Drug and alcohol withdrawal is a difficult process for those addicted to or dependent on these substances. When someone has been using drugs or alcohol for a long time, their body becomes accustomed to the presence of the substance.
As a result, abrupt removal can cause a range of uncomfortable physical and psychological symptoms. These symptoms can last anywhere from just a few days to weeks or even months. Much depends on the substance and how long the person has been using it. In some cases, withdrawal symptoms can become life-threatening.
For this reason, CAST Centers offers medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in Los Angeles, California. We help clients by utilizing FDA-approved medications to reduce cravings, and withdrawal symptoms, as well as sustain recovery and prevent relapse.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), defines medication-assisted treatment (MAT) as the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. MAT effectively treats addiction to drugs or alcohol.
This evidence-based treatment, using FDA-approved medications is highly successful in helping people achieve and maintain sobriety. For those who struggle with addiction to substances like opioids or alcohol, maintaining sobriety and participating in an outpatient treatment program can be difficult. Often, the potential for relapse can be extremely dangerous. There are options for outpatient clients to utilize medication while in treatment to assist with maintaining sobriety.
MAT may not be appropriate for everyone. Eligibility for MAT is determined by the Medical Director and/or the client’s physician. MAT is proven effective for treating opioid, alcohol, and other substance use disorders, as well as co-occurring mental health disorders. Clients that choose to participate in CAST Centers MAT program will be required to participate in the Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) or Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), which includes group therapy and individual therapy sessions.
The CAST Centers policy ensures safety and provides the highest quality of care to our clients. By providing both medication and psychosocial tools, MAT increases the likelihood of a successful recovery and helps prevent relapse. CAST Centers will ensure that the introduction of MAT is implemented appropriately and maintained during treatment.
In combination with a comprehensive treatment plan, there are commonly used medications during MAT including:
This medication is an opioid partial agonist that helps reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It works by activating the same receptors in the brain as other opioids like heroin or Oxycontin, but with less intensity. In contrast to full opioid agonists such as morphine or oxycodone, buprenorphine has a lower potential for misuse.
Additionally, it can be administered via an oral film, making it easier for patients to adhere to their dosing schedule. Other forms of administration of FDA-approved buprenorphine products include sublingual tablets, extended-release injections, and implants.
A long-acting opioid agonist that helps reduce opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, it prevents overdose deaths caused by full opioid agonists such as morphine or oxycodone. Methadone must be taken daily to stabilize the client without withdrawal symptoms and intense opioid cravings.
It is an effective treatment for opioid addiction combined with medical and supportive care to ensure the patient’s safety while taking this medication. Like other opioids, methadone is addictive. However, being on methadone is not the same as being dependent on illegal opioids such as heroin.
Other benefits of methadone maintenance treatment include:
FDA-approved medication treats both an opioid use disorder (OUD) and an alcohol use disorder (AUD). Naltrexone blocks the effects of alcohol and opioids in the brain. As a result, it helps prevent relapse. It does not provide any euphoric effects so it has no potential for abuse or dependence on its own.
Naltrexone comes in both an oral tablet form as well as an injectable form called Vivitrol, which can last up to 30 days. Therefore, there is greater compliance over oral tablets which need daily administration. However, there is a risk of opioid overdose while taking naltrexone.
Overdose can occur by:
A non-opioid drug used to treat alcohol dependence. It helps reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other psychological issues associated with abstinence from alcohol. Acamprosate works by restoring balance in neurotransmitter systems affected by chronic alcohol consumption, thus, reducing cravings for alcohol.
Also known as Antabuse, is another medication indicated for severe cases of alcoholism. It produces an extreme reaction when combined with alcohol, thus, discouraging further consumption of alcoholic beverages despite any craving triggers present in the environment. Reactions may include:
By combining MAT with the CAST Alignment Model of care in PHP and IOP, clients have an increased opportunity to successfully stay sober from opiates and alcohol. Taking advantage of this type of program at an outpatient level of care helps clients learn how to live a healthy sober lifestyle. Because of this, they can continue to work and be part of their families, as well as their community of supportive people.
Due to its high success rate, CAST Centers offers medication-assisted treatment in Los Angeles, California. By collaborating with the CAST Center’s clinical staff and medical doctors, clients can create a MAT outpatient program that helps them find the freedom to be their best selves.
Some of the benefits of MAT when combined with a personalized treatment plan include:
With professional guidance, MAT can be a powerful tool in helping individuals recover from substance use disorders. Many people do not seek treatment for fear of unpleasant withdrawal symptoms and cravings. However, MAT successfully reduces the effects of withdrawal associated with substance use disorders. In addition, when combined with counseling and behavioral support, it is highly effective in preventing relapse.
CAST Centers is in network with Anthem Blue Cross, MHN Health Net and accepts most PPO insurances like Cigna, Aetna and GEHA.