About 40 to 60 percent of recovering addicts relapse, the National Institute of Drug Abuse says. However, the rates vary depending on the stage of the disease, drug of choice, and if there are co-occurring disorders. Based on those numbers, it’s safe to conclude that relapse is not a predictor of a patient’s successful recovery. What the rate means, though, is that relapse is a given. It must be treated as part of the journey. When patients relapse, even after many decades, it is important that they have access to tools and treatment to manage the disease.
How Does Medication Certified Treatment Help?
Medication-assisted Treatment, or MAT, uses medications with behavioral and counseling therapies to treat patients. It is a holistic approach that addresses the substance abuse problems of patients and their health conditions. Through medication certified treatment, patients can look forward to the following benefits:
- Safer withdrawal experience. The use of medication in rehab helps patients discontinue substance misuse with fewer health concerns and worries. MAT provides people with a way to safely go through the withdrawal process, reducing the negative impact on their health.
- MAT is an effective treatment option and has a long history of success. The American Medical Association (AMA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other medical organizations recognized in the field endorse the treatment. In addition, MAT only uses medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so patients and their families won’t have to worry about adverse effects.
- Medication-assisted treatment aids patients in their recovery journey by blocking the euphoric effects of substance abuse. It also reduces the physical and psychological cravings for the drug, resulting in normal body chemistry throughout the treatment. That helps patients discontinue their substance abuse. People struggling with addiction and having a hard time giving up opioid use benefit from MAT.
- Withdrawal can lead to dangerous symptoms. MAT eases the toll of withdrawal symptoms on the body. It can also prevent symptoms from developing into health complications.
- Medication-assisted treatment cuts down on the risk of overdose deaths. Because it makes it easier for patients to go through withdrawal, MAT also mitigates relapse risks. Rehabs that want to increase treatment retention in their patients resort to medication-assisted treatment.
Counseling and Behavioral Therapies
MAT patients must also receive counseling, which may include a range of behavioral therapies, including outdoor or sports therapy, art therapy, music therapy, and more. Research shows that MAT is more effective when it is combined with behavioral health therapies and counseling, resulting in a whole-person approach to treatment.
Co-Occurring Disorders and Other Health Problems
A patient who develops a mental health disorder or has already had an existing condition before the substance abuse can also benefit from medication-assisted treatment. The treatment is also recommended for people with co-occurring disorders and those with health conditions such as HIV, AIDS, and hepatitis.
Re-Engagement After Relapse MAT helps reduce the risk of relapse. In cases where relapse has occurred, the medication-assisted treatment also improves engagement. It helps patients regain their confidence instead of thinking that relapse means they will never get better. With MAT, patients can get back on their feet and try again. Combining MAT with therapy, treatment, and the mindset that relapse is but a part of the journey is also crucial