrexone decreases a person’s urge to drink and makes it less pleasurable when they do so.   The drug also helps with opioid addictions in the same way.
    • Vivitrol is a 30-day injectible alternative to the Naltrexone daily pill.  Vivitrol works the same as Naltrexone in that it blocks the positive feelings that happen when a person drinks alcohol.  However, being a 30-day injectable, you do not have to remember to take a pill daily and are not tempted to skip a pill so you can drink.

    Opioid Addiction Medications

    How MAT Works on the brain 768x722 1

    Several drugs help treat opioid addiction. Some drugs prevent a person from feeling good when they use opioids, while others can help a person taper off opioids. During opioid detox, doctors might also prescribe medicine to treat withdrawal symptoms. Each opioid medication works differently on the opioid receptors within the brain.

    • Methadone: Methadone targets the same receptors in the brain as other opioids but produces less euphoria. This can help treat opioid addiction and reduces the risk of illicit opioid abuse. Over time, the Methadone dose can be lowered to wean someone off of an opioid.
    • Buprenorphine, like methadone, is an opioid that lasts longer in the body than opioids of abuse. Buprenorphine both activates and blocks the opioid receptors, so it helps to block episodes of acute opioid abuse.
    • Narcan (Naloxone) is a medicine used to revive people who overdosed on opioids. Due to the rise in opioid-related overdoses, many abusers of opioids, or family members, choose to carry Narcan with them. Narcan works by blocking opioid receptors and binding more tightly than opioids of abuse, stopping an overdose as it occurs.
    • Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone.
    • Sublocade™ is a long-acting injectable formulation of buprenorphine. People go to clinics to get a Sublocade™ injection once per month. The drug can help stop cravings and block the euphoric effects of other opioids.
    • Naltrexone can help treat opioid or alcohol abuse. It works by stopping the euphoria that comes with taking opioids. This can stop the craving process that comes with addiction.
    • Vivitrol is a long-acting injectable formulation of naltrexone. People get a Vivitrol shot once a month rather than taking a tablet once daily.

    Benzodiazepine (Xanex) Addiction Medications

    Benzodiazepines (benzos), such as Xanex, are used to treat anxiety and insomnia. Because of their relaxing effects, people may develop an addiction to benzos. The use of benzos combined with alcohol can be deadly. Similar to alcohol, withdrawal from benzos can lead to dangerous and potentially deadly side effects.   For this reason, a comprehensive assessment is critical to determine if a medical detox may be the safest way to discontinue benzo use.

    • Klonopin is used to treat seizures and panic disorders. Because it lasts for a long time, some doctors use low doses as substitution therapy for other benzos. However, it needs to be used carefully since it can also be addictive.

    Stimulant Addiction Medications

    Currently, there are no medically assisted treatment medications that are used just for stimulant addiction. A few drugs are used off-label to manage stimulant addiction and withdrawal. However, scientists are working to create new, effective medications for this use.

    • Bupropion is an antidepressant that affects the brain. It can help control symptoms of stimulant withdrawal.

    Other Medications Used in Addiction Treatment

    Some drugs have broad or general uses for addiction treatment. Experts are still studying many of these types of drugs to try to find new and effective medicines for managing addiction.

    • Remeron: Remeron is an antidepressant. It is not well understood yet, but it blocks certain receptors in the brain. Taking the drug can help ease some symptoms of withdrawal.
    • Topiramate: Topiramate is used to treat conditions like epilepsy and migraines. Some clinical trials show that it can also help treat alcohol and cocaine addiction.
    • Baclofen is a muscle relaxant. It is used to treat muscle pain, spasms, and seizures. It is also used to help relieve opioid and alcohol withdrawal because it acts on the same parts of the brain. However, this medication is currently not widely used, and more clinical trials are needed to prove its ability before it can be widely used.

    Medications Used to Treat Co-Occurring Disorders

    An estimated 40-75% of those who struggle with addiction also have underlying mental health disorders, many of which are trauma-related and have typically had more significant substance use.

    When a mental health condition co-occurs with addiction, both must be treated at the same time to reduce the risk of a setback. Counseling therapy is effective in the long-term management of mental health problems. In addition, doctors may prescribe medications to help manage symptoms of mental disorders. Some of those drugs are:

    • Antidepressants
    • Anti-anxiety drugs
    • Mood stabilizers
    • Antipsychotics

    Possible Risks and Side Effects of Addiction Treatment Medications

    The side effects of taking these addiction treatment medications are as varied as the drugs of abuse are themselves. One of the biggest risks of some addiction treatment medications is that they can become addictive themselves, such as Methadone, Suboxone, Buprenorphine, Gabapentin. However, other addiction treatment medications such as Naltrexone or Vivatral do not have these same addictive risks. Your doctor can help you understand the advantages and risks with each medically assisted treatment option available to you and personalize your treatment to your needs and preferences.

    Benefits of Medical Detox and MAT

    Medical detox may occur in an inpatient or outpatient setting, called a partial hospitalization program (PHP). The appropriate detox setting is determined as part o the comprehensive assessment and following specific criteria. The main benefit of detox is that the patient is under medical supervision. Doctors can help if a serious withdrawal event occurs. Proper care also makes symptoms less severe.

    The PUSH For Recovery Difference

    PUSH for Recovery is here to assist you with every stage of your recovery. PUSH for Recovery provides assessments, supervised ambulatory detox, medically assisted treatment and Suboxone, partial-hospitalization program (PHP)intensive outpatient program (IOP), and outpatient individual and group counseling options, including telehealth.  PUSH for Recovery also partners with other treatment and mental health agencies for any additional services that you might need.

    If you or a loved one would like to learn more about addiction treatment, contact PUSH for Recovery. Our helpful representatives are available to answer your questions and help you understand available treatment options that could work for your unique situation.


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    Donate to help the Life Recovery Society provide a safe, sober, supportive, and flexible way for individuals to earn an income while in treatment.  Life Recovery Society also plans to add a men's and women's sober living home in the Hilltop Community.