Medication Assisted Treatment

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Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is an evidence-based approach used to treat substance use disorders, particularly those involving opioids, alcohol, and certain other drugs. It combines the use of medications with counseling and behavioral therapies to address addiction effectively. Our main goal in Medication-Assisted Treatment is to provide treatment options to help individuals reduce or eliminate drug and alcohol use, manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms, and work towards a sustainable recovery.

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) including Suboxone, Vivitrol, Naltrexone and other medications are offered as part of the HEAL Behavioral Health program


  • The MAT Approach
  • Treated Disorders
  • Cravings vs. Withdrawals
  • Opioid Use Disorder
  • Types of Medication Assisted Treatment
  • MAT Therapy at HEAL

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The Medication-Assisted Treatment Approach

  • Individualized Treatment Plan: We design a customized Medication Assisted Treatment program for each patient, based on a thorough assessment of their unique needs, history, and goals. This plan outlines the specific medications and accompanying therapies to be used during treatment.
  • Safe and Controlled Medications: Our Medication Assisted Treatment program incorporates medications such as Suboxone, Vivitrol, and Naltrexone. These medications help manage withdrawal symptoms, curb cravings, and restore balance to the brain’s chemistry.
  • Counseling and Behavioral Therapies: Medication Assisted Treatment is not just about medication. We provide regular counseling sessions and cognitive behavioral therapies. These therapies aid in the development of coping strategies, improving decision-making abilities, and fostering healthier interpersonal relationships.
  • Continuous Medical Supervision: Throughout the treatment process, our healthcare professionals provide ongoing monitoring and adjustment of medications as needed. They ensure the safety and effectiveness of the treatment, preventing potential side-effects or complications.
  • Long-term Support and Aftercare: We believe recovery extends beyond initial treatment. Our MAT program includes robust aftercare services, including ongoing counseling, peer support groups, and resources to maintain a healthy, substance-free lifestyle.

Medication Assisted Treatment is not a standalone solution but rather an integral part of a more extensive, holistic approach to recovery. When used correctly under medical supervision, it can significantly enhance recovery outcomes, leading to an improved quality of life and sustained recovery. As a leading provider in substance use and mental health treatment, we are committed to guiding our patients through every step of their recovery journey.

Disorders Treated by Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is a comprehensive way to address several different substance use and mental health disorders. This integrative approach combines the use of safe and effective medications with counseling and behavioral therapies to provide a “whole-patient” approach to treatment. It can significantly help individuals dealing with a wide range of disorders, including treating depression and increasing their chances of recovery and improving their quality of life.

If you feel you are struggling with a mental health disorder, go to our mental health assessments library for access to preliminary, evidence-based diagnostic assessments.

  • Opioid Use Disorders
  • Alcohol Use Disorders
  • Chronic Pain
  • Tobacco Use Disorders
  • Prescription Drug Use Disorders
  • Stimulant Use Disorders (such as those involving cocaine or methamphetamine)
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Major Depressive Disorder
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Schizophrenia and other Psychotic Disorders
  • Eating Disorders
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Understanding Cravings and Withdrawal Symptoms

Cravings and withdrawal symptoms are crucial elements in the complex process of addiction and recovery. Cravings are intense and persistent urges towards substance, alcohol abuse, or drug use, resulting from the brain’s association of that substance with pleasure or relief. These cravings are triggered by various internal and external cues and can be a major challenge for individuals in recovery. The brain’s reward system plays a significant role in the development of cravings, as substances activate the release of neurotransmitters associated with pleasure. Over time, the brain forms strong associations between the substance and the pleasurable feelings, making cravings difficult to resist.

Withdrawal symptoms, on the other hand, occur when a person with substance dependence stops using the drug suddenly. The body functions and brain have become dependent on the substance to function normally, and when it is removed, the body goes through a period of adjustment. Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe and vary depending on the type of substance and the treatment of opioid dependence and use disorders and the individual’s level of medications for opioid use substance use disorders and dependence. Physical symptoms like nausea, sweating, shaking, and psychological symptoms like anxiety, depression, and irritability are common during withdrawal.

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Physical Withdrawal Symptoms Managed by Medication Assisted Treatment

Medication Assisted Treatment, using drugs like Suboxone, can effectively alleviate the physical symptoms associated with opioid withdrawal. When a person is addicted to opioids, their body becomes reliant on these substances. If the individual stops taking opioids, they experience withdrawal symptoms as their body attempts to readjust. Suboxone, a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone, is designed to lessen these withdrawal symptoms and make the detoxification process more manageable.

  • Muscle aches and cramps
  • Restlessness and agitation
  • Excessive sweating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever and chills
  • Sleep disturbances, such as insomnia
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Opioid Use Disorder

Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) is a condition characterized by problematic patterns of opioid use that lead to significant impairment or distress. The symptoms of OUD can vary in severity and may include the treatment of opioid following:

  • Cravings: Strong and persistent urges to use opioids, even when there is an awareness of the negative consequences.
  • Loss of Control: Difficulty in controlling opioid use, leading to using larger amounts or using opioids for longer periods than intended.
  • Tolerance: Needing higher doses of opioids over time to achieve the desired effects, as the body adapts to the drug.
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: Experience physical and psychological discomfort when opioids are discontinued or reduced, leading to a strong desire to use the drug again to alleviate symptoms.
  • Spending time and energy on obtaining Opioids: Spending a significant amount of time and effort obtaining opioids, may interfere with work, school, or personal responsibilities.
  • Neglecting Social and Occupational Activities: Reduced participation in social, work, or recreational activities due to opioid use.
  • Continued Use Despite Negative Consequences: Using opioids despite experiencing adverse effects on physical health, mental well-being, relationships, or legal problems.
  • Loss of Interest: Diminished interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyable.
  • Failed Attempts to Quit: Unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control opioid use.

Opioid Treatment Programs

Opioid Treatment Programs (OTP), also known as Opioid Treatment Centers (OTCs) or Opioid Treatment Clinics (OTCs), which are available here at HEAL Behavioral Health, are specialized facilities that offer comprehensive treatment for individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD). Our treatment programs are designed to provide evidence-based care to help individuals reduce or not their opioid use disorders, prevent opioid overdose, eliminate their opioid use disorders, treat alcohol and disorder using, manage withdrawal symptoms and treat opioid addiction.

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Key Features of the HEAL Opioid Treatment Program

  1. Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT): Our OTP is primarily used as a medication to help treat opioid addiction in individuals with OUD. The two main medications we used to receive treatment are methadone and buprenorphine. This medication helps reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms, allowing individuals to stabilize their lives and engage in other aspects of treatment.
  2. Comprehensive Care: Out OTP offers a holistic approach to the treatment of opioids, which includes not only our medication but also our legitimate counseling, appropriate therapies, and progressive support services. Our comprehensive care addresses the physical, psychological, and social aspects of opioid addiction treatment too.
  3. Individualized Treatment Plans: Each person’s journey with OUD is unique, and this is why, at HEAL, we create personalized treatment plans tailored to the individual’s needs, history, and preferences. We want to ensure that our treatment is effective and relevant to our patient’s circumstances.
  4. Supervised Medication Administration: Our medications relieve the withdrawal systems and psychological cravings that cause chemical imbalances in the body. In most cases, our medication is administered under the supervision of our qualified healthcare professionals to ensure proper dosing and avoid misuse or diversion. Our resources are FDA approved medications to ensure that proper treatment is well served.
  5. Regular Monitoring and Support: Our OTP provides regular check-ins and monitoring to track progress, adjust treatment plans if necessary, and we also offer ongoing support to individuals throughout their recovery process.
  6. Integration of Support Systems: Family and social support play a vital role in recovery. Thus, we encourage the involvement of family members, support groups, healthcare providers, providers, and community resources to create a strong support system for the individual.
  7. Legal and Regulatory Compliance: At HEAL, we adhere to specific regulatory and consistently consults legal action center for any guidelines set by federal and state authorities to ensure the safe and ethical delivery of treatment. We also make sure to be up to date with the new updates and information released by the national institute of drug abuse for us to deliver proper services in compliance with any law set by the government.

Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is a proven approach to treating opioid use disorder, a serious and potentially life-threatening condition resulting from the misuse of opioids such as heroin or prescription pain relievers. This evidence-based treatment integrates the use of approved medications with counseling and behavioral therapies to address the “whole-patient” and not just their substance use.

One of the commonly used medications in medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorder is Suboxone, a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, alleviates the physical symptoms of withdrawal and reduces cravings, while naloxone, an opioid antagonist, helps to prevent misuse. Other medications such as Methadone and Naltrexone can also be used under medical supervision.

The primary goal of medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorder is to improve patient survival, increase retention in treatment, and promote a life of recovery. By managing the physical symptoms of withdrawal, MAT allows individuals to focus on the psychological aspects of their recovery, addressing underlying issues that may contribute to substance use.

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Types of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

At our top-rated treatment center, we understand the diverse needs of individuals grappling with substance use and mental health disorders. To address these needs comprehensively, we offer a range of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) options, each specifically designed to manage different types of substance use disorders. These medications, when combined with counseling and behavioral therapies, provide a holistic approach to treatment, helping individuals to regain control over their lives and pave the path to sustained recovery.

MAT Medications Offered

  • Suboxone (Buprenorphine/Naloxone): Primarily used for treating opioid use disorders, Suboxone helps to reduce opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, lessens the body’s physical dependence on opioids, while Naloxone, an opioid antagonist, discourages misuse of the medication.
  • Sublocade: A once a month injection, HEAL is a licensed provider of Sublocade, another name for extended release Buprenorphine, lowering the risk of misuse.
  • Naltrexone (Vivitrol): Used for treating both alcohol and opioid use disorders, Naltrexone works by blocking the euphoric and sedative effects of these substances. It’s often used for individuals who have already completed detoxification. HEAL Behavioral Health prescribes Vivitrol (Naltrexone ER) and oral Naltrexone.
  • Acamprosate (Campral): Specifically designed to treat alcohol dependence, Acamprosate helps restore the chemical balance in the brains of individuals who have recently quit drinking.
  • Bupropion (Zyban): Used as part of MAT for tobacco use disorders, Bupropion helps reduce nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

The right MAT medication for a patient depends on their specific needs, medical history, and the type of substance use disorder they’re dealing with. Therefore, each treatment plan is personalized to ensure the highest potential for a successful recovery.

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How Medication-Assisted Treatment Works at HEAL Behavioral Health

At HEAL Behavioral Health, our Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) program follows established guidelines and best practices to ensure the safety and success of individuals on their path to recovery.
Here’s how our Medication-Assisted Treatment program works:

  1. Comprehensive Assessment: Each individual who seeks MAT program, undergoes a thorough assessment by our team of medical professionals, addiction specialists, and counselors. This assessment helps us understand the individual’s medical history, the severity of opioid use, any co-occurring mental health issues, and other relevant factors.
  2. Personalized Treatment Plan: Based on the assessment, we develop a personalized dual diagnosis treatment plan tailored for the individual’s unique needs and circumstances. We also provide additional resources, especially to those patients who are seeking to relieve physiological cravings or abuse such as taking proper naltrexone dosage which is an “opioid antagonist” which means its effects are the opposite of narcotic drugs. Our addiction medicine plan may include specific medication, counseling, therapies, and support services.
  3. Medications Prescription and Supervisions: If appropriate, our FDA-approved medication such as methadone or prescribe buprenorphine may help manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Our medications are administered under strict medical supervision to ensure safe and effective dosing.
  4. Counseling and Behavioral Therapies: MAT program is integrated with counseling and therapies to address the psychological aspects of addiction. Our psychiatric care and individual and group counseling sessions help individuals gain insights into their trauma, addiction, develop coping skills, and set achievable recovery goals.
  5. Ongoing Monitoring and Support: Throughout the MAT program, our patients receive a consistent and ongoing monitoring and support from our healthcare team as a whole patient. This means that we also provide additional resources not only to normalize body functions but also to normalize brain chemistry. Our human services assess progress, adjust treatment plans as needed, and provide encouragement and guidance to individuals on their recovery journey.
  6. Supportive Environment: Our treatment center provides a supportive and compassionate environment where individuals feel safe and understood. We emphasize respect, dignity, and confidentiality in all interactions.
  7. Continuum of Care: Our MAT program is a part of a comprehensive continuum of care, ensuring a seamless transition between different treatment phases. We offer continued support and resources to individuals as they transition from MAT to other aspects of recovery, such as aftercare and relapse prevention.

At HEAL Behavioral Health we believe in empowering individuals to take control of their lives and achieve lasting recovery from prevent an opioid epidemic. Our Medication-Assisted Treatment program, alongside counseling and support services, provides a powerful combination of tools to help individuals overcome opioid addiction and build a healthier and more fulfilling future.

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Risks of Dependence or Misuse of Medication Assisted Treatment

While Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is an effective way to manage and treat substance use disorders, it is crucial to note that like all medications, those used in MAT also carry certain risks. One of the most significant concerns is the potential for misuse or addiction. Some MAT drugs, particularly those used to treat opioid use disorders like Methadone and Buprenorphine, are themselves opioids. If not administered and monitored carefully by a healthcare professional, there is a risk of developing dependence on these medications.

Additionally, each MAT drug comes with potential side effects, which may include nausea, vomiting, headache, sweating, constipation, or mood changes. These medications can also interact negatively with other substances, including alcohol, illicit drugs, and certain prescription medications, leading to harmful effects. In some cases, abrupt discontinuation of these medications can lead to severe withdrawal symptoms. It’s essential that MAT is always undertaken under the supervision of healthcare professionals, who can carefully manage the dosage and monitor for any adverse effects.

Medication Assisted Treatment FAQ

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is a comprehensive approach to treating substance use disorders, combining the use of FDA-approved medications with counseling and behavioral therapies. The goal of MAT is to provide a “whole-patient” approach to treatment, addressing both the physical aspects of addiction and the psychological triggers that often contribute to substance use.

MAT can treat a range of substance use disorders, including those related to opioids (such as heroin and certain prescription drugs), alcohol, and tobacco. Each substance use disorder has specific medications approved for its treatment. It’s important to note that the most effective MAT regimen will vary from person to person, depending on the nature and severity of their addiction.

Yes, when administered under the supervision of a healthcare professional, the medications used in MAT are safe and effective. However, like all medications, those used in MAT can have side effects and there is a risk of misuse, especially with medications used to treat opioid use disorders. Healthcare providers carefully monitor the use of these medications to mitigate these risks.

The length of MAT varies by individual, depending on factors such as the type of substance use disorder, its severity, and the individual’s response to treatment. Some people may only require MAT for a few months, while others may benefit from several years of treatment. The decision to start or stop MAT should always be made with the guidance of a healthcare professional.