MAT & Medications
MAT (Medication-Assisted Therapy)
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. Medications used in MAT are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and MAT programs are clinically driven and tailored to meet each patient’s needs.
Research shows that a combination of medication and therapy can successfully treat these disorders, and for some people struggling with addiction, MAT can help sustain recovery. MAT is also used to prevent or reduce opioid overdose.
MAT is primarily used for the treatment of addiction to opioids such as heroin and prescription pain relievers that contain opiates. The prescribed medication operates to normalize brain chemistry, block the euphoric effects of alcohol and opioids, relieve physiological cravings, and normalize body functions without the negative and euphoric effects of the substance used.
In 2018, an estimated 2 million people had an opioid use disorder which includes prescription pain medication containing opiates and heroin.
MAT has proved to be clinically effective and to significantly reduce the need for inpatient detoxification services for these individuals. MAT provides a more comprehensive, individually tailored program of medication and behavioral therapy that address the needs of most patients.
The ultimate goal of MAT is full recovery, including the ability to live a self-directed life. This treatment approach has been shown to:
- Improve patient survival
- Increase retention in treatment
- Decrease illicit opiate use and other criminal activity among people with substance use disorders
- Increase patients’ ability to gain and maintain employment
- Improve birth outcomes among women who have substance use disorders and are pregnant
Research also shows that these medications and therapies can contribute to lowering a person’s risk of contracting HIV or hepatitis C by reducing the potential for relapse.
FDA has approved several different medications to treat alcohol and opioid use disorders MAT medications relieve the withdrawal symptoms and psychological cravings that cause chemical imbalances in the body. Medications used for MAT are evidence-based treatment options and do not just substitute one drug for another.
- Alcohol Use Disorder Medications – Acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone are the most common medications used to treat alcohol use disorder. They do not provide a cure for the disorder but are most effective in people who participate in a MAT program.
- Opioid Dependency Medications – Buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone are used to treat opioid use disorders to short-acting opioids such as heroin, morphine, and codeine, as well as semi-synthetic opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone. These MAT medications are safe to use for months, years, or even a lifetime. As with any medication, consult your doctor before discontinuing use.
- Opioid Overdose Prevention Medication – Naloxone is used to prevent opioid overdose by reversing the toxic effects of the overdose. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), naloxone is one of a number of medications considered essential to a functioning health care system.
(Courtesy of SAMHSA)
MAT and RNC
Here at Rural Nevada Counseling, we understand the unique challenges when engaging both the opioid and alcohol misuse populations. Alcohol can be a life-threatening detoxification process. Opioids have a high rate of overdose and even death. Both substances have a high rate of relapse which can be interrupted with successful and appropriate med-management strategies. We understand that the use of these medications in a controlled way and under the supervision of a medical provider can increase treatment outcomes and decrease the rate of overdose and death.
Rural Nevada Counseling offers multiple pathways for clients who may be eligible for medication-assisted treatment (MAT). RNC’s Medical Director will conduct an evaluation and then prescribe, as appropriate, some of these pathways, to our clients who are concurrently engaged in treatment.
Rural Nevada Counseling stay committed to the idea that “treatment + medications = improved quality of life + positive treatment engagement + decrease in criminogenic behaviors and decrease in overall use, overdose, and death.”
Mental Health Medications
“Psychiatric medications influence the brain chemicals that regulate emotions and thought patterns. They’re usually more effective when combined with psychotherapy. In some cases, medicines can reduce symptoms so other methods of a treatment plan can be more effective.” (NAMI)
Rural Nevada Counseling understand the unique nature of the rural community in which we serve. We often hear our clients stating that it can take a significant amount of time to get an appointment with a prescriber. As mental health professionals, we understand that time is crucial for our clients who may be suffering the adverse effects of untreated mental health illness.
RNC’s Certified Community Behavioral Health Center (CCBHC) has both RNs and APRNs on staff. Our psychiatric advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) work closely with our team of mental health therapists and you, as the client, to determine if medication strategies are appropriate for you. Our RN works with you regarding vitals, signs and symptoms, symptom improvement and monitoring, and providing appropriate medication education and adherence strategies that fit into your lifestyle and your schedule.
Clients in our CCBHC can expect to see our prescriber in as little as a week and sooner if needed.
720 South Main Street, Suite C
Yerington, NV 89447
Sierra Meadows Business Plaza
415 Highways 95A, Suite H801
Fernley, NV 89408
3595 US-50, Suite 2.
Silver Springs, NV 89429
801 Overland Loop, Suite 201
Dayton, NV 89403
3595 US-50, Suite 2.
Silver Springs, NV 89429