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Breaking the Barriers of Addiction Treatment: The Promise of Medication-Assisted Therapy

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder: An Overview

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) affects millions of individuals worldwide and can lead to severe physical, emotional, and social issues. While rehabilitation and therapy are common treatments for alcohol addiction, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is an effective option in combination with counseling and behavior therapy.

In this article, we will explore what medication-assisted treatment is, how it works, the benefits of medication-assisted treatment, and types of medication used in the treatment of AUD. What is

Medication-Assisted Treatment?

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is an evidence-based treatment for individuals struggling with substance use disorders. It involves the use of FDA-approved medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies to address the underlying issues that drive addictive behaviors.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) emphasizes that medication-assisted treatment improves the likelihood of successful outcomes, such as the reduction of illicit drug use, alcohol use, and overdose risk.

How does

Medication-Assisted Treatment Work?

Medication-assisted treatment is provided by a healthcare provider and involves several steps. The process usually begins with a virtual physician appointment or in-person consultation to assess the patient’s medical history, current substance use, and addiction severity.

If the provider recommends medication-assisted treatment, the next step is a supervised detox to ensure that the patient is safely managed through withdrawal symptoms. After detox, healthcare providers may prescribe MAT medications such as naltrexone, Vivitrol, or acamprosate to address specific symptoms of AUD.

One-on-one therapy, support groups, and follow-ups with the healthcare provider are additional components of MAT that help patients learn coping strategies for preventing relapse.

Benefits of

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

Mat medications work by altering specific chemical reactions in the brain and reducing alcohol cravings. They also address underlying issues such as anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders that often accompany AUD.

Additionally, MAT helps patients establish healthier habits, reduces the risk of relapse, and provides a psychological deterrent against resuming addictive behaviors.

Types of

Medication Used in the Treatment of AUD

There are two primary types of medications used in the treatment of AUD, those that reduce the reinforcing effects of alcohol and those that make you sick from alcohol.

Medication that Reduces the Reinforcing Effects of Alcohol:

Naltrexone: Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist that blocks the euphoric effects of alcohol and opioid cravings. It is available in pill form or as a monthly injection called Vivitrol.

Acamprosate: Acamprosate is an oral medication that reduces withdrawal symptoms and cravings. It also promotes abstinence from alcohol.

Medication that Makes You Sick from Alcohol:

Disulfiram: Disulfiram is a medication that makes you sick from alcohol. It triggers an elevation of acetaldehyde levels, leading to unpleasant physical effects such as flushing, sweating, nausea, and vomiting.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, medication-assisted treatment for alcohol use disorder is an effective treatment option that combines medication, therapy, and counseling. It helps patients establish lasting recovery by addressing underlying issues and reducing the risk of relapse.

If you or someone you know is struggling with AUD, speak to your healthcare provider about medication-assisted treatment. There are evidence-based options available to help achieve a healthier, more fulfilling life.

3) Limited Use of

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Despite the numerous benefits of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for addiction treatment and the fact that FDA-approved medications are available for treating alcohol use disorder, this approach remains underutilized. There are several reasons for this limited use, including physician training, healthcare coverage, affordability, and community treatment programs.

Physician Training

Many physicians are not trained to provide medication-assisted treatment for alcohol use disorder adequately. A recent American Medical Association study found that only one in ten physicians is licensed to prescribe buprenorphine, an essential medication for the treatment of opioid use disorder.

This lack of physician training may contribute to the underutilization of medication-assisted treatment.

FDA-approved

Medications

Another factor that limits access to medication-assisted treatment is the limited number of FDA-approved medications available to treat alcohol use disorder. Currently, three FDA-approved medications are used to treat AUD: naltrexone, acamprosate, and disulfiram.

Healthcare Coverage

Another significant barrier to medication-assisted treatment is limited healthcare coverage for addiction treatment. Many individuals with alcohol addiction are uninsured or underinsured, making it difficult for them to access the mental health and addiction care services they need.

Affordability

The high cost of medications used in medication-assisted treatment is another barrier that prevents many individuals from accessing this treatment. Some medications, such as Vivitrol, can cost over $1,000 per injection, making it financially impossible for many individuals to access.

Finding Holistic Treatment with Monument

One potential solution to the limited use of medication-assisted treatment is virtual care programs like Monument. This online addiction treatment program offers a holistic approach to addiction treatment, including medication, therapy, and support.

Medication

Monument provides its patients with FDA-approved medications such as naltrexone and acamprosate in conjunction with one-on-one clinician-guided treatment plans custom-tailored to their unique needs. This virtual platform makes medication delivery easy and accessible.

Alcohol Therapy

Monument approaches alcohol treatment holistically, going beyond medication to provide evidence-based therapy designed to help patients identify underlying issues and triggers of their alcohol use disorder. Whether a patient is looking for complete abstinence or moderation, Monument provides comprehensive and individualized care tailored to their needs.

Alcohol Support Groups

Monument provides a virtual safe space for individuals looking for support from peers and coaches. Its supportive community of peers, guidance from coaches and clinicians, and virtual support groups make recovery a shared journey.

Accessibility and

Affordability

Monument’s commitment to evidence-based virtual care means that it is readily accessible to people across the United States. Additionally, its affordable subscription-based model ensures that the cost of treatment is a fraction of the cost of traditional face to face treatment, making it accessible to more people.

4) Conclusion

The growing interest in addiction medicine and the increasing availability of online alcohol treatment programs have created an opportunity to provide greater access to medication-assisted treatment for alcohol use disorder and other substance use disorders. Fortunately, science-backed virtual treatment programs like Monument are stepping up to the challenge, providing a life-changing approach to treating addiction.

With more accessible and affordable treatment options, more people can find the help they need to build a healthier relationship with alcohol. This represents a positive step forward in the fight against addiction, and Monument is at the forefront of this important work.

In conclusion, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is an effective evidence-based option for treating alcohol use disorder (AUD) that combines medication with therapy and counseling to address the root causes of addiction. While physician training, healthcare coverage, affordability, and limited FDA-approved medications have restricted access to this treatment, online platforms like Monument bring accessible and holistic treatment to more people.

Through medication, therapy, and peer support, individuals struggling with AUD can achieve a healthier relationship with alcohol and live a happier life. FAQs:

Q: What is medication-assisted treatment (MAT)?

A:

Medication-assisted treatment is an evidence-based treatment for individuals struggling with substance use disorders. It involves the use of FDA-approved medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies to address the underlying issues that drive addictive behaviors.

Q: What are the benefits of medication-assisted treatment for AUD? A: MAT works by altering specific chemical reactions in the brain and reducing alcohol cravings.

It also addresses underlying mental health issues such as anxiety and depression that often accompany AUD. Additionally, MAT helps patients establish healthier habits, reduces the risk of relapse, and provides a psychological deterrent against resuming addictive behaviors.

Q: Why is the use of medication-assisted treatment still limited? A: There are several reasons for the limited use of MAT, including physician training, limited healthcare coverage, affordability issues, and community treatment programs.

Q: How does Monument approach alcohol treatment? A: Monument provides a holistic approach to alcohol treatment, including medication, therapy, and support.

It approaches alcohol treatment holistically, incorporating evidence-based therapy and peer support to help patients identify underlying issues and triggers of their AUD. Q: How accessible and affordable is Monument’s treatment?

A: As an online virtual care program, Monument is readily accessible to people across the United States. Additionally, its affordable subscription-based model ensures that the cost of treatment is much lower than traditional face-to-face treatment.

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