Therapeutic Methods
Medication Assisted Treatment

At Guardian IOP we believe in the benefits of certain medications when it comes to fighting cravings and preventing relapse. There is ample evidence supporting the fact that medication assisted treatment (MAT) is a beneficial component of an integrated recovery program and that people who utilize MAT early on in recovery stay sober for longer. We combine FDA-approved and heavily researched medications with intensive behavioral therapies and holistic modalities in order to provide our clients with a whole-person approach to recovery. Our main priority is equipping each and every one of our clients with the skills and tools they need to maintain solid sobriety for years to come.

In most cases, MAT is used to treat opioid abuse and dependence. It can also be effective in helping treat severe cases of alcohol dependence. At Guardian IOP we utilize MAT whenever we deem doing so necessary. Not every one of our clients will benefit from this treatment option. In order to determine who is an ideal candidate we conduct an in-depth addiction assessment upon admission to our program. This assessment helps our clinical team determine whether or not medication assisted treatment is going to be beneficial. If a client is already taking medication, it helps us determine whether or not the course should continue at the current dose. To learn more about MAT in the context of our overall treatment program, contact us today.

Suboxone Maintenance

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, roughly 2 million American adults struggled with an opioid abuse disorder in 2018 alone. The most commonly abused opioids are prescription painkillers like oxycodone and hydrocodone, heroin and synthetic opioids like fentanyl. The main goal of medication assisted treatment when it comes to treating opioid abuse disorders is to prevent overdose, improve treatment retention and prevent relapse. Because the drug cravings that go hand-in-hand with psychological opioid dependence are so intense and overwhelming, many clients relapse before the treatment process has concluded if they do not have access to medications like Suboxone.

Suboxone is a medication made from a combination of buprenorphine and naltrexone. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, meaning it works by blocking other opioids from binding to receptors within the brain, ultimately preventing symptoms of withdrawal and reducing drug cravings. Because this medication is an opioid agonist it does not produce euphoric effects and has an extremely low overdose risk. Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist that also blocks the euphoric effects of all other opioids. An article published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine states that buprenorphine is a safer and more effective alternative to methadone, another medication used for the treatment of opioid abuse disorders. At Guardian IOP we utilize Suboxone maintenance therapy when treating moderate or severe cases of opioid dependence in clients who have experienced overdose or chronic relapse.

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Vivitrol Injections

Vivitrol is an intramuscular injection used to treat opioid abuse disorders. It is made from naltrexone, a long-acting opioid antagonist that blocks the euphoric effects produced by other opioids. Like Suboxone, Vivitrol works by reducing drug cravings and preventing relapse and overdose. This medication is injected by an experienced healthcare provider once a month, and it is an effective component of addiction treatment for many individuals when combined with intensive therapy and any other necessary addiction services. According to the Vivitrol website, a person who is using Vivitrol must stay away from other opioids for between 7 and 14 days before the first injection. Otherwise, serious symptoms of opioid withdrawal are likely to occur. It is a good idea for someone who has been struggling with an opioid abuse disorder to enter into a short-term residential detox program before receiving their first Vivitrol shot.

This medication can also be used for the treatment of alcohol use and dependence. In the case of alcohol dependence, Vivitrol serves to reduce alcohol cravings.

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At Guardian IOP we utilize Antabuse for the treatment of moderate and severe alcohol abuse disorders. Antabuse is the brand name of the generic drug disulfiram, the first FDA-approved medication for the treatment of alcoholism. When a person consumes alcohol it is metabolized as acetaldehyde, a toxic chemical compound that results in severe hangover symptoms in chronic heavy drinkers. Over time the body oxidizes acetaldehyde into acetic acid, a non-toxic compound. Antabuse works by directly interfering with this metabolic process. Acetaldehyde builds up in the body, and the person who has consumed alcohol feels as if a harshly unpleasant hangover is hitting within as little as 10 minutes after consumption.

People who drink alcohol while taking Antabuse experience:

  • Extreme nausea and excessive vomiting
  • Flushing of the skin
  • Profuse sweating
  • Extreme dizziness/vertigo
  • Intense headache
  • Chest pain and respiratory issues
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Rapid heartbeat and heart palpitations
  • Blurred vision

Because the effects of drinking while taking this medication can be so severe, it is important that a person who commits to this type of MAT thoroughly understands the potential consequences. This medication is ideal for people who are serious about recovery but who have a history of chronic relapse.

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Benefits of Medication Assisted Treatment

There are many benefits when it comes to medication assisted treatment. At Guardian IOP we stay up-to-date on the latest research and recovery tools, ensuring that our clients have access to the most effective treatment methods available.

Useful medications for MAT

Benefits of MAT include:

  • An avoidance of potentially fatal drug and alcohol overdose.
  • Increased retention in treatment.
  • Decreased criminal activity among people diagnosed with an opioid abuse disorder.
  • Increased ability to maintain gainful employment.
  • A safer and more comfortable drug or alcohol withdrawal.
  • Decreased drug and alcohol cravings.
  • Lower rates of relapse following treatment.

Studies show that treatment outcomes are more positive and lasting when medication assisted treatment is used Certain medications help clients return to their day-to-day lives more quickly, providing them with a respite from compulsive drug use and allowing them to take full advantage of treatment. For more information on the benefits of MAT, contact us today.

Is MAT Right For You?

How can you tell whether or not medication assisted treatment is right for you? At Guardian IOP we offer an in-depth addiction assessment upon admission to our intensive outpatient treatment program that helps us determine which treatment options are going to be the most beneficial for your unique case. We might provide you with Suboxone maintenance, Vivitrol injections or Antabuse if you meet certain criteria.

MAT is Particularly Appropriate If:

  • You have experienced one or more overdoses in the past.
  • You have been through treatment previously but you have been unable to stay sober for an extended period of time.
  • You experience intense drug or alcohol cravings that impact your overall quality of life.
  • You are struggling with a moderate or severe opioid or alcohol abuse disorder.
  • Traditional talk therapy has not been effective as a standalone treatment option.
  • You have been unable to hold down a job or take care of your personal responsibilities because of your substance abuse disorder.
  • You have repeatedly been in legal trouble because of your substance abuse disorder.
  • You relapse regularly after quitting.

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Our Integrated IOP Program

When you or your loved one is ready to ask for help, Guardian IOP will be available. Our admissions process is simple and straightforward and can be completed in as little as 15 minutes. We will provide a complimentary addiction assessment, a free, no obligation insurance benefit check and help coordinate local travel to our facility. All you or your loved one has to do is ask for help, we will take care of the rest. If you have any additional questions about the role of medication assisted treatment in our personalized and effective intensive outpatient program, contact us today.

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