Addiction is a disease in which someone is chemically reliant on a substance. It can be difficult to come to terms that someone is dealing with addiction. However, when they do come to terms, it is vital they start the recovery process. This process can be very challenging, but it is worth it, and it is vital to the quality of life for the patient. When someone starts the difficult process of recovery, many things can happen to their body. Sometimes, they experience pain, nausea, and even anxiety. To alleviate these symptoms, the patient can choose to undergo medication assisted treatment.
What is Medication Assisted Treatment?
Medication assisted treatment, commonly referred to as MAT, is a form of recovery in which a doctor prescribes medication to alleviate symptoms of withdrawal. When the recovery patient experiences symptoms of withdrawal, they will take medication to alleviate those symptoms. Taking this medication is under the supervision of a doctor, which is much safer than taking their drug of preference.
MAT is typically used in the case of opioid addiction. Opioids are one of the most common drug addictions people deal with. These drugs are highly addictive, and oftentimes easy to access. Recovering from opioids is usually a long, painful process. This is why MAT is so helpful. Doctors prescribe and monitor patients as they take medication to get over their addiction. This will make the process easier, which can increase their motivation for recovery. Unfortunately, there are many symptoms associated with addiction recovery.
Symptoms of Withdrawal
There are many different symptoms patients experience when recovering from addiction. It truly varies from person to person and how long they have been abusing the drug. Additionally, it depends on what drug they are recovering from. However, the most common symptoms are body aches, nausea, high blood pressure, stomach cramps, anxiety, and insomnia. All of these symptoms are very severe and uncomfortable to experience.
Because the body is reliant on the substance, the only way to completely diminish these symptoms is by using again. Clearly, the person should avoid this, as taking the drug during recovery is relapsing. In order to recover fully, the person must not use the drug for a long period of time. This is why a doctor will prescribe other FDA-approved medications such as Suboxone or Methadose. These “substitutes” will be used to mitigate the symptoms, all without the patient relapsing.
How Does MAT Help?
Medication assisted treatment helps by alleviating the patient’s symptoms. A doctor will prescribe medication in which the patient is not chemically addicted to. This then gives the patient a chance to withdraw from the drug, all while experiencing minor symptoms of withdrawal. The doctor providing MAT should monitor the patient, so they do not get addicted to the new drug, as this is always a possibility. With that being said, the patient should not take the new drug for long, as this can cause a new addiction.
Is It Just Medicine?
There should be other forms of treatment in addition to MAT. MAT is highly effective at minimizing the symptoms of drug withdrawal. However, it does not fix the mindset around addiction. Addiction is a disease, and the patient needs to recovery mentally from it. They need to seek out new coping mechanisms, this way they do not turn to drug abuse again. If healing does not occur in the brain, the person will likely turn to drug use again. The doctor and patient should avoid this.
To mentally recovery from addiction, we recommend therapy. There are many methods of therapy one can partake in to heal from drug abuse. For one, behavioral health counseling is an excellent way to find new coping mechanisms. The patient could also go to cognitive behavioral therapy sessions, which is one of the most popular forms of therapy.
Where Can You Get MAT?
There aren’t many family medicine doctors who help with addiction recovery. Typically, patients in recovery must go to a recovery center to receive MAT as their method of treatment. This is due to the fact that MAT requires great care and guidance. However, some family medicine doctors offer MAT as one of their services.
If you are looking to receive MAT in the Pensacola, Florida area, consider visiting our practice. We offer quality family medicine services, as well as addiction recovery treatment. We can help you with behavioral health counseling, as well as medication assisted treatment. Our team prides itself on being a one-stop-shop for our patients’ needs. So, if you are looking for quality care, contact us today to schedule an appointment.