What is Medication Assisted Opiate Addiction Treatment?
Medication Assisted Treatment is a treatment which includes medications and behavioral therapy to treat opiate addiction. Treatment uses the FDA approved medications and provide a whole patient access to treat opioid substance use disorders.
Which medications are used in Medication Assisted Treatment?
Common medications used in MAT are:
Buprenorphine: It is a partial opioid agonist. It is the first medication that possesses the potential for abuse and prescription diversion due to its own opioid effects. Proper use of buprenorphine medication can ease unpleasant opioid withdrawal and diminish associated cravings.
Probuphine: It is designed to help individuals’ recover from opioid addiction by pacifying withdrawal symptoms and cravings. The probuphine implant is made of 4 rods which are inserted into the upper arm. These rods administer a continuous dose of buprenorphine into the bloodstream. It doesn’t need daily administration as it releases a low dose of drug gradually.
Methadone: It is a complete opioid agonist i.e. produces same effects to other opioids. Its effects are gentle and do not affect the functional ability of a person because it is longer acting than drugs. It is used to mitigate drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms in individuals addicted to painkillers or heroin. One dose can prohibit withdrawal and cravings for one day.
Naloxone: It is an opioid antagonist i.e. it blocks the opioid activity at receptor sites. It has the potential to prevent or reverse life threatening overdoses. Naloxone also comes in automatic injection devices which can be handed out as a harm reduction measure for hard heroine abuse.
Naltrexone: It is used to treat opioid addiction patients. It comes in pills or injections. It requires monthly dosing and is administered intramuscularly. Oral dosing requires daily bases. It works by blocking the opioid receptors. It may also reduce the general urge to use opioids.
What are the benefits of Medication Assisted Opiate Addiction Treatment?
- Decrease opioid use and criminal activity
- Reduces opioid related overdose deaths and infectious disease transmission
- Pregnant women with opioid addiction can improve outcomes of babies with methadone