Medication-Assisted Treatment Program in Florida

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a method of treating substance use disorders that involves a combination of medications and talk therapy. Our MAT program at our South Florida detox center is suited to help those in need of additional assistance with the recovery process. For many who need detox, MAT provides an option that gives them the edge they need to stay sober. At Ambrosia Treatment Center, we are proud to say that medication-assisted treatment is a highly effective program at our facility.

MAT is provided primarily as a treatment for those with an addiction to alcohol or opioids. Medication-assisted treatment helps with addiction to opioids such as heroin, synthetic opioids, and prescription painkillers, such as Oxycontin and Vicodin. Medications used in MAT provide different benefits, depending on which one is used.

They can help to normalize a person’s brain chemistry and relieve typical withdrawal symptoms and cravings for drugs that many people starting recovery from addiction experience. They also can block the euphoric effect that people seek when they abuse opioids or alcohol. MAT takes away the positive result achieved when using the drug or drinking.

While many people attempt and are successful at maintaining recovery from opioid and alcohol addiction without using MAT, for others, it becomes the best option. These individuals find that the powerful combination of therapy and the benefits that MAT offers allows them to focus on their recovery and stay sober. Whether or not MAT is right for a person will be determined by the treatment provider based on their individual needs, tolerance, and history of substance abuse.

MAT must be done under the supervision of a trained professional. A clinician supervising MAT can monitor the person for any adverse reactions to the medications. This includes any signs of potential abuse and making needed changes.

Benefits of a Medicated-Assisted Treatment Program

The National Institute on Drug Abuse studied the effectiveness of MAT and reports the following:

  • People taking methadone as part of MAT were 4.44 times more likely to remain in treatment and had 33% fewer positive results when tested for opioids.
  • Those taking buprenorphine at an amount of 16 mg daily or higher proved to be 1.82 times more likely to remain in treatment and produced 14.2% fewer positive results when tested for opioids.
  • People taking extended-release injectable naltrexone were tested against a group taking placebos. The naltrexone group had 90% abstinent weeks compared to only 35% with the other group. They also experienced a higher retention rate in treatment at 58% versus 42%.
patient attending medication assisted treatment program

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder

MAT treatment is essentially a necessity for individuals dealing with severe opioid use disorders – this is because of the dangerous potential of an opioid overdose. Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs) are specialized programs designed to treat individuals suffering from Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). These programs use a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach that combines medication, counseling, and other supportive services.

Due to the nature of an opioid use disorder, starting with detox is key. Then followed by other substance abuse treatment services, such as residential care, therapy, aftercare, and more.

detox withdrawal

How The Detox Process Works

The addiction detox process is a crucial first step in substance abuse recovery. It involves the removal of all traces of alcohol and drugs from the body, often as part of an intensive substance abuse treatment.

Detoxification can be carried out in different ways, but it typically begins with medical supervision because withdrawal can be dangerous, sometimes even life-threatening. Withdrawal symptoms differ depending on the substance that has been abused, the duration of abuse, and the individual’s overall health.

During detox, a person may experience physical and psychological withdrawals, which can include anxiety, restlessness, sweating, and severe depression. This is why detox should always be done under the supervision of healthcare professionals who can provide support and, if necessary, medication to manage withdrawal symptoms.

Stages of Detox

The detox process generally involves three main stages: evaluation, stabilization, and preparation for treatment. However, the exact process can vary based on the substance being used, the duration of use, and the individual’s physical and mental health.

In this stage, medical professionals assess the individual’s physical and mental health to understand the level of substance abuse. This may involve blood tests, screenings for co-occurring disorders, risk assessment for withdrawal severity, and a comprehensive review of medical, psychiatric, and substance use history.

This is the main part of detox. During stabilization, the focus is on getting the individual through the withdrawal process safely and with minimal discomfort. This may involve the use of medications to ease withdrawal symptoms, nutritional support, and psychological support. Medical staff closely monitor the individual during this stage to ensure their safety and address any complications that may arise.

Detox is just the first step in addiction recovery. Once the individual is stable, the focus shifts to preparing them for the next steps in treatment. This could involve mental health services, medication, peer support groups, and other forms of treatment. It’s crucial to understand that detox alone is not enough to achieve long-term recovery; it must be followed by comprehensive substance abuse treatment.

Remember, detox should always be done under the supervision of trained healthcare professionals due to the potential risks and complications associated with withdrawal.

Treatment Medications Used During Detox

For an alcohol use disorder, the most commonly used medications are acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone. For an opioid use disorder, the most commonly used medications are naltrexone, buprenorphine, and methadone. Our medication-assisted treatment program uses the following medications:

Used to treat addiction to alcohol by changing the way the brain operates. It reduces cravings to drink but does not prevent withdrawal symptoms. Acamprosate should be used by someone who has already gone through the detoxification process and is not still consuming alcohol.

Used to treat addiction to alcohol to provide ill effects when a person consumes alcoholic drinks. When they drink even a small amount of alcohol, disulfiram causes side effects such as nausea, vomiting, headache, sweating, blurred vision, and weakness. The symptoms start within minutes after beginning to consume the alcohol and last for an hour or more.

Used to treat both alcohol and opioid addiction. With alcohol addiction, the person must have completed the detoxification process and does not still consume alcohol. Naltrexone blocks the pleasant effects and feelings alcohol provides, which makes a person less inclined to drink and reduces their cravings.

For those who have an opioid addiction, the medication blocks the feelings of euphoria and sedation that these drugs provide, which takes away the payoff they have for using them and reduces their cravings.

Used to treat opioid addiction. Someone using this medication should not have used any opioids for the previous 12-24 hours and be in the early stages of withdrawal. It produces low-level amounts of euphoria and respiratory depression that mimic the effects of using opioids. It helps reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Used to treat opioid addiction. It reduces withdrawal symptoms and cravings for opioids, as well as reduces or eliminates the high a person achieves when abusing opioids.

Importance of MAT for Opioid Use Disorders

These medications are most effective when used in conjunction with a comprehensive treatment program that includes counseling and other behavioral therapies. This approach helps address both the physical aspects of addiction (such as withdrawal symptoms and cravings) and the psychological aspects (such as triggers and coping strategies).

Contrary to some beliefs, using these medications doesn’t simply substitute one drug for another. When used correctly, they can help individuals stabilize their lives and reduce the harm associated with opioid use.

Why Self-Detox Can Be a Bad Idea

Detoxing from drugs on your own, often referred to as “going cold turkey,” can be extremely dangerous and is generally not recommended. Here’s why:

  1. Severe Withdrawal Symptoms: Depending on the respective substance use disorder, withdrawal symptoms can range from uncomfortable to life-threatening. These might include anxiety, depression, seizures, hallucinations, and even heart failure.
  2. Lack of Medical Support: Without medical supervision, these withdrawal symptoms can go unchecked and lead to severe complications. Medical professionals in a detox facility can provide medication and care to manage these symptoms.
  3. High Risk of Relapse: The discomfort of withdrawal symptoms can lead to a high risk of relapse. In a supervised setting, measures are in place to prevent access to substances, reducing the chances of a relapse during detox.
  4. Mental Health Concerns: Detox can also exacerbate underlying mental health issues such as depression or anxiety. In a detox facility, mental health professionals are available to provide support.
  5. Lack of Therapeutic Support: Detox facilities often provide therapeutic support to help address the psychological aspects of substance abuse. This support is not available when detoxing alone.

In conclusion, while it may seem appealing to detox at home, the risks far outweigh the benefits. It’s crucial to seek professional help for a safe and effective detox process.

withdrawal symptoms

The Role of Therapy in MAT

Medication-assisted treatment involves not just the medication part; therapy is also vital to its overall success. While the medications can help ease symptoms related to withdrawal and cravings for drugs and alcohol, MAT relies on the person also actively participating in therapy. Mental health services in terms of addiction recovery offer several things, including:

  • Providing a deeper understanding of a person’s life history
  • Examining what may have caused a person to begin to abuse alcohol or drugs
  • Determining ways to resolve issues that kept a person active in their addiction
  • Learning healthy new coping skills to replace the damaging ones used in the past
  • Providing a neutral person to speak to who won’t judge the person for their past actions or addictive behaviors
  • Learning how to communicate more effectively with family and friends
  • Understanding the concept of boundaries and how to enforce your while respecting those that others have in place
  • Putting together a plan to keep the person in recovery long after treatment has ended

Begin Your Recovery With Ambrosia’s Medicated-Assisted Treatment Program

At Ambrosia Treatment Center in Florida, we offer MAT programs for clients who can benefit from this approach. Contact us to discuss how we can help you use all the recovery tools at your disposal to begin living the sober life you deserve. For funding options, those who qualify will be happy to know we accept both Horizon BCBS and Aetna insurance. If you or your loved one are ready to get started today, begin the admissions process, and one of our team members will contact you right away.
Table of Contents
Scroll to Top