Drug and alcohol addiction continues to be a major problem in the United States. And while other global events take over the headlines, substance abuse is still casting a shadow over our communities.
If you’re struggling with substance abuse, you know how difficult it can be to overcome. What if there was a way to ease your transition into recovery? Learn how medication-assisted treatment can help you on your path to recovery.
What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) uses medications and behavioral therapy to treat substance abuse. When you become addicted to drugs or alcohol, your brain chemistry changes. Once you stop taking the substance, your brain wants to correct the imbalance by any means necessary, leading to withdrawal symptoms that can trigger relapse and overdose.
That’s why medications are used to help balance the chemicals in your brain while you recover. For example, with opioid addiction, it’s usually recommended to slowly come off the substance to avoid severe withdrawal symptoms. MAT can help you manage cravings and minimize withdrawal symptoms during this crucial early stage of treatment.
Is Medication-Assisted Treatment Just Replacing One Drug for Another?
There’s a misconception that MAT is the process of replacing one addictive substance for another. Fortunately, that’s not an accurate depiction of what MAT offers to those who are struggling with addiction and want to recover. MAT actually gives you a controlled level of medication in a clinical environment to help you overcome uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and manage cravings.
Let’s take a deeper dive into MAT to learn why this form of addiction treatment is more than replacing one drug for another.
Addiction Often Requires Long-Term Treatment
If you’re someone who has been abusing drugs or alcohol for a long time, the changes in your brain aren’t undone overnight. If your brain is used to powerful substances like opioids, suddenly stopping with no treatment is risky. This is part of the reason why that addiction is usually classified as a chronic condition.
MAT helps you manage drug cravings, so you can invest time in your recovery. In fact, MAT can help lower your risk of relapse and give you support when making a positive life change. The process of treating an addiction can take time, and MAT provides a solid foundation that promotes healing.
The Medication in MAT Allows You to Function
When you’re struggling with a drug addiction, it’s very difficult to function normally. Responsibilities like going to work, taking care of your family and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are almost impossible to maintain. Since MAT can help lower cravings, you can focus on other priorities again.
It’s important to remember that MAT is not designed to last forever. Think of it as a way to help ease your transition into recovery and give you the time you need to develop healthy, natural ways to manage cravings and triggers.
Dependence vs. Addiction
Addiction and dependence are often used interchangeably. An addiction is the combination of physical and mental cravings for a substance. You feel like it’s essential, and you’re willing to do whatever it takes to get it. On the other hand, dependence is a step down from addiction and is when your body physically needs a substance to function normally.
MAT helps people move from having an addiction to managing a dependence. The medication can help stop you from going back to addictive behaviors early on in recovery. To overcome your addiction and manage your dependence with MAT, you should turn to an addiction treatment center like Silver Maple Recovery.
Break Free from Addiction at Silver Maple Recovery
Silver Maple Recovery is a premier drug and alcohol treatment center located near Cleveland. We specialize in using evidence-based practices like medication-assisted treatment to help you break free from addiction.
Our team of addiction experts has an average of 24 years of local experience. You can trust that we will take the time to understand your unique struggles and create a personalized treatment plan for lasting recovery. No matter what addiction has taken from you, there is hope for you to get it all back.
Contact us today and speak with one of our addiction professionals today. We’re ready to hear your story and help you move toward lasting recovery.