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Why Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)?
Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the methodology for treatment of chronic opioid use disorder, for multiple reasons:
- MAT reduces relapse rates by as much as 70%
- The cost of Outpatient Suboxone is cost effective. Traditional rehabs charge as much as $30,000.
- The mortality rate from (Car)Fentanyl has replaced heroin from the streets due to its cheap cost. Some of this Fentanyl is Narcan resistant, which has spiked overdose rates.
- Suboxone treatment has become the gold standard for MAT programs and reversal of the opioid epidemic.
MAT Programs Eliminate Dangerous Withdrawals & Cravings
At the time of your first visit, our medical team will carefully assess all the unique issues that our patients are experiencing; usually withdrawal and cravings. At this point, outpatient detox will be initiated as indicated. Upon completion, Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is available to bridge the gap by eliminating these symptoms all together for a short or long-term period. Moreover, these two symptoms that cause most of the dangerous relapse. In this way, MAT programs stabilize the patient so they can begin working an effective therapy program to make behavioral changes.
Abstinence Alone Doesn't Work
Abstinence-only treatment seemed like the way to go for addiction treatment for the longest time. In fact, the components of this model of treatment are still relevant today (just not alone). Abstinence-only addiction treatments like behavioral therapy and 12-step programs can be spiritually and mentally fulfilling in many ways. Most importantly, they assist and support behavioral changes. Unfortunately, they are not effective in creating the large-scale sobriety in the face of the opioid crisis and addiction overall. For example, most studies show that 80% of abstinence-only patients relapse in the first year. Conversely, addiction patients using medication assisted treatment saw reduced relapse rates of about 70% than patients in abstinence-only programs. The difference? MAT programs alleviate the dangerous cravings and withdrawals and allow patients to begin working an effective behavioral therapy program while feeling normal.
West Palm Beach MAT Program
Our Suboxone doctor prescribes medications that are effective and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The most prominent options in a MAT program are Buprenorphine / Naloxone (Suboxone) and Naltrexone ER (Vivitrol). Suboxone was authorized for use by the DATA Act of 2000, and reached physician offices by 2002. It remains the primary pharmacologic weapon in the war against opiates in the U.S. Buprenorphine is a partial opiate agonist and Naloxone is an opioid antagonist. Both function to reduce opioid cravings and block response at the transmitter sites, essentially negating exogenous opiate administration (e.g. heroin or Fentanyl). Thus, Suboxone appears to be the most multi-faceted agent in the role of maintenance therapy for opioid addiction. Vivitrol is an opiate antagonist (Naltrexone ER) which reduces opioid and alcohol cravings. It is administered monthly through injection. Equally important, it is not an opiate-based product and has no intrinsic properties of habituation.
Outpatient MAT is Effective Addiction Treatment at a Lower Price
Amid the opioid crisis, thousands of Americans have flocked to rehabs all over the country to get addiction treatment. Patients and their healthcare companies spend tens of thousands of dollars each year on treatment which we now know has been largely ineffective. This is evidenced by alarmingly high relapse rates; which perpetuate additional inpatient rehab stays. While relapse is part of any recovery from disease, outpatient medication assisted treatment significantly reduces relapse in a cost-effective manner. Today, addiction patients can stay at home with their families, go to their jobs while receiving the most effective addiction treatment. They can do this without paying high insurance deductibles needed for inpatient rehab. Instead, patients typically pay co-pays or coinsurance for office visits and psychotherapy that is close to home.
Misconceptions About Medication-Assisted Treatment
Suboxone is the "gold standard" for effective long-term maintenance therapy for Opioid Use Disorder. Additionally, it has been the subject of some controversy in the addiction world. Suboxone is a Schedule III controlled substance and can create its own dependency and habituation, with withdrawal symptoms. However, because it is prescribed under professional circumstances with targeted dosing and tapering, it is very different than narcotics purchased on the street. Suboxone does not damage the neuronal transmitter systems, as chronic administration of narcotics do. There are also a plethora of other dysfunctions and imbalances avoided with prescription Suboxone (such as hormonal insufficiency).
Medication Assisted Treatment is Harm Reduction
Another controversy seems to be of addiction treatment philosophies. Faith-based 12-STEP programs have declared "Suboxone to be just another addiction". However, studies indicate that the best treatment results are obtained through the cooperative efforts of both MAT and 12-step programs.
Utilizing Suboxone maintenance therapy and other MAT programs is the logical clinical progression towards long-term sobriety and wellness. Furthermore, the people who choose this path should not be denigrated nor stigmatized by the healthcare community, faith-based 12-step, pharmacies, employers, and the public. It is consistent and comparable to insulin for diabetes, or aspirin for heart attacks. Acceptance of this fact will reduce the mortality rate from opiate overdoses, and help us rise above the opioid crisis.
Are You Ready to Get Help?
Tired of the merry-go-round of inpatient rehab? Then, outpatient MAT may be right for you. Call us today for a free, confidential assessment at 561-337-8880. New patients can usually be seen the same business day.