Medical side of MAT 🌿
🌿 What Does MAT Mean?
MAT = Medication Assisted Treatment. The medication we prescribe at Mind Redo is Suboxone: Think of it as a nicotine patch for opioid addiction. Nicotine patches are widely used to help people quit smoking. The recovering nicotine addicts are receiving the nicotine without the psychological experiences and harmful physical effects of smoking.
With all MAT's the long term goal is recovery. Our medications can reduce the horrific withdrawal symptoms, giving the addict a fighting chance. The flip side of the medication we provide is that it prevents cravings. Once stabilized, therapy teaches new strategies and techniques to replace old habits. MAT with therapy are the most effective plan for beating addiction.
✔ Suboxone is a partial opioid agonist medication used in treating opioid addiction - it reduces withdrawal and cravings while preventing overdose.
✔ Suboxone is an oral prescription drug which was granted approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2002 to treat opioid addiction. Prescribed as either a sublingual tablet or film, it contains two active drugs:
✔ Buprenorphine, a partial opioid antagonist, which provides relief from craving and withdrawal symptoms by blocking opiate receptors in the brain.
✔ Naloxone, is an opiate antagonist, which blocks the effects of getting high from the partial opioid itself. Using an additional opioid with Suboxone will only give symptoms of withdrawal, not a high.
✔ The combination of Buprenorphine and Naloxone overcomes the shortcomings of the individual drugs. Buprenorphine, for example, has the potential to be addictive but the naloxone quashes the opiate effects.
✔ Naloxone, by contrast, works in the background as a deterrent, only taking effect when opiates are injected into the system. When this happens, naloxone can induce withdrawal symptoms including nausea, headache, sweating, restlessness, vomiting, and trembling.
To learn more about Suboxone, it's side effects, interactions with other medications, allergic reactions, etc. please contact your pharmacist. You can also click on Drugs.com for more information.
🌿 The Effectiveness of Suboxone:
✔ Suboxone also seems to work better when used for longer periods of time. One study showed that opiate-dependents who used Suboxone for 12 weeks were more likely to remain abstinent compared to counterparts who had undergone detox only.
✔ Suboxone helps through withdrawal, reduces cravings, and is a deterrent for future use.
✔ Expect to have an Induction period during your first appointment to see how you respond to Suboxone. Your safety is our first concern. Click here to learn more about your induction.
Vivitrol for Opioid Addiction
Vivitrol was approved by the FDA in 2010 to help people being treated for opioid addictions. While it was known that Vivitrol could help people struggling with alcohol use disorder, the drug was approved to also help prevent opioid relapse after a study showed that people who took the medication during rehabilitation stayed in the program longer and were more likely to remain abstinent and avoid relapse.
Although it is useful in preventing relapse, it is important to successfully complete a detox program and have no opioids left in the body or withdrawal symptoms before beginning Vivitrol. This is because naltrexone will remove opioids from opioid receptors, so if a person is undergoing medically assisted detox, such as by using buprenorphine, Vivitrol will stop the medicine from working and make withdrawal symptoms worse. It is a pure opiate antagonist, meaning it does not allow other drugs to bind to opioid receptor cells.
While Vivitrol stops endorphins from binding opioid receptors in people who consume alcohol, it also directly blocks opioid drugs from binding to opioid receptors in the brain. This can make it a much more effective treatment for opioid addiction, as it helps prevents relapse. People who use Vivitrol in combination with counseling to treat their opioid addiction have 90 percent opioid-free weeks compared to 35 percent who took a placebo. Those who used Vivitrol alongside rehabilitation and continuing therapy were 17 times less likely to relapse compared to those who did not use Vivitrol.
Although it is useful in preventing relapse, it is important to successfully complete a detox program and have no opioids left in the body or withdrawal symptoms before beginning Vivitrol.
This is because naltrexone will remove opioids from opioid receptors, so if a person is undergoing medically assisted detox, with opioid agonist medications like buprenorphine, Vivitrol will stop the medicine from working and make withdrawal symptoms worse. Naltrexone is a pure opioid antagonist, meaning it does not allow other drugs to bind to opioid receptor cells.
Vivitrol for Alcohol Addiction
Initially, Vivitrol was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2006 to prevent relapse in those recovering from an alcohol use disorder. Naltrexone works to minimize cravings for alcohol via a different mechanism than previously used alcohol relapse prevention medicines, like disulfiram, which discourages continued drinking by making those in recovery sick if they consumed alcohol.
Vivitrol has been effective in augmenting recovery from addiction to alcohol. In a six-month double-blind study, people who used Vivitrol with counseling to treat an alcohol use disorder experienced a 25 percent greater reduction in the number of heavy drinking days after they graduated from treatment. Overall, people whose alcohol use disorder was treated with both Vivitrol and rehabilitation counseling spent more time abstinent from alcohol and had lower rates of relapse.
Naltrexone’s theorized mechanism of action stems from the fact that intoxicating substances like alcohol release endorphins, making the person feel good. This reinforces, in classic Pavlovian fashion, the want and then the need to drink more to feel good. In people being treated for alcohol use disorders, Vivitrol, an opioid receptor antagonist, blocks the endorphins from binding to their receptors, thereby ending the good feeling associated with being drunk. There may be some other signs of intoxication, but the pleasure of drinking will be greatly diminished. Among people who relapse into old patterns of alcohol use, the drive to drink should gradually disappear since it no longer offers perceived benefits.
How Do Doctors Prescribe Vivitrol?
Doctors who prescribe Vivitrol and other FDA approved substance abuse treatment medications require special training before they can administer these drugs to patients overcoming alcohol or opioid addiction; however, relatively few go through the training to prescribe these medicines due to a lingering perception that Vivitrol and other naltrexone medicines are not effective in treating substance abuse. This is likely due to studies in which people ending an addiction to alcohol or opioids like heroin used only naltrexone, not a combination of medications, rehab, counseling, and mental health treatment.
There is no magic prescription cure to end alcohol use disorder or opioid addiction. Although Vivitrol is a great option to help many people, like other medications to treat addiction, it must be used in combination with psychotherapy. Therapy offers social support, retraining of problematic behaviors, and a deeper understanding of how the addiction began.
🌿 Our Doctors want you to know:
✔ Considerations - Suboxone should not be used in persons with moderate to severe liver dysfunction as the can lead to a worsening of symptoms. Common side effects include headache, nausea, vomiting, excessive sweating, constipation, symptoms of withdrawal, insomnia, pain, and the accumulation of fluids in the legs (peripheral edema).
✔ Suboxone does have the potential for misuse if injected. As such, Suboxone can only be prescribed under a doctor-supervised treatment and maintenance program. We want you to succeed, so we implement careful monitoring.