If you’re searching for medication-assisted treatment in Los Angeles, you’ll probably discover many options throughout the city and state, although you may find that there are a lot more options in busy cities like LA than there are in rural towns.
What is medication-assisted treatment, anyway? To fully understand what it is and why it’s essential for the U.S., you must understand how much the opioid epidemic has spread to every corner of the country. Lawmakers and public health officials alike have recommended a scaling up of the capacity of cities to provide substance abuse treatment, especially evidence-based forms of care like medication-assisted treatment (MAT).
When treating opioid use disorder (OUD) specifically, three drugs have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA): buprenorphine, naltrexone, and methadone. These are available only through prescription and must be used under medical supervision. Apart from this, MAT may also include 24-hour care and monitoring and responsible dosing of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs for various withdrawal symptoms such as headaches or body aches.
What Is Medication-Assisted Treatment?
What is MAT? We touched on this earlier, but here’s a formal definition. MAT is the use of medications–usually in combination with behavioral and counseling therapies–to provide a better approach in the treatment of substance use disorders. Medications used in MAT are either OTC or approved by the FDA. MAT programs are also clinically driven and customized to meet each client’s needs.
Research shows that a combination of therapy and medication can successfully treat substance use disorders. For some people struggling with addiction, MAT can be instrumental in helping them sustain recovery and sobriety.
How Does MAT Help Clients in Addiction Treatment Programs?
MAT is primarily used for the treatment of OUD, although it can also be used for those struggling with alcohol addiction or other severe substance use disorders. The prescribed medication helps normalize a client’s brain chemistry and block the euphoric effects of addictive substances. These drugs also relieve physiological cravings and regulate body functions that now have to go on without addictive substances in the client’s system.
MAT has been proven to be clinically effective, especially when a client’s MAT program has been personalized. Research shows that including MAT in an addiction treatment program can:
- Decrease illicit opiate use and other criminal activity among clients with substance use disorders
- Improve birth outcomes among women who have substance use disorders and are pregnant
- Improve client survival
- Increase a client’s ability to gain and maintain employment
- Increase client retention in treatment
- Lower a client’s risk of contracting HIV or hepatitis C by reducing their potential for relapse
How Can You Find Medication-Assisted Treatment in Los Angeles?
MAT is administered in various settings. You can look for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) accredited and certified opioid treatment programs (OTPs) in state health centers. In Los Angeles and other busy cities, you’ll probably find it easier to look for certified addiction treatment facilities that offer programs including MAT.
However, private facilities may offer only one or two modes of MAT. This is due to uncertainty about the effectiveness of the different modes of MAT and regulatory barriers to providing methadone or buprenorphine. Regardless of what setting MAT is administered in, it is always more effective when combined with counseling and other behavioral health therapies.
Ready To Learn More About Avedis Recovery’s MAT Options?
Looking for an addiction treatment program with medication-assisted treatment in Los Angeles, California? Contact Avedis Recovery by calling 833.514.0579 or reaching out to our team online.