Medication-Assisted Treatment Programs in Los Angeles

Medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, brings together approved medications with therapy and other interventions to provide effective solutions when you’re dealing with an addiction. Integrating the use of certain medications in addiction treatment can reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms and improve outcomes for sustained recovery.

In this article, you will learn:

  • What is medication-assisted treatment (MAT)?
  • How MAT works for opioid and alcohol addiction
  • What to expect during a MAT program
  • Where to find MAT in Los Angeles

What is MAT?

Medication-assisted treatment is a comprehensive treatment approach for substance use disorders, combining medicine with counseling and behavioral therapy.[1]

  • MAT uses FDA-approved medicines to address the physiological symptoms of addiction, including withdrawal symptoms as well as cravings.
  • Counseling and behavioral therapies should be incorporated to address addiction’s psychological aspects. Therapy helps you understand your substance abuse’s root causes, develop coping mechanisms and make positive changes in all areas of your life.
  • A MAT program provides ongoing support and monitoring so you can stay on track with your recovery. This might include regularly checking in with your healthcare providers and support groups.

Benefits of medication-assisted treatment include:[2]

  • It alleviates cravings and withdrawal symptoms, so it’s easier to abstain from the use of drugs and alcohol.
  • It’s been shown to improve treatment program retention rates, increasing the likelihood of long-term recovery.
  • By addressing the physical and mental parts of addiction, MAT can lower the risk of relapse and provide more of a chance of sustained sobriety.
  • MAT helps with overcoming addiction but also improves overall health outcomes, reducing the risk of things like overdose, infectious diseases and other medical complications that are associated with substance misuse.
  • With the support of MAT, you can start rebuilding your life, repairing relationships, maintaining employment and reintegrating as a productive member of society.

What’s Treated with MAT?

Medication-assisted treatment is primarily used to treat substance use disorders involving opioids and alcohol.

For opioid use disorder, there are several medications which include:

  • Methadone: This long-acting opioid agonist reduces withdrawal symptoms and cravings but, when taken as prescribed, doesn’t cause euphoria, lowering the potential for abuse.
  • Buprenorphine: A partial opioid agonist, this medication can reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings and block the effects of other opioids. Buprenorphine is commonly prescribed under the brand name Suboxone.
  • Naltrexone: An opioid antagonist this medicine blocks opioid effects and reduces cravings. It’s available in oral and extended-release injectable versions.

For alcohol use disorder, medications include:

  • Naltrexone: It blocks alcohol’s pleasurable effects and reduces cravings.
  • Acamprosate: This helps restore the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain, reducing withdrawal discomfort and cravings.
  • Disulfiram: This medication causes uncomfortable reactions like nausea and vomiting when you consume alcohol, so it’s a deterrent to drinking.

What’s Included in an MAT Program in Los Angeles?

A comprehensive medication-assisted treatment program in Los Angeles includes several components to address the complexity of substance use disorders. These include:

  • Medical assessment and evaluation: This first step should be done by experienced healthcare professionals to determine your physical and mental health status, substance use history and treatment needs.
  • Medication management: In a MAT program, you can access approved medicines for treating substance use disorders. These are prescribed and monitored and also adjusted as needed to address cravings, withdrawal symptoms and other health concerns.
  • Individualized treatment plans: Based on your medical assessment, your treatment team will create a tailored plan to meet your needs and goals. The plan may include medication management, counseling, behavioral therapies, support services and medical monitoring.
  • Counseling and behavioral therapies: An MAT program will offer counseling and behavioral treatments to address addiction’s psychological aspects, help you develop coping skills and make positive changes in your lifestyle. This can include individual and group therapy, relapse prevention strategies, motivational interviewing and cognitive-behavioral therapy.
  • Peer support and group therapy: An MAT program should incorporate group therapy sessions and peer support groups that allow you to connect with others going through similar things. You can hold one another accountable, share insights and provide mutual support.
  • Medical monitoring: MAT programs will include continuous medical tracking for medication side effects. Other support services consist of vocational training and referrals to community resources.
  • Education: A complete MAT program will provide education on substance use disorders, life skills and recovery principles so you can make informed decisions regarding your health and well-being.
  • Continuum of care: MAT programs typically provide a continuum of care, including residential treatment, outpatient treatment options, and aftercare and relapse prevention services.

Connecting with Medication-Assisted Treatment in Los Angeles

We offer one of the leading MAT programs in Los Angeles. Medicine isn’t a standalone treatment for addiction, but at our MAT programs in Los Angeles, we work to treat all of your needs holistically.

Research consistently shows MAT is an effective treatment associated with improved treatment retention, reduced substance use, decreased overdose risk and better health outcomes overall.[3] MAT helps combat the stigma of addiction because it’s treated as the medical condition it is rather than a moral failing. It recognizes addiction as a complex brain disorder requiring evidence-based medical treatment.

Medications used in MAT have been extensively studied for efficacy and safety, and healthcare providers go through specialized training to prescribe some of them.

MAT programs prioritize patient-centered care, ensuring you’re treated with respect, dignity and compassion.

Rather than being a quick fix, it’s a tool to support long-term recovery when integrated into a holistic treatment approach addressing the physical, psychological and social dimensions of addiction. These may include co-occurring mental disorders, trauma, family dynamics and other issues.

If you want to learn more about medication-assisted treatment in Los Angeles, contact Invigorate Behavioral Health. We are a Southern California addiction treatment provider specializing in evidence-based, compassionate care.

References:

  1. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): Medications, Counseling, and Related Conditions
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): Medications for Substance Use Disorders
  3. National Institutes of Health (NIH): Association of Medication-Assisted Therapy and Risk of Drug Overdose-Related Hospitalization or Emergency Room Visits in Patients With Opioid Use Disorder

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