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What is Medication Assisted Treatment? (MAT)

The Need for Medical Assisted TreatmentOpioid and alcohol addiction claim the livelihoods of millions in America every day. A rapidly growing epidemic, abuse of pain killers and heroin affects nearly 2.5 million people in the United States, largely in part to a marked increase in availability of prescriptions. Alcohol abuse, third leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., affects more than 15 million individuals. Between the two substances, America is facing an addiction crisis.

Although inpatient and outpatient treatment programs have helped many overcome addiction, breaking free of alcohol and opioid abuse sometimes requires medical intervention. MAT, a medical abbreviation for medication assisted treatment, provides additional support at the physiological level to curb cravings and promote recovery.

For questions about medication assisted treatment with Vivitrol, contact Road To Freedom today at (844) 402-3605 for a confidential consultation.

What is Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)?

Medication assisted treatment is the use of medications in combination with therapy to treat addiction. MAT improves recovery outcomes for individuals with alcohol and opioid addiction by attacking the urge to use at the biological level, preventing the euphoric effects of use and normalizing brain chemistry. Medication assisted treatment plans are typically introduced after you've completed detox and continue throughout recovery. Discontinuining a MAT program is only advised after reviewing the risks and benefits with your treatment team.

Studies have shown that MAT programs, when compared to traditional drug treatment services, lead to sustained recovery efforts over time. When medication assisted treatment is combined with counseling, educational and vocational programs, the rate of recovery over time improves while the rate of criminal involvement and spread of infectious disease declines.

At Road To Freedom, our Christian addiction professionals believe medication assisted treatment was created as a stepping stone to recovery. As God states in 1 Corinthians 10:13"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."

Medication assisted treatment can be your way out of the bondage caused by addiction. If you or a loved one is struggling with opioid or alcohol abuse, call (844) 402-3605 to learn more about MAT with Vivitrol.

Facts About Vivitrol and Naltrexone MATS Detox

What is Medication Assisted TreatmentCompared to other medications used to treat opiate addiction, such as methadone and buprenorphine, Vivitrol is rather new. It was approved for use in 2010 by the FDA and has gained popularity due to its effectiveness and minimal, if any, side effects. There is no need to worry about Vivitrol withdrawal; unlike methadone, withdrawal symptoms such as nausea and irritability are not present if treatment is stopped.

So, how does Vivitrol work? Vivitrol is known as an opioid antagonist, which is a clinical way of saying the medication blocks the body's ability to respond to opiates. The active ingredient in Vivitrol is Naltrexone and Vivitrol is administered in an injection to the gluteus maximus. Specifically, the medication prevents opioid molecules in the brain from attaching to opioid receptors without releasing dopamine, which is what would normally allow someone to experience a euphoric sensation from opioid use.

It's important to know that Vivitrol is not for everyone. For example, if you are currently experiencing withdrawal symptoms from opioids or alcohol, have used opioids in the past 10 days, or have participated in a MAT program using a different medication in the past two weeks, it is not appropriate to begin Vivitrol treatment. Additionally, individuals with liver, kidney or bleeding disorders will need to discuss whether Vivitrol is safe with a medical professional.

To learn if you or a loved one is a good candidate for medication assisted treatment with Vivitrol, receive a free consultation now by calling (844) 402-3605.

The Vivitrol Treatment Process

A successful, sustainable recovery is dependent upon establishing Vivitrol medication assisted treatment in the appropriate stages. After completion of a detox program and prior to starting Vivitrol, you will need to take the following steps with your treatment providers:

  • Provide informed consent
  • Obtain a medical and psychiatric evaluation
  • Begin a low, trial dose of Naltrexone
  • Secure authorizations for the medication
  • Establish follow up appointments to receive the injection at regular intervals

In addition to medication assisted treatment with Vivitrol, outpatient services are crucial to sustain your recovery and achieve long-lasting sobriety. Work with your treatment team to create a plan for recovery that includes individual counseling, peer support groups and regular medical care.

MAT with Vivitrol: FAQs

Consulting a doctor for VivitrolGet answers to the most frequently asked questions about MAT programs, Vivitrol and recovery.

Q: How often do I have to get the Vivitrol shot?

After it's been determined that you don't experience a reaction to Naltrexone, you can receive your first Vivitrol injection. The second Vivitrol shot is administered three weeks after the first to ensure the medication is at a godo level in your system. Subsequent injections are given every four weeks.

Q: What Vivitrol side effects can I expect?

Most people don't experience any side effects at all; however, the most common side effects associated with Vivitrol are nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, headaches, anxiety and loss of appetite. The initial trial dose of Naltrexone is given to determine whether you will experience any of these side effects prior to starting the injection.

Q: When does Vivitrol wear off?

Concentrations of the active ingredient, Naltrexone, begin to decline after two weeks and remain at a therapeutic level in the body for approximately one month.

Q: Are there other Vivitrol shot locations?

Injections must be provided in the gluteus maximus to ensure optimal absorption by the body.

Q: Can I use Vivitrol for alcohol addiction?

Naltrexone is known to offer positive results for individuals in recovery for alcohol. Unlike the oral version of Naltrexone, Vivitrol is administered in monthly injections after initial dosing. This is convenient for people who dislike taking oral medication or who have difficulty remembering to take medication. It's important to note that Vivitrol is only appropriate following detox. If you drink while taking Vivitrol, your coordination and judgment will still be impaired. The difference with Vivitrol is you may not experience intoxication or the desire to drink more.

Q: Why should I use Vivitrol instead of Suboxone?

The suboxone treatment protocol requires daily sublingual doses and ongoing medical supervision. In comparison, Vivitrol is administered by medical professionals and treatment is overseen by your recovery planning team; however, doses are monthly after your first two injections.

Q: What happens if I use substances while taking Vivitrol?

If you take opioids, such as prescription pain killers or heroin, while on Vivitrol, you may need to seek emergency medical attention. Because Vivitrol (combined with detox) lowers your tolerance for substances, it's important that you do not try to overpower the Vivitrol with opiates.

Q: Will my insurance cover Vivitrol?

It depends on your insurance, but the staff at Road To Freedom will help you complete the authorization process and secure your supply of Vivitrol prior to starting treatment.

Q: Can I take Vivitrol if I'm looking for a job? I'm concerned about drug testing.

Vivitrol is detectable on laboratory tests; however, most employers are not testing for this particular substance. If you're concerned about this, speak with a member of your treatment team.

Q: What other services are offered at the MAT clinic?

In addition to MAT services, Road To Freedom offers a variety of Christian addiction services including individual pastoral counseling, Christian 12-step meetings, family workshops, Bible study, weekly church services, intensive outpatient treatment and more.

Contact Us Today

If you or someone you love is struggling with alcohol or opioid addiction, learn how medically assisted treatment with Vivitrol can help. Call (844) 402-3605 for a free, confidential consultation. We're available 24/7 to help determine if you're a candidate for MATS detox. There is no better time to change your life than right now.

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