medication assisted treatment

At Harmony Ridge Recovery Center, we offer medication-assisted treatment to our patients with opioid addiction. It gives them an alternative form of therapy aside from the typical abstinence-based treatment. 

Whether it’s through naltrexone, buprenorphine, or methadone, our team of professionals at Harmony Ridge Recovery is here to assist. They know that medications are sometimes a necessary component of the treatment process. We offer a way to track how much medication we’re giving you, as well as how long we believe you’ll need it.

What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) uses medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat substance abuse. MAT is normally used to treat opioid use disorders but has helped other types in the past. Sometimes other effects from these medications can hinder the recovery process, but they help more often than not. This therapy can be combined with others, like behavioral and group therapies, in order to achieve desired results of sobriety.

We understand that ceasing drug use without the help of medication is sometimes not the best option for our patients. In our medication-assisted treatment here at Harmony Ridge, our staff is available 24/7 to manage the different prescribed medications. 

How Medication-Assisted Treatment Works

medication assisted treatment

There is a stigma behind helping recovering addicts reach sobriety with the assistance of medications. However, our goal is to break this stigma. Because opioids are such addictive drugs, they require more intensive treatments when you’re going through drug rehab. Other substances are often needed to lessen the severity of the withdrawal symptoms and the long-term effects opioid abuse has caused. This is where MAT comes in.

We use three FDA-approved medications to treat opioid abuse: naltrexone, buprenorphine, and methadone. Our licensed staff prescribes and administers these in small doses. We allow all three to be trialed in order to find which one works the best for each patient. We will only use MAT for the necessary duration to help an individual reach a point where they no longer need medication.

Requiring medication-assisted treatment in West Virginia is not something anyone should be ashamed of. We want more people to understand that. By using medications to manage the effects of opioids, our patients at Harmony Ridge have a better chance of being able to focus solely on their recovery.

Naltrexone Use

Naltrexone helps patients cope with the effects of opioid withdrawal. Used in a pill or injection form, it blocks out the euphoric high that comes along with the type of drugs the patient has been abusing. The naltrexone also cuts down the urge to use that many recovering addicts face during treatment. 

Like any other medication, it comes with some possible side effects, which can include:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Trouble sleeping

Because it can cause liver damage with excess use, it will be closely administered by our medical professionals.

Buprenorphine Use

Buprenorphine is the first medication medical staff uses to treat opioid addiction, and it can be prescribed by any doctor’s office. Other medications can only be given out by certified clinics like ours. Buprenorphine is usually available in pill form, and it alleviates the side effects of opioid withdrawal. Buprenorphine also decreases cravings that come along with the drug abuse treatment process.

Although it has the potential to be abused itself, it is sometimes mixed with naltrexone to decrease this potential. It has uncomfortable side effects that can come along with use that can include:

  • Fever
  • Constipation
  • Trouble staying awake
  • Vomiting
  • Irritability

Methadone Use 

Like other opioids, methadone produces euphoric effects. However, these effects last longer than others, and as a result methadone is much milder than typical opioids. Methadone reduces cravings and side effect symptoms of opioid withdrawal. One dose is able to curb these cravings for up to a day and a half.

Some side effects of using methadone during treatment can include:

  • Sweating
  • Stomach pain
  • Appetite loss
  • Mood swings
  • Reduced sex drive

Because methadone also has the potential to be abused, our medical professionals will monitor its use.

An Ethical Medication-Assisted Treatment Program

To maintain an ethical medication-assisted treatment program, our staff will evaluate each patient accordingly. We’ll only use this treatment if completely necessary for our patient’s health and well-being, especially if they aren’t responding well to only having abstinent-based treatments. 

We understand there are risks that come along with using a medication-assisted treatment in rehab. Most of the medications we use have a potential for addiction, so our staff is well-versed in how to administer these. We don’t allow our patients to have access to large dosages to these medications while under our care.

Medication-Assisted Treatment Protocol

medication assisted treatment

We will have to determine three things to properly assess each patient: what type of substance is being abused, the severity of the addiction, and the possible presence of co-occurring mental health disorders. Once our staff has evaluated all of these factors, our staff will determine whether the patient will need MAT. If you need MAT to recover completely, we will place you into a special unit that has a higher level of care. 

There is no minimum or maximum amount of time this type of treatment may take. Each case will differ, and the need for MAT will be routinely monitored to make sure it is continuing to help the patient instead of hurt them.

You may be an ideal candidate for medication-assisted treatment if you have:

  • Been diagnosed with an opioid addiction
  • No physical issues that could be affected by the medication
  • Educated yourself on all treatment possibilities
  • Agreed to follow strict instructions that come with MAT

You may not be an ideal candidate if you have:

  • Low motivation to attain sobriety
  • More than one substance addiction at the same time
  • A history of misuse and abuse of medication
  • Difficulties with health conditions like heart disease and liver failure

Is A Medication-Assisted Program Right For Me?

While no one can make this decision for you, and ultimately the need for medications is determined by our qualified medical staff, we highly suggest considering all facets of a medication-assisted treatment program. You should understand how it works and what it offers to see if our MAT program matches your needs. Some questions you can ask yourself are:

  • Do you have trouble maintaining your sobriety in abstinence-based treatment programs?
  • Do you commonly relapse upon treatment completion or while in treatment?
  • Do you want to be able to stay clean with the assistance of craving-reducing medications while working on your long-term goal of obtaining and maintaining long-term, total abstinence?
  • Are you willing to take medications as prescribed and for their sole purpose of helping you maintain your sobriety during treatment?

Other Treatments Used Alongside MAT

medication assisted treatment

Although MAT is a reliable program to consider when being admitted into substance abuse treatment, we have a long list of other available ones at Harmony Ridge. The ones we provide you will be determined by the current mental and physical state of each client. Our medical professionals will create a plan for each patient that will help them reach and maintain full sobriety as quickly as possible.

We offer many types of treatment in our facilities. These include:

  • Individual Therapy: Individual therapy is a type of psychological therapy that evaluates mental health in session forms. This therapy can help determine what caused the addiction in the first place. Some issues that can be discussed in these sessions are past traumas, environmental factors, and family history of substance abuse. 
  • Dual Diagnosis Treatment: Addiction and mental health disorders often coexist in people. If we diagnose a patient with a co-occurring mental health disorder along with their addiction, dual diagnosis treatment allows our therapists to treat both at once. Dual diagnosis treatment cuts down the time a patient spends within our facilities. 
  • Holistic Treatments: Holistic treatments allow our patients to develop new habits and hobbies while in our facility. They can do this through recreational activities like art and exercise. We also help them focus on bettering their nutrition and mental health through healthy diet plans and yoga classes.

How Harmony Ridge Can Help

Medication-assisted treatments can be overwhelming to think about due to the risk of the medication used becoming addictive. We are here to help you understand that, if done correctly, MAT is an amazing way to help cope with addiction. Our staff is highly trained and certified to provide the care necessary to include MAT in our treatment programs.

If you or someone you know has fallen victim to substance addiction, we are here to provide you with helpful information. In order to obtain your normal life back, it is more than likely you will need some form of substance abuse treatment. Please contact us today, and we will help you start your journey to recovery.

References:

https://drugabuse.com/treatment/medication-assisted-treatment/

https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment

https://www.fda.gov/drugs/information-drug-class/information-about-medication-assisted-treatment-mat