Medication-assisted treatment, also known as MAT, is an approach to substance abuse treatment that, frankly, confuses people. Many individuals who have learned of this approach have felt puzzled at the idea of using a medication, a drug, to help people become free from drug dependence. In plain terms, people wonder how a drug can help you stop using alcohol, which many people consider to be a drug. It sounds unbelievable. But, the truth of the matter is that MAT has given very impactful and positive results. Those who have gone through a medication-assisted treatment program have found freedom from alcoholism. But, again, what’s the idea behind taking medication for alcohol dependence? Is it really a good idea and can it actually help?
There are definitely a lot of questions out there concerning the effectiveness of medication-assisted treatment. People are constantly wondering if taking medication for alcohol dependence (or any other kind of substance dependence problem) is even helpful. This is an understandable concern. After all, if you’re not quite sure about the details of this kind of treatment, it’s easy to feel a little confused about it. Most individuals who are uncertain about MAT feel that this drug is basically the act of replacing one drug with another. But, this isn’t the case! And, if you’ve been suffering from alcoholism, it might be time to get professional help from a treatment program that uses MAT.
No doubt, you’re asking a really important and pressing question right now. You’re wondering, What exactly is medication-assisted treatment? To answer this question simply, medication-assisted treatment uses specific medications to help people overcome substance dependence. When a person is dealing with alcohol use and abuse, it can be very hard for him or her to stop drinking. The individual grows physically and mentally dependent on alcohol after using the substance for a while. In other words, the person will begin to crave alcohol and believe that he or she needs the substance in order to feel “normal”. As a result of this dependence problem, the individual’s body will struggle to function without the use of alcohol. Some people depend on alcohol to help them sleep at night. Others may use it in order to escape from stress. So, it can be very hard to stop drinking.
Many of the people who have found themselves drinking an excessive amount of alcohol or depending on it in certain situations have tried to quit drinking. Many have made New Year’s resolutions concerning their drinking habits. And, year after year, they’ve become trapped by alcoholism yet again. But the goal of MAT is to end that cycle. It uses medications like Vivitrol, which helps to decrease a person’s alcohol cravings. This medication works to prevent people from experiencing the euphoria that comes with substance use. This euphoria is a pleasant feeling that is often one of the main reasons people become dependent on the drugs or alcohol they’re using. So, if a person no longer gets that rush of excitement when using a particular substance, it may help him or her to become less and less interested in substance use.
If you’ve been dealing with an alcohol use problem, start this new year off right. And even if you’ve waited for days, weeks, or months to go through with that New Year’s resolution, it’s not too late! Here at Diablo Valley Drug & Alcohol Services, we work to make sure you know that you aren’t alone. We are dedicated to helping our patients find a life of freedom from drug and alcohol abuse. Just contact us today to learn more about our services. Call 925-289-1430 today.