One of the most significant deterrents to successful recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) is the varying range of withdrawal symptoms that occur after stopping the use of drugs or alcohol. To break down this barrier, treatment centers offer medication-assisted treatment programs that combine medication with counseling and support for a comprehensive approach to recovery from SUD. These programs are especially helpful for people needing opioid or heroin addiction treatment to help them take back control of their lives.
What Is Medication Assisted Treatment for Heroin?
Medication assisted treatment (MAT) involves the use of specific medications to ease withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Dependence on heroin and other opioid drugs is treated with similar medications. These medications are chosen for their ability to interact with opioid receptors in the brain. However, each type of medication interacts differently with these receptors to produce a different effect. Some of the medications that may be used in a MAT rehab for heroin addiction are:
- Buprenorphine – This opioid partial agonist replaces heroin by producing similar feelings of euphoria but at a much lower level.
- Methadone – This opioid agonist blocks the effects of opioids, which prevents the user from experiencing euphoria and helps reduce cravings.
- Naltrexone – Like methadone, naltrexone blocks the effects of opioids to decrease cravings for opioids.
- Suboxone – Suboxone treatment programs are designed to address opioid use disorder with a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Together, these drugs make up Suboxone, replacing heroin with a milder high with a low risk for misuse or overdose.
- Naloxone – This opioid antagonist is used in the event of overdose, as it can quickly reverse the effects of opioids to save a patient’s life.
Each of the above medications serves a specific purpose in a MAT program for heroin. Your care provider can determine which of these will work best for your situation.
How Does MAT Work for Opioid Use Disorder?
As effective as medication can be to reduce withdrawal discomedication-assisted-treatment-for-heroin-addictionmfort, it cannot treat opioid use disorder independently. For treatment to work, a comprehensive program is needed. Medication assisted treatment is a whole-person approach to recovery and may involve the following:
- You will receive an assessment from the treatment center’s physician to determine the best course of treatment, including which medications would be most effective for you.
- The medications will be administered at the appropriate time to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and address any co-occurring mental health disorders.
- You will attend therapy sessions to treat underlying issues that contribute to opioid use, including individual, family, and group therapy.
The frequency of your treatment sessions will be based on your intake assessment. Your care team will work together with you to discuss the best outpatient treatment options, which may include intensive outpatient or partial hospitalization programs.
What Are the Benefits of MAT Rehab for Heroin Addiction?
If you are considering treatment for opioid use disorder, you may wonder if MAT would be more beneficial than other traditional forms of treatment. Several benefits make medication assisted treatment for heroin a preferred treatment method:
- Medication can alleviate or eliminate the physical and psychological discomfort of withdrawal symptoms.
- Medications that block opioid receptors can decrease a patient’s incentive to use the drug.
- Medications can help prevent fatal overdose by reversing defective opioids.
- MAT results in more cases of lasting recovery since patients experience fewer cravings for opioids.
Since medication assisted treatment can keep patients more comfortable and focused on recovery, it has become one of the top choices for opioid use disorder treatment.
Find Medication Assisted Treatment for Heroin at Your Local SUD Treatment Center
When looking for a safe, effective treatment for heroin dependence, choose a treatment center that provides medication assisted treatment. MAT is highly effective and has earned an excellent reputation for lasting recovery, so many treatment centers are now offering medication assisted treatment as part of their programs.