Medication Assisted Therapy
Let a team of experienced medical professionals at Alamo Behavioral Health help you safely overcome addiction to harmful substances with medication-assisted therapy.
Medication-assisted therapy (MAT) is one of the options available to people who are suffering from substance abuse. MAT uses a combination of medications, behavioral therapies, and counseling to promote and sustain recovery. While it is primarily used for treating opioid use disorder, most addiction treatment centers in Texas use MAT to help patients recover from stimulant and alcohol addictions as well. At Alamo Behavioral Health, we utilize MAT to help our patients recover in a safe and controlled manner and allow them to get back to their normal lives as soon as possible. Through the medication assisted therapy Texas recovery center offers, our patients benefit from increased retention in treatment, decreased illicit drug use, and an increased ability to gain and maintain employment. Contact us and start your recovery today!
What is medication-assisted therapy?
Medication-assisted therapy utilizes FDA-approved medications. These medications block the effects of various substances, as well as reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings. In our substance abuse treatment center in San Antonio, we combine MAT with other therapy types such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy), counseling, and other treatment approaches.
The medication side of the therapy is actually the smallest part of your recovery program. It is just there to help you deal with your cravings and withdrawal symptoms. MAT is not there to replace one drug problem with another.
What does MAT treat?
While medication-assisted therapy can be utilized in various situations, it is most commonly used for:
All of the above substances come with dangerous withdrawal symptoms that can be managed through MAT. That being said, every case is unique. Our professional medical staff will determine whether you require medications in your recovery process. If there are options to achieve full recovery without any medications, you can be certain that we will explore them first. That being said, the relationship between each substance and MAT is quite unique. Here is how MAT works with specific substance use disorders.
While alcohol addiction has the least life-threatening symptoms, there are situations in which MAT is necessary. Many people experience insomnia, sweating, anxiety, vomiting, or slow movements while trying to overcome their alcohol addiction. In our behavioral health center in Texas, we can provide you with medication-assisted treatment that is specifically developed to help with these issues. Furthermore, MAT can also help reduce cravings through FDA-approved drugs.
The drugs used in alcohol addiction treatment involve:
Acamprosate is best used if you’ve already stopped drinking. This is because it will help adjust the balance of your brain chemicals, improve your sleep and mood, and lower anxiety. Disulfiram is used if you still have strong alcohol cravings. This medication will create very unpleasant side effects once alcohol is consumed. Naltrexone, on the other hand, is a “blocker.” This means that it will block any pleasurable effects you may derive from alcohol, effectively lowering your motivation to drink.
The exact medications that you will receive will depend on your unique case.
MAT was initially designed to help with opioid addiction. Therefore, it is a staple treatment option in every single addiction treatment facility San Antonio has to offer. The reason why MAT is needed to manage opioid addictions is due to the fact that opioids can cause very dangerous side effects that may even be life-threatening. Furthermore, medications that are used in MAT help prevent and manage a variety of non-fatal side effects, such as:
- rapid heart rate
- muscle pain
Opioid addiction treatment involves using FDA-approved drugs to help patients fight cravings and ultimately wean them off their opioids entirely. MAT allows the patients to go through this process in relative comfort and reduces the chances of a future relapse.
Stimulant addiction can be extremely dangerous due to the chemical imbalance in the body that stimulants leave in their wake. A brain of a stimulant addict receives mixed messages that can result in various side effects, both mental and physical. In our Texas addiction treatment center, we use MAT to deal with both the physical and mental effects of stimulant addiction. However, we also take particular care to augment the treatment with other customized treatment options. Our professional medical staff fully understands what stimulants can do to the mind and body and are quick to react and create tailored treatment programs.
Which drugs are used in medication-assisted therapy Texas rehab centers offer?
There are three FDA-approved drugs that are used in MAT as well as in medically assisted detox procedures:
These three medications are either used on their own or in combination with other medications. For example, buprenorphine is commonly mixed with naloxone (Bunavail, Cassipa, Zubsolv, Suboxone, etc.). The medical professionals from Alamo Behavioral Health will help determine the best medication to use in your MAT. With that in mind, here’s how these medications work.
Methadone is commonly referred to as an opioid agonist. What this means is that the medication attaches to the same brain receptors as opioids but without their dramatic effects. Methadone is administered to relieve the patient’s cravings and normalize the hormonal and metabolic functions of the body. You may think of methadone as a sort of nicotine patch or nicotine gum. Over time, you will receive smaller amounts of methadone and will be able to live completely drug-free!
The best thing about methadone is that it does not produce any long-term damaging effects. However, it is always best to stop taking any drug, even medicinal one, as soon as possible. There may be a few mild side effects at the beginning of the therapy, but they subside and disappear in short order.
Buprenorphine is also an opioid agonist, albeit a partial one. This means that it works much the same as methadone, but the chemical release is weaker. Therefore, buprenorphine is ideal for less severe to severe addiction cases. Our substance abuse treatment center in Texas utilizes buprenorphine for all sorts of addictions, aside from the most severe ones, such as addictions to intravenous opiates or Heroin. That being said, we strongly believe that each patient requires a unique form of treatment, regardless of their addiction type and severity. If our medical professionals decide that you would be best served with a particular medication or medication combination, that is what you will get.
Naltrexone is usually prescribed for patients without good access to healthcare facilities or to patients that may struggle with taking their medications regularly. If you are staying in our San Antonio rehab facility, chances are that you will be given other medications throughout your MAT. The reason for this is that, unlike buprenorphine and methadone, naltrexone is an opioid antagonist. This means that naltrexone will block all activation of opioid receptors, reducing cravings in the process.
However, naltrexone does nothing to relieve opioid withdrawal symptoms, meaning that it is mostly used in the later stages of MAT. The primary purpose of naltrexone is to prevent relapse, as the patient who is taking naltrexone will not feel any effects from other opioids.
Do I qualify for medication-assisted therapy?
To get the answer to this question, you will need to speak to a medical professional that specializes in addiction treatment. You can find such specialists within our very own rehab center in Texas, or you can reach out to your local drug treatment center. Talking to someone who fully understands the needs of patients that are about to undergo rehab is best, of course.
What to expect from MAT at Alamo Behavioral Health?
Our center in San Antonio prides itself on providing a safe, controlled, and comfortable environment to our patients. If you opt for one of our inpatient programs, you can expect our medical staff to be available to you at all times and that your situation will be monitored 24/7. Furthermore, we will take your entire situation into account when determining the best course of treatment. This includes (but is not limited to) analyzing your prior medical and substance abuse history, physical and mental health state, as well as any socioeconomic factors that may influence your treatment. We will also provide you with a strong support system and help you develop the necessary skills you will need to lead a sober life.
Many of our staff have either gone through the addiction recovery process on their own or have had a loved one go through it. This means that you can trust us to understand what you are going through completely. It also means that we are more than capable of finding the best way to help you. We also understand that every single person is unique. What works for most may not necessarily work for you. This is why we take great care when preparing any treatment program, MAT included. It is in everyone’s best interest if your recovery proceeds as smoothly and swiftly as possible.
Length of MAT treatment
The duration of medication assisted therapy in Texas is different for everyone. It depends on which medications are used, the patient’s unique needs, and a few other factors. For example, if you need to receive methadone during MAT, the therapy will usually last for at least one year. This does not mean that you need to stay within Alamo Behavioral Health facility for the entire duration. Most of the time, your stay with us will be no longer than 90 days.
If your MAT involves buprenorphine, the treatment timeline may be as short as a few months. It may also last several years. During this time, you may need to visit the facility on occasion for us to be able to monitor your progress. Naltrexone treatment is the shortest, as it usually takes no longer than 12 weeks. After that time, most patients will find their need for opioids completely eliminated. Again, your stay within the facility may be as short as the time to complete detox, or it may be prolonged until you are ready to return home.
Our medical staff will inform you of the possible duration of your treatment as part of our admissions process. Before you decide to undergo your treatment in our treatment center, you will have all the information you need to make the best choice.
We are fully aware that any treatment, MAT included, can be very expensive. That is why our Texas behavioral health center works with all major insurance providers in the country. The list includes names such as:
We are also constantly working to increase our insurance options within the State of Texas itself. Therefore, you might want to check with us whether you can use your insurance plan, even if we don’t have it listed. Furthermore, our team can answer many of your insurance-related questions and help you with related paperwork!
Your recovery starts at Alamo Behavioral Health!
Our mission is to provide you with the best possible treatment options in a serene environment that will support your recovery at a minimal cost. That is why we work hard every day to expand our capabilities and lower our prices. Our staff fully understands the struggles that come with substance abuse and are there to support and guide our patients on their path to recovery. Furthermore, each one of our treatment programs, including one of the best medication assisted therapy Texas can offer, is fully customized to the needs of the patient. We are particularly proud of our specialized veteran treatment programs. Our addiction treatment center in San Antonio, Texas, recognizes the sacrifices our veterans made for our country and honors them through some of the best care and support programs in the state. Overcome addiction and start reclaiming your life – Contact Alamo Behavioral Health today!