What is MAT?

What is MAT?

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines medication-assisted treatment (MAT) as, “…[using] behavioral therapy and medications to treat substance use disorders (SUDs).”

For many people in addiction recovery, a common fear is that the pain experienced from withdrawal will be too much to bear – so medication is often regarded as a quick solution.

Reputable officials are becoming increasingly concerned about this method, however, because of its potential for further addiction-related complications to arise. As stated by Stat News in 2018, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, commented on the nation’s opioid epidemic by stating, “…if we’re just substituting one opioid for another, we’re not moving the dial much.”

As previous research has shown, adding MAT to treatment can involve some cognitive, physical, occupational and social/behavioral effects. A 2018 study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment assessed a number of studies to conduct a review on literature regarding MAT; these were some of the results that were found:

  •    In 2 studies explored, participants who completed MAT experienced significantly poorer working memory and cognitive speed compared to their healthy counterparts
  •    In 1 study, researchers found that participants of MAT were more aggressive than “healthy” participants
  •    Those who completed MAT were found to be at increased odds for injurious traffic accidents

A 2015 study published by the Harvard Review of Psychiatry noted that some medications provided in MAT, such as oral naltrexone, can have some dangerous effects – such as poor adherence and an increased mortality rate. What should the alternative be?

There are many other ways to help treat SUDs, which can be monitored and led by experienced professionals at a reputable treatment center. It’s never too late to start working towards recovery.

We believe in your ability to change. We know men struggling with addiction have the capacity to create transformative change in their lives, sustainably, building a sustainable sobriety and future. Call Tree House Recovery in Orange County, California today for information on our men’s addiction treatment programs: (855) 202-2138.

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