MAT treatment is an effective method for managing opioid addiction that includes both medications and behavioral counseling. MAT can help to reduce the number of overdose deaths, improve treatment retention rates, minimize relapse, and lower the rate of infectious disease transmission.
The Boca Recovery Center in Boca Raton uses Suboxone as part of a complete MAT program that includes both the use of medications to reduce cravings and minimize withdrawal symptoms and also therapies and counseling to support and promote healthy behaviors while examining unhealthy ones.
Peer support groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), can also foster recovery and offer lasting encouragement throughout recovery.
Suboxone contains a partial opioid agonist drug called buprenorphine. This drug is FDA-approved to treat opioid use disorder (OUD) as part of MAT, and it was the first drug to be approved for prescription and dispensation directly from a physician’s office.
Nearly a third of the 2.3 million people involved in treatment for illicit drug use in 2019 received MAT, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reports.
As a partial agonist, buprenorphine still activates the opioid receptors in the brain, but it does not do so as fully as full agonists like heroin do. In this way, buprenorphine can mitigate cravings and minimize opioid withdrawal symptoms without creating the “high.” It also has a long half-life, so it takes longer to process out of the system, meaning it can be taken less often to remain active.
The second component in Suboxone is naltrexone, which is an opioid agonist. This part of the drug remains dormant unless the drug is misused by injection.
If Suboxone is abused, the naloxone blocks the opioid receptors in the brain and can bring on intense withdrawal symptoms. Because of this, naloxone works to deter abuse and ensure that the medication is used as intended.
Benefits of MAT Treatment
A MAT program can offer a more tailored approach to rehab, providing both medication support and behavioral therapies. MAT can also be used as part of an inpatient or outpatient treatment program, offering flexibility and better access to treatment.
SAMHSA lists the following benefits of a MAT program:
- Higher rates of survival
- Increased treatment retention and participation
- Lower illicit opioid use
- Decreased criminal activities among those with a substance use disorder
- Lessened neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) and improved birth outcomes in pregnant women with opioid use disorder
- Enhanced ability to get and keep a job
- Reduced odds for relapse
- Decreased chances for contracting an infectious disease, such as hepatitis C or HIV
Nearly 50,000 people in the United States died from an opioid overdose in 2019. Studies show that the use of medications through MAT for opioid use disorders can reduce overdose death rates.
MAT & Suboxone at Boca Recovery in Boca Raton
The Boca Recovery Center in Boca Raton, Florida uses FDA-approved medications, such as Suboxone, during MAT treatment. Medications are part of a comprehensive treatment plan that also includes behavioral therapies and counseling sessions.
During group and individual therapy sessions, negative behavioral patterns and actions can be identified, addressed, and reformed. Positive life changes, coping mechanisms, and habits can be instilled.
When abused, opioids create an intense high, and users experience a big “crash” when they wear off. This is a large part of what makes them so addictive.
Physical and psychological dependence on opioids can be formed easily with repeated use, and the lows in between uses can be extreme. Withdrawal symptoms from opioid drugs involve both physical flu-like symptoms and difficult emotional symptoms, such as depression, irritability, and mood swings. Insomnia and cravings are also prominent.
The use of medications like Suboxone can help to decrease these side effects, allowing people to focus on behavioral aspects and other components of addiction.
Outpatient Treatment & MAT at Boca Recovery in Boca Raton
Outpatient treatment at the Boca Recovery Center can offer both flexibility in scheduling and a high level of support and care.
During outpatient treatment, a person attends therapy, counseling, and support group meetings throughout the week and returns home when not in sessions. This can work well for people who still need to keep up with everyday life events or have a lower level of physical dependence on substances.
At the Boca Recovery Center, medications are used to support treatment via MAT along with group and individual therapy. The following specialty therapies are offered:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
- Eating disorder therapy
- Trauma-informed therapy
- Family therapy
Programs cater to each individual, and medications can be prescribed through MAT as part of a complete treatment plan.
Positives of AA & NA With MAT
MAT is not a standalone treatment method. Ideally, it is paired with behavioral therapies and support groups.
During recovery, peer support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can help to sustain sobriety and provide a healthy outlet for members. These groups are traditionally abstinence-based; however, many make accommodations for those receiving MAT to overcome addiction. In fact, one of the only requirements of membership is the desire to be drug- and/or alcohol-free.
NA and AA can offer support in the form of other members who are also in recovery. Participants can empathize and relate to each other. It can be beneficial to be around other people in various stages of recovery as well.
Peer support and 12-step programs like AA and NA can offer sober peer interactions and events. The relationships built in these programs can form the foundation of a support network in recovery.
To find an NA meeting in Boca Raton, look here. AA meetings can be found through the South Palm Beach County Intergroup (SPBCI) of AA.
Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are free to attend. There are a variety of specialty groups meeting in many different locations and forums.
Support groups often offer drop-in options, so you are able to find quick support in times of need. With many meeting options, you have the ability to find a meeting and group at many different times and places. Virtual meetings are also available, allowing people multiple avenues of support.
- Effective Treatments for Opioid Addiction. (November 2016). National Institute on Drug Use and Health (NIDA).
- Buprenorphine. (May 2021). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
- Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). September 2020.
- Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). (October 2021). Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
- Drug Overdose Deaths. (March 2021). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Opioid Agonist Treatments and Heroin Overdose Deaths in Baltimore, Maryland, 1995-2009. (May 2013). American Journal of Public Health.
- Information About Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). (February 2019). U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- Narcotics Anonymous- and Persons Receiving Medication-Assisted Treatment. (October 2016). Narcotics Anonymous (NA).
- Narcotics Anonymous Meeting Search Results. Narcotics Anonymous (NA).
- SBCI of A.A. South Palm Beach County Intergroup of A.A.