Medication-Assisted Treatment

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Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Reaching out to someone for help can be intimidating and scary. By using our Medication-Assisted Treatment programs near Fort Lauderdale, Florida, we can guarantee you that our professionals will work overtime to ensure that you have the absolutely best detox process as possible. You may wonder what addictions may qualify for Medication-Assisted Treatments and we are here to answer your questions.

If you are someone who is dealing with a very serious addiction, such as alcohol, heroin, or other opioids, you may have done some research into treatment for your addiction and found out about medication-assisted treatment. Many people find the idea of treating an addiction with a different, often similar, medication to be a strange, even concerning idea. But the fact is that medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, can actually be a very powerful and effective tool for those with alcohol or opioid addictions. It provides relief from the worst of withdrawal and detox symptoms, and can help you maintain your sobriety in the long-term. 

What is Withdrawal?

Addiction is considered a chronic disease because of the way that it changes how your brain works. Drugs hijack your brain’s “reward circuit,” which is responsible for making you feel happy and relaxed. The longer you abuse drugs or alcohol, the less you are able to get enjoyment from normal activities like engaging in hobbies or spending time with loved ones. Instead, your brain craves drugs in order to make you feel normal. It can no longer function properly without drugs or alcohol in your system. If you do stop using, you will likely experience a range of negative symptoms, which is known as withdrawal. The symptoms vary depending on what you are addicted to, but can be physical, mental, or emotional. While many withdrawal symptoms are not life-threatening, they are still intensely unpleasant. Withdrawal symptoms are the reason that most people find it impossible to stop abusing drugs or alcohol independently.

Opioid Detox Medications

While opioid and heroin withdrawal is not usually life-threatening, the symptoms are still very intense and unpleasant. Fear of these symptoms can lead many users to avoid getting clean, or lead them to even more dangerous opioids to avoid withdrawal. The most common symptoms include:

  • Agitation
  • Fever and chills
  • Mood swings
  • Exhaustion
  • Restlessness
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Tremors

Withdrawal symptoms will vary depending on what opioid you are abusing, how long you have been using it, and how much you usually take. In order to combat these symptoms, rehab centers often use opioid/heroin detox medications. These help reduce symptoms and cravings, making it easier to stay clean. The most commonly used medications include:

Alcohol Detox Medications

Withdrawal symptoms for alcohol aren’t just physical, they can also be mental. And depending on how serious your addiction is, you may also run the risk of experiencing severe, life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. The most common symptoms include:

  • Panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Headaches
  • Tremors
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares

For serious alcohol addictions, an additional risk is delirium treatments, or DTs. The side effects of DTs can include seizures, hallucinations, and psychosis. These can be very serious and even life-threatening, which is why getting help from a rehab center is very important. In order to help treat alcohol withdrawal, rehab centers offer alcohol detox medications. These can include:

Stimulant Detox Medications

Withdrawing from stimulants is different from other drugs. The symptoms are largely emotional or psychological, and can be very difficult to get through. The most common withdrawal symptoms are depression, insomnia, and anxiety, but less common ones can include:

  • Agitation
  • Mood swings
  • Headaches
  • Problems concentrating or remembering things
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Vivid nightmares
  • Extreme fatigue

Since the side effects of stimulant withdrawal affect your mood and emotions, it can lead to a higher risk of self-harm or even suicide. While there are  designated medication to treat stimulant withdrawal, detox centers typically prescribe antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication, or muscle relaxers to help clients relax and regulate their moods.

Seek Help at a Detox Facility

While it may be tempting to try and detox at home, it simply is not the best choice. Not only are you far more likely to relapse, you are also at risk of not getting help if you have a medical emergency. Rehab facilities have many different tools at hand, including MAT programs, to help you detox safely with fewer withdrawal symptoms and give you a much better chance of staying sober long-term. 


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