Medication assisted treatment of addiction involves the use of prescribed medications to treat people recovering from opioid addiction, stimulant addiction or alcoholism. Many people believe these medications are simply a crutch, some people have argued that replacing one drug with another isn’t effective. My purpose of writing this article is to explain why I believe MAT is effective and what exactly the benefits of MAT are.
First, MAT has a higher success rate of rehabilitation and relapse prevention than other forms of treatment. When a person tries to rehabilitate without the aid of medication, it is extremely difficult to ward off withdrawal symptoms and that person will be more likely to relapse. Many people believe that prescribing medications that resemble the drug that an addict may be trying to kick is counterproductive; however, these medications don’t contain enough of the substance to get the addict wasted, just enough to keep them from suffering from withdrawal symptoms. This allows recovering addicts to function while rehabilitating which leads to a more successful recovery and decreased probability of relapse.
Second, many people who are trying to undergo treatment are going to slip. It’s the nature of the disease. One of the benefits of MAT is that many medications contain opioid antagonists which deter people from using. For instance, if you’re taking a medication which contains an opioid antagonist, when you try to use while taking the medication, the medication will essentially block the high while still making your body feel sick. This process of eliminating the feeling of the high associated with the drug leads to lessened cravings for the drug.
Third, MAT saves the lives of many people in the process of recovery. People suffering from alcoholism may be at risk of seizures, rapid heart rate or high blood pressure due to the effect of alcohol on the brain’s ability to regulate signals transmitted throughout the central nervous system. If you aren’t taking some form of medication to help regulate that, you could be at risk of life threatening withdrawal symptoms. Many medications are prescribed to help regulate those symptoms associated with alcoholism as well as opioid addiction.
Fourth, MAT aids women recovering from opioid addiction during pregnancy. Recovery can be a very stressful process. It can lead to many medical complications which can prove fatal to a fetus during pregnancy. Using medications while pregnant allow the body to ward off withdrawal symptoms and maintain a healthy and stable environment for a baby to grow. It also leads to a decrease in fetal withdrawal symptoms and more successful deliveries for pregnant women in recovery.
Fifth, and finally, MAT leads to a decrease in drug related violent activity. 26% of violent crime involves an offender under the influence of drugs. That statistic doesn’t even account for the number of people who may have committed crimes in order to obtain drugs. If we can create a more healthy, stable and effective road to recovery, we can eliminate a huge chunk of violent crimes associated with drugs. This will lead to a healthier, happier and safer environment, not only for addicts in recovery, but for society at large.
For more information about MAT and how you can get certified email firstname.lastname@example.org.