When Is Medication Assisted Rehab Necessary?
Because no drug addiction treatment is appropriate for every person, the determination of when MAT is necessary should be made by a doctor in charge of treatment. Often, it is used for patients addicted to opioids, although this type of treatment option may sometimes be available for addiction to other drugs.
Commonly Used Medications for Drug Rehab Treatment
Some common approved drugs used in treatment for substance abuse include:
Methadone is a long-acting opioid used to stabilize the body and brain during treatment. It affects the brain in ways that mimic the activity of prescription opioids and illicit opioid drugs. It is only available through clinics regulated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) or through authorized hospitals. Methadone is usually used at a controlled dose to stabilize someone in withdrawal from opioid addiction, and then the dose is lowered to keep symptoms and cravings at bay during a maintenance period. The eventual goal is to taper the dose until the patient no longer needs methadone.
Buprenorphine attaches to the same receptors in the brain as addictive opioid drugs, so the opioids cannot attach themselves there. This reduces withdrawal symptoms without causing an associated high as long as the drug is taken as prescribed. The prescribing physician monitors buprenorphine use and tapers off the dose over time.
Naltrexone works by blocking access to the brain receptors that opioid drugs use. Because naltrexone doesn’t attach to the receptors directly, it doesn’t cause any of the effects that opioids do, so there is no high associated with this medication and naltrexone is not considered addictive.
Suboxone is a blend of two medications, buprenorphine and naloxone. Suboxone works by both attaching directly to the receptors and blocking them so opioids can’t reach them.