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Drug & Alcohol Rehab Services Using MAT by State

Drug & Alcohol Rehab Services Using MAT by State

Drug & Alcohol Rehab Services Using Medication-Assisted Treatment in the United States

Medication-Assisted Treatment or MAT is the use of medications during rehabilitation along with counseling, therapy, and different behavioral services treating addiction. Medication-assisted treatment is primarily used to treat opioid addiction because it incorporates either Suboxone or buprenorphine. For example, addicts addicted to heroin or prescription opioids may choose MAT to help them manage withdrawals during detox and throughout treatment. However, the end result should involve the patient becoming completely drug and alcohol-free, and not having to rely on a drug to sustain his or her sobriety. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the medication used in this type of treatment is approved by the Food and Drug Administration. It also indicated the medication-assisted treatment programs are clinically driven and tailored to meet each patient’s needs.

Within the United States are specific Opioid Treatment Programs or OTP’s, which are in high demand because of the current opioid epidemic. The OTP’s use medication-assisted treatment to help opioid addicts through the withdrawal, and then manage their symptoms during counseling and therapy. When treatment is finished, most patients will have detoxed off the medications and started onto their aftercare treatment. In fact, under federal law, MAT patients must receive counseling, which includes different forms of behavioral therapy. The medications that are used in a medication-assisted treatment program can only be dispensed through a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration certified opioid treatment program, per the SAMHSA. Opioid addicts rely on these programs to help them through difficult withdrawals. It does also help them prevent overdose when the can use suboxone, which has naloxone, or naltrexone. The problems with these programs arise when a patient only relies on the medication and refuses any treatment or therapy. The goal of rehabilitation is to help the patient become drug-free and live his or her life without drugs or alcohol.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there are three different drugs approved for medication-assisted treatment. These are buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone, with FDA approved brands under each type of medication. In 2016, over 2.1 million Americans suffered from an opioid use disorder, because of prescription opioids per a CDC study being done on MAT. During that same year, over 260,000 Americans struggled with heroin addiction. Some families may find it frustrating watching their loved ones start a medication-assisted treatment program. The frustration comes with substituting one drug for another drug. Opioid addiction is one of the more difficult drug problems for an addict to overcome. The average opioid addict does not make it through the withdrawal symptoms, without the help of medication. Essentially it is replacing one drug with another drug, but the medication allows the patient to safely go through the withdrawals. Along with this, it permits them to manage the cravings long enough to successfully get into therapy and counseling. Upon completing the program, the patient should be detoxed off the medication, and able to start with the aftercare treatment.

In an article titled Drug Design, Development and Therapy on NCBI, it indicates that over a 12-year period in the US from 2002 to 2014, the recorded number of opioid-related deaths doubled. During that same time, the death toll because of heroin overdose quadrupled. In 2017, there were over 2.4 million Americans who were struggling with opioid addiction. The most common opioid being abused includes opium, heroin, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, and fentanyl, with five of them available for prescription. According to a PEW Research Study in 2016, the use of medication-assisted treatment reduced relapsed rates among opioid addicts. Without the combination of medication-assisted treatment and behavioral or cognitive therapy, the relapse rate among opioid addicts was around 80%. Struggling with opioid addiction is not easy, and if you choose medication-assisted treatment, you should strive for the goal of becoming completely drug-free. Going through aftercare treatment having to solely rely on medication, will make the remainder of your sobriety much more difficult to manage. Drug rehabilitation should heal the mind, body, and spirit, and put you in a position to live a healthy drug-free life.


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Marcel Gemme

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Marcel Gemme has been helping people struggling with addiction for over 19 years. He first started as an intake counselor for a drug rehabilitation center in 2000. During his 5 years as an intake counselor, he helped many addicts get the treatment they needed. He also dealt with the families and friends of those people; he saw first-hand how much strain addiction puts on a family and how it can tear relationships apart. With drug and alcohol problems constantly on the rise in the United States and Canada, he decided to use the Internet as a way to educate and help many more people in both those countries. This was 15 years ago. Since then, Marcel has built two of the largest websites in the U.S. and Canada which reach and help millions of people each year. He is an author and a leader in the field of drug and alcohol addiction. His main focus is threefold: education, prevention and rehabilitation. To this day, he still strives to be at the forefront of technology in order to help more and more people.


Dr. Rohit is a Diplomate of the American Society of Addiction Medicine who has been supervising successful detox for over 13 years.

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