MAT (Medication Assisted Therapy) for Addiction, Fort Lauderdale

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What is MAT for Addiction?

It is no secret that alcohol and drugs have highly addictive components.that can easily and quickly draw its users in. When you begin your use of substances, you would  never imagine that you would develop a physical and emotional dependency to the substance you are using. Unfortunately, this becomes a reality for many individuals who have turned to drugs or alcohol as a means to cope. While you know you are ready to move forward from your drug or alcohol addiction, patients often express concerns about the detox process and potential for unpleasant and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. While there is no way to avoid the detox process, there are methods available that will assist in keeping you calm and at ease while maintaining your safety. 

The Healing Place staff understand that detox is the challenging first step for patients to take towards a new life of peace and sobriety. That is why we offer our Fort Lauderdale patients a variety of treatment methods while you are detoxing from your drug of choice. Evidence based therapy and holistic treatment measures are offered to patients. For those patients that are experiencing more severe withdrawal symptoms, you will be encouraged to participate in a medication assisted treatment (MAT) program. Through this program, you will have the added support of medications that are designed to lessen the severity of your withdrawal symptoms while maintaining your physical and emotional safety. When your body becomes physically dependent on a substance to function normally, it can be dangerous to abruptly stop your use without medical support. Medications can help to stabilize you and keep your symptoms at a minimal, bearable level. MAT is commonly used for patients who have experienced a severe addiction to heroin, alcohol, or opiates. Often, these substances can create the most damaging side effects if they are not treated effectively. The use of medication will target the serious withdrawal symptoms to keep them at bay and enhance your ability to function normally without devastating side effects. 

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“Being cared for during the drug and alcohol detox process is a priceless attribute of The Healing Place here in Fort Lauderdale, FL.”

How Medication Assisted Treatment Helps With Withdrawal

Addiction is a progressive, chronic disease that affects your physical, emotional, and mental functioning. As you gain more years in your active addiction, you begin to change your brain’s chemical makeup and functioning abilities. Prolonged periods of drug and alcohol use can affect your brain’s ability to produce natural endorphins and feel natural enjoyment as it becomes reliant on drugs of alcohol for the false sense of happiness and moments of euphoria. When you attempt to quit using substances, your brain no longer is able to produce the feelings of happiness and satisfaction without the help of drugs. This becomes a leading cause as to why you begin to feel withdrawal symptoms. 

Often, when a patient begins to feel withdrawal symptoms, it can trigger strong cravings for drugs or alcohol. These urges can become strong enough to the point that it can take patients out of their detox process and return back to their addictive behaviors. Through the use of medications, your drug cravings will be reduced and minimized so that you are able to focus on your recovery and keep your sobriety goals in mind.

The use of medication also helps to provide patients with support in easing the severity of your withdrawal symptoms. As you take the medication, it will target the receptors in the brain to prevent feelings of euphoria, should you turn to drugs or alcohol again. This acts as a deterrent for most patients to remain in their detox and rehab program and continue to work towards their goals of recovery. Lastly, medications will assist in reducing the intensity of your symptoms. While most symptoms are not life threatening, there are potential for some to have that potential. Medication assistance will support your body to remain safe and stable throughout your detox process. 

Opioid Detox Medications

It is commonly known that detoxing off of opioids creates unpleasant and intensely uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. While most of these symptoms do not pose a risk to your life, there will be levels of pain and discomfort that you experience.. Through the use of medication, your severity of symptoms will be treated and, ultimately, your physical, emotional, and mental state will remain at a stable, healthy level that you are able to function through the day with. 

Common side effects that opioid medications can assist with are:

  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Extreme fatigue 
  • Flu like symptoms 
  • Chills 
  • High fever 
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Muscle and joint aches 
  • Tremors 
  • Irritability 

As you go through your opioid detox, your use of medication will be monitored closely by medical professionals to ensure your safety throughout your detox process. As your body regains its health and rids itself of the damaging toxins of opioids, your dosage of opioid detox medications can be decreased gradually till, eventually you will no longer need the medication.  


Methadone is one of the most commonly used medications for opioid detox and treatment. Methadone is a synthetic form of opioid, however, it does not produce a feeling of getting high for the  user. Instead, it works to trick the brain in thinking that you are still using opioids by blocking the receptors in the brain responsible for processing opioids. As you progress through your opioid detox, you will be slowly weaned off of methadone to prevent a further dependence problem with methadone. 


Buprenorphine works in similar ways as methadone by blocking the opioid receptors in the brain that will send false signals to the brain that you are still using opioids. This helps to decrease the withdrawal symptoms felt and keep you on track for your detox plan. While using Buprenorphine, you should be monitored by a doctor or nurse to ensure that if adjustments can be made to your detox program if needed and wean yourself off of buprenorphine. 


Naltrexone is different from the other medications offered as it does not run a risk of drug abuse should you use it for a long period of time. It works in similar ways as Methadone and Buprenorphine by blocking the opioid receptors in your brain which prevent you from getting high and also decreasing your severe drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

Naltrexone is commonly used for alcohol detox as well. While it does not work to reduce cravings or lessen the severity of your withdrawal symptoms, it acts as a meaningful and useful tool for relapse prevention. Should you attempt to drink alcohol while taking Naltrexone, you will become nauseous and the act of drinking will no longer be appealing to you. 

Alcohol Detox Medications

Depending on the severity of your alcohol addiction, your withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe. There is a risk for patients to experience high risk side effects that have the potential of being life threatening if not treated by a qualified medical professional. 

Common side effects that patients experience that range from mild to moderate are:

  • Headaches 
  • Nausea
  • Tremors 
  • Depression
  • Anxiety or panic attacks 
  • Insomnia or changes in sleeping patterns
  • Vivid dreams or nightmares 

Patients who experience severe, extreme side effects run the risk of developing potentially life threatening symptoms. These often present themselves in the form of delirium tremens (DT;s). Side effects from DT’s can include:

  • Seizures 
  • Audio or visual hallucinations 
  • Heart or respiratory complications
  • Psychosis 


Benzodiazepines (Benzos) are commonly prescribed to treat mental health concerns such as anxiety or panic attacks. While the use of benzos may not target the brain’s processing in regards to addiction, they work to treat the emotional and mental health concerns that are coinciding with your detox process. Benzos will give patients the ability to rest and relax as you are detoxing and emotions have the potential to run high. You will be able to regulate your emotions and stay focused on your recovery goals. 

Stimulant Detox Medications

Patients entering into detox for stimulant use will have different withdrawal symptoms than patients that enter into detox for opioids or alcohol. Stimulants tend to produce more emotional and mental withdrawal symptoms rather than physical side effects. That is why patients who are in detox for stimulant use will often be prescribed medications such as antidepressants or anxiety relieving medications. These medications will help to keep your emotions stable and keep your cognitive functioning remaining at a regular level so that you will have the ability to focus on your detox and rehab program in a calm, focused state of mind. 

Why Choose The Healing Place

Choosing to enter into a Fort Lauderdale addiction center and take the courageous leap into a life of sobriety requires the highest level of care and attention from the medical and therapeutic supports of a detox and rehab program. The Healing Place is the treatment center that residents of Fort Lauderdale choose due to the personalized touch that is added to each patient’s detox and rehab journey. Combining the use of medication assisted treatment, holistic therapy, and a list of comprehensive treatment methods will be sure to provide you with a healing program that is unlike any other. Contact The Healing Place today to find out when you can begin your journey to sobriety and wellness. 

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