“I have no suggestions, just praise- Amen!!!! Stay on it!!! You have a great program and staff- I cannot thank you enough!!!”

Dan B.

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

What is it?

Christi Beals, Chief Nursing Officer and Senior Director of Inpatient Services discusses the use of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) to help people in their recovery from alcohol and opioid abuse.
 

Substance use disorder is a chronic illness and needs to be treated as such. To best help our patients we identify their symptoms, their use patterns, their relapse risk, and we meet them where they are at. With a chronic illness it is not about a cure, it’s about creating an individualized treatment plan to best manage the illness. Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is one option for those who struggle with this disorder. It’s not new, but is in the news now more than ever, because of the national opioid epidemic. The concept is simple, we use medications to help patients who struggle with opioid and alcohol addiction in conjunction with a treatment plan that includes counseling and behavior therapy.

Our clinical team identifies patients who would benefit from the MAT program. Patients with opioid use disorder or alcohol use disorder are primary candidates. The use of opioids includes heroin or pain medications that contain opiates. The team identifies potential candidates and then meets with the patients to review their treatment options. We also work with our Silverleaf counselors who specialize in the treatment of clients enrolled in the local treatment courts.

The medications we use for MAT are FDA approved and the program is tailored to meet the patient’s individual needs. The medications used relieve the withdrawal symptoms and decrease the psychological cravings. For patients who have been diagnosed with opioid use disorder we use Buprenorphine or Naltrexone. Buprenorphine suppresses and reduces the cravings for the abused substance.  It can be administered in pill form or in dissolving strips. The injectable form is called Sublicade. The length of time this medication is administered and the dosing options are very specific to the individual client. As we see an increase in pregnant woman who are actively using, MAT is an alternative that can be provided to the expecting moms as a safe alternative.  This is a unique alternative to keep both the mom and unborn baby safe and healthy.  Naltrexone is another medication option used for opioid disorder.  Naltrexone blocks the effects of the abused substance. Naltrexone is given orally in pill form, the injectable is called Vivitrol.

Antabuse, Acamprosate, and Naltrexone are the most commonly used medications for treating those with alcohol use disorder. These medications all work differently to decrease the patients desire to use alcohol and the overall effects of alcohol.

It is common to see a direct correlation between increased criminal activity, high risk for infectious disease, and difficulty with maintaining employment, for those who struggle with substance use disorder. Our goal is to help these same clients achieve a life that is balanced and decreases their risk factors. When we invest in our MAT program it is done with the hope of investing in each individual patient. By doing so, we are investing in their families and in our community making it a healthier and safer place for everyone. We are saving lives. MAT decreases the risk of overdose, aligns people with counseling and behavior therapies, and creates a foundation for managing the chronic illness of substance use disorder.

We are so fortunate to have an organization like Rimrock in our community. Rimrock is able to provide the entire continuum of services from detox to inpatient, short term and long term residential, and outpatient services. Our team is highly trained to identify each patient’s specific needs and develop a treatment plan that will address their unique needs. We specialize in second chances, offering the gift of improving each patient’s quality of life.

If you are interested in learning more about MAT, or about how Rimrock can help you or a loved one start the journey to recovery, we are excited to talk to you. Our Admissions Department can be reached at (406) 248-3175 or (800) 227-3953. Normal admission hours are between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm Mountain Time, Monday through Friday. However, we do have staff available anytime to take your call. Contact us today to begin your journey to recovery.