Medication-Assisted Treatment is a valuable therapeutic intervention that Gateway Foundation Aurora offers to qualified program participants. What is it? Most importantly, how could it help you overcome a chemical dependency today?

Who’s a Good Candidate for Medication-Assisted Treatment?

Program participants with an opioid addiction are excellent candidates for this modality. Another segment of possible participants includes individuals with an alcohol use disorder. Both types of nervous system depressants respond well to this therapeutic intervention. Besides that, it makes withdrawal and treatment more manageable.

What Does the Treatment Entail?

Doctor talking to client about medication-assisted treatment for addiction recoveryMedication-Assisted Treatment involves the use of pharmaceuticals that have FDA approval for healing from drug addiction. Examples include:

  • Buprenorphine as a way of preventing narcotic intoxication
  • Naltrexone that blocks the effects of opioids and alcohol and prevents you from getting high
  • Acamprosate, which reinforces your decision not to take another drink of alcohol
  • Disulfiram for supporting sobriety by creating unpleasant side effects when drinking alcohol

Because therapists understand that addiction is a chronic disease, they also recognize that pharmaceutical support can be useful. However, these medications aren’t magic bullets. They don’t make you quit using. Instead, they support your commitment to lifelong sobriety.

Gateway Foundation Aurora addiction treatment specialists use Medication-Assisted Treatment to help you reach your goals of ending addiction. You might benefit from temporarily using these prescriptions to allow your body to regain equilibrium. Furthermore, they give your brain the time it needs to normalize processes and return to pre-drug functioning. Therapists carefully monitor dosages and gradually help you reduce your need for the medications.

The Use of Medications Doesn’t Eliminate the Need for Other Therapeutic Interventions

It’s impossible to take a medication and have it counteract drug abuse. A lot of what causes you to use is the result of psychological processes. This level of addiction needs treatment. At Gateway Foundation Aurora, corresponding therapies include:

  • Residential, Partial Hospitalization, or Outpatient programs that customize approaches for your needs
  • One-on-one talk therapy sessions with a therapist
  • Group therapy that encourages positive peer interactions and learning
  • Mindfulness-Based Sobriety, which includes a holistic component for whole-person healing
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help you change areas of dysfunctional thinking or acting

It’s vital to combine the use of any medications with additional levels of therapeutic care. In the process, you learn coping skills and appropriate trigger responses. After a while, you may be able to overcome cravings without the use of pharmaceutical support.

Isn’t Medication-Assisted Treatment Just a Way to Substitute One Drug for Another One?

It’s a common misconception that this treatment model does little more than switch out a chemical crutch. That’s not the case. Furthermore, the majority of program participants who qualify for the treatment only receive medication short term. Examples of long-term medication assistance are rare.

Consider that the FDA recognizes the use of vetted pharmaceuticals as an evidence-based therapy. It makes it possible for you to focus on rehab and the therapeutic interventions you receive there. Without the medication, your cravings may be overwhelming and could even prevent you from pursuing sobriety. Furthermore, medication empowers some people to stick with a treatment that allows them to escape a cycle of substance abuse.

What are the Downsides to Participating in Medication-Assisted Treatment?

Using medication during rehab isn’t for everyone. There can be downsides that you typically see when a program participant decides not to follow through. For example, someone feels normal while on the medication and chooses not to continue rehab. This false sense of confidence now puts you at high risk of relapse.

Improper use of the medications we use can result in addiction, too. Someone who doesn’t undergo rehab to end a psychological dependency may start abusing one of the pharmaceuticals. Another downside is that this treatment may disqualify you from receiving medications for specific psychiatric conditions. If this is the case, you work with treatment experts to weigh the pros and cons of participating.

Find Out More Today

Many program participants appreciate the relief that Medication-Assisted Treatment offers. Find out if you’re a good candidate. Therapists at Gateway Foundation Aurora want to answer your questions. Call 630.996.7400 today!