Medication-assisted treatment is an option for dealing with addiction that many people struggle to consider. This is understandable, especially given that admitting you might have a substance use disorder may leave you wondering how other drugs could possibly be the answer. Every case is different, but there is an argument that many more patients should look at MAT as a reasonable option. Let's look at how the issue might work out for you and what you should discuss with a professional.
Decreasing Use and Overdoses
Data from the federal government's National Institute on Drug Abuse indicates that MAT yields improvements in a broad range of measures of well being. Overdose deaths in one study decreased 37 percent in people with opioid addictions who were treated with the medication buprenorphine. Similar results were seen in terms of overall use, criminal activity, and transmission of infectious diseases. This indicates that medication-assisted treatment delivers results across the board as a tool for detox.
What Medications Are Used?
For opioid addiction, buprenorphine is one of the most widely used today, being sold under the brand names Suboxone and Subutex. Naltrexone is also seeing increased usage.
Methadone is an old standby, but some doctors prefer to keep it in reserve for pain treatment. The reasoning is that methadone can quickly become tolerated by the human body. Consequently, once a person has developed a tolerance to methadone, they're much closer to running out of potential options for treating breakout pain.
When it comes to treating other forms of drug addictions, anxiety medications tend to be the preferred MATs for the job. Benzodiazepine is one of the most widely used for this purpose, but it needs to be administered in a professional setting like a drug addiction clinic.
Who May Be Candidates for Treatment?
One thing about drug detox is that not everyone responds to it the same way. Certain groups are more likely to benefit from receiving MAT in a drug addiction clinic. First, individuals who've engaged in mixed use of multiple street drugs may want to consider MAT. Similarly, people who've engaged in self-medicating behavior for undiagnosed depression or anxiety may benefit. Likewise, folks from families with histories of addiction should talk about MAT as an option.
There is some evidence that babies of expecting mothers with addictions may benefit from MAT, too. Readmission rates for infants born to mothers who received medication-assisted treatment were dramatically reduced in one study published by the NIH.