Medication-assisted treatment helps the patient by managing the process of withdrawal.
Anyone who has ever tried to kick any type of habit will know how much willpower it requires. Imagine this process while under the influence of a substance that has essentially taken control of not just the body but the chemical functioning of the brain. One of the biggest challenges to overcome in addiction therapy is managing the physical side-effects of withdrawal from a substance. In many instances, despite an individual’s sincere desire to overcome addiction, the physiological toll can be too much to overcome. Faced with unsuccessful attempts, patients may lapse into a downward spiral of failure that leads them to believe they’re not strong enough to control their addiction, let alone the circumstances that may have led them to it.
Medication-assisted treatment can be useful when treating:
- Substance use disorders
- Attention deficit disorder (ADD)
- Bipolar disorder
BENEFITS OF MEDICATION-ASSISTED TREATMENT
Medication-assisted Treatment eases the symptoms of withdrawal and helps adjust the chemical imbalances in the brain that were created by the initial addiction. This provides the impetus to continue with various therapies to pinpoint the psychological aspects of the problem, which will give a better prognosis for long-term recovery. The treatment essentially addresses two aspects of addiction. Habitual use develops a physiological need for the drug, which is why it is so hard to break the habit. A chemical dependency is created because the drug affects neurotransmitters in the brain, such as serotonin, dopamine, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and norepinephrine.
These control emotions , which become unbalanced, causing mood swings and abnormal physiological responses when the drug is no longer in the system. Switching to a safer alternative, it is easier for the patient to stop using.
Psyclarity Health’s detox provides patient-centric substance abuse treatment, therefore each program is different. Depending on the type of drug and how long it has been used, different medications may be prescribed to assist with treatment. Some programs, such as those addressing alcohol addiction, or opioid use disorders like codeine addiction, morphine addiction, or oxycodone addiction, may require more careful attention. These can have extreme health risks attached, particularly if a patient has a pre-existing medical condition. For instance, high blood pressure.
In most cases, inpatient rehab is advised to provide patients with round-the-clock care during the initial phases of detoxification, where medical intervention may be needed. This also allows Pscylarity Health’s team of health care specialists to monitor patient recovery and adjust prescriptions where necessary.
Psyclarity Health’s Clinical Stabilization Services specialists will prescribe different medications, depending on the addiction. Primary concerns are opioid addictions such as heroin or prescription painkillers, which may be treated with:
Methadone and Buprenorphine interact with brain receptors in a similar way to heroin while not providing the same feelings of euphoria. This provides less incentive to continue using the drug, during which time the body becomes accustomed to functioning without it. People with opioid use disorders gradually develop a tolerance to the opiate, requiring increasing dosage and frequency of use.
As a result, they become caught in a constant need to source more drugs. Medications such as methadone remain in the system for much longer, so they do not need to be used as regularly, thereby breaking the cycle of abuse. Naltrexone, used after the detoxification process is complete, blocks the effect of opiates so that drugs such as heroin do not produce the same high. There are still risks of misuse, particularly in the case of methadone, so prescriptions are carefully supervised. During opioid use disorder treatments, further side-effects of withdrawal may be treated with additional medications.
- Benzodiazepines: For managing anxiety and emotional instability
- Clonidine: For anxiety, cramps, muscle aches, and sweating
- Baclofen: For treating muscle pains
- Zofran: For managing nausea
MEDICATION FOR ALCOHOL ADDICTION
Long-term alcohol addiction comes with multiple health concerns that also require specialized care. In some cases, the nervous system can become hyperactive to the point of seizures and even death. Health care specialists may prescribe the following medications:
- Ativan: A benzodiazepine used to regulate nervous system functioning. Dosages are tapered as withdrawal progresses
- Acamprosate: Normalizes brain chemistry and reduces cravings.
- Chlordiazepoxide HCl (Librium): Used to treat anxiety, insomnia and symptoms of withdrawal from alcohol and other drugs.
By reducing cravings and symptoms of addiction, MAT facilitates a focus on therapy goals. This helps patients get over the initial hurdle, which can often be the main stumbling block of addiction therapy. This frees the individual to begin the journey to addressing the reasons for their addiction. Through psychotherapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy, along with group therapy and learning healthy life skills, patients are able to develop constructive coping methods without resorting to drugs or alcohol. After leaving the treatment center, these skills will prove vital in maintaining sobriety. Additionally, networks created through group sessions and outpatient treatment will help a person stay dedicated to long-term recovery. If you are battling with addiction, contact Psyclarity Health to discuss the options available for optimal chances of a successful recovery.