A group of medical professionals, doctors, nurses, psychiatrists

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Opioid Use Disorder

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) offers hope if you’re struggling with opioid addiction, combining effective medications with therapy for a well-rounded recovery approach. Despite its proven effectiveness, only 20% of those with an opioid use disorder (OUD) receive this form of treatment. Learning how MAT for opioids works can help you decide if it’s the right choice for your recovery.

Understanding Opioid Use Disorder (OUD)

Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) is a complex and chronic condition that significantly impacts your health and social life. Opioid addiction affects millions globally and poses a serious public health issue.

The DSM-5 says that OUD is diagnosed when opioid use causes significant problems or distress. To diagnose OUD, at least two specific criteria must be met within a year. These criteria include continuing to use opioids despite physical or mental health issues, having social and relationship problems because of opioid use, neglecting major responsibilities, and experiencing tolerance and withdrawal symptoms. Understanding these criteria can you help in recognize the signs and seek appropriate help.

What is Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction?

Medically-assisted opioid treatment is widely recognized as the most effective way to treat Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). It can help you restore normal brain function, reduce cravings, and prevent relapse. The main goal of MAT is not only to treat addiction but also to to help you function better in your daily life.

The FDA has approved three main medications for treating opioid dependence, each medication working differently to address the physical aspects of addiction and withdrawal. Counseling and therapy are often recommended alongside medication as they help address the psychological aspects of addiction. Together, these treatments offer a comprehensive approach to your recovery.

Types of Opioid Treatment Medications

There are three primary medications used in opioid addiction treatment. These medications work by normalizing brain chemistry and body functions, blocking the euphoric effects of opioids, and relieving physiological cravings.

Buprenorphine plays a crucial role in opioid MAT. As a partial opioid agonist, buprenorphine binds to opioid receptors in the brain, reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms without producing the euphoria associated with full agonists. This mechanism helps to stabilize patients and reduce the risk of relapse.

Buprenorphine is available in multiple forms such as tablets, films, skin patches, and even extended-release injections. You can find buprenorphine under the FDA-approved name brands: Subutex, Sublocade, Suboxone, and Zubsolv.
Suboxone is a combination medication containing buprenorphine and naloxone. This medication combats the physiological effects of opioid abuse through both a partial and full opioid antagonist. The buprenorphine presence blocks the euphoric effects of opioids and the presence of naloxone helps reverse overdose.

Suboxone is available in tablet or film form, which dissolves under the tongue or inside the cheek, making it user-friendly and convenient. This medication combination can also be found under the brand name Zubsolv.
Naltrexone, also known as Vivitrol, stands out as an MAT as it functions primarily as an opioid antagonist. This medication blocks the activation of opioid receptors, which are responsible for the euphoric effects of opioid use. It also helps reduce cravings.

Naltrexone can be prescribed as a daily pill at home or as a long-acting monthly injection. While a monthly injection may not be accessible for everyone, it can be a good lifestyle fit for those who may have difficulty sticking to a medication regimen.

Benefits of MAT for Opioid Dependence

MAT addresses both the physical and psychological aspects of addiction. Medications such as buprenorphine and naltrexone play crucial roles by blocking the euphoric effects of opioids, allowing safer withdrawal, and lowering the risk of overdose. Addiction counseling supports these efforts by helping you tackle the underlying causes of addiction and develop healthier coping mechanisms.

Additionally, the structure of MAT enhances patient safety as it requires medical supervision from a licensed provider. They are also designed to minimize the need for inpatient detox which has been shown to improve long-term recovery success.

Is Online MAT for Opioid Addiction Effective?

Online medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs have become a promising solution for increasing access to care for individuals struggling with opioid addiction. These programs let you get treatment from home, making it easier by removing problems like transportation and scheduling conflicts. Research has shown that online MAT can be just as effective as in-person treatment, with sometimes even higher rates of patient satisfaction. Plus, online MAT is covered by many insurance plans, which can help with costs and encourage people to stick with their treatment.

A provider speaks with an Eleanor Health care team member to refer their patient for addiction treatment

Online Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioids at Eleanor Health

Medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction represents a shift in the approach to addiction. If you are ready to take the next step in your recovery journey, contact Eleanor Health today. At Eleanor Health we offer both online and in-person addiction treatment services. With a focus on personalized treatment, we work with you to find the best medication and dosage for your lifestyle. We also provide addiction counseling and peer support to ensure a holistic approach to healing. You deserve to feel better and Eleanor Health is your partner in recovery.

We’re here to help

We know reaching out can be hard. Call today to speak with one of our recovery specialists. We will listen, learn, and offer support – without judgment. We welcome every person in need of support. Call us today at (866) 465-0590 to learn more about our addiction treatment services. We believe in you and your ability to overcome addiction.