Medication assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of medications in conjunction with counseling to provide a patient centered approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. For opiate dependence, this includes Methadone, Buprenorphine (with and without naloxone) and Naltrexone. At CompDrug, we have many clients successfully maintaining their recovery with all three of these options, in conjunction with active participation in counseling. The advantages of MAT include switching from a short acting opiate to a long acting opiate, and switching from an illicit, often Intravenous drug to a oral medication that is taken under physician supervision. Participation in treatment leads to increased survival, improved physical health, improved family relationships, improved birth outcomes, decreased crime and improved productivity at work and in society.
Medication assisted treatment helps normalize the body’s neurological and hormonal functions that have been impaired by the use of heroin and misuse of prescription opiates. By reducing or eliminating the craving for opioid drugs and preventing the onset of withdrawal, the medication provides an opportunity to effectively engage the individual in treatment. However, the medication does not work without treatment. The converse is also true; treatment without medication has relapse rates as high as 95%. CompDrug discovered long ago and research has now established that it is the combination of medication and treatment in an integrated manner that is the most effective means of treating opiate addiction.
Opioid Replacement Therapy
Opioid Replacement Therapy (ORT) utilizes the integration of CompDrug’s medical and clinical staff to treat opiate dependent individuals on an outpatient basis. ORT patients are prescribed methadone or suboxone by a staff physician to provide physiological stabilization making it possible for the patient to participate fully in the treatment process.
The treatment program utilizes a performance/compliance system to determine the frequency of treatment contacts and take home medication privileges. Individuals who demonstrate a need for a higher level of care are referred to CompDrug’s Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) or appropriate provider. Random urinalysis and alco-sensor testing assist in determining treatment effectiveness.