What Are the Differences Between Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) and Medically-Assisted Detox (MAD)?
As the U.S. continues to struggle with the devastation of this ongoing opioid epidemic, the current demand for effective and comfortable medically-assisted detox continues to grow exponentially. While overdose has reduced the national life expectancy, deaths of so many young adults have also left thousands of orphans for grandparents to take care of. Substance abuse continues to be a significant public health and safety crisis.
To effectively combat this nationwide drug and alcohol abuse emergency, it is paramount that we provide access to safe and reputable medically-assisted detoxification programs. The distrust that society holds when it comes to drug treatment and recovery programs generally stems from misinformation and dishonest business practices from less than reputable companies. A major first step in ending the addiction epidemic is unraveling the misconceptions by increasing education regarding safe and effective medical detox options and individualized mental health care.
Understanding available treatment options for overcoming physical dependency and beginning an emotional recovery allows you to make a wise and healthy decision for yourself, your loved ones, and, most importantly, your future. Start with a clear understanding of what medically-assisted detox is and what your treatment options are.
Is Suboxone and Methadone Part of a Medically-Assisted Detox?
Before you choose a Suboxone detox path, it is essential to understand that this medication is an opioid itself, categorized as a Schedule III controlled narcotic. Also, this medication is potentially addictive, especially for those individuals with a prior history of drug or alcohol abuse. Because of these risks, Suboxone detox should not last forever; instead, prescriptions should be given for short-term use only- preferably less than two weeks. Although Suboxone is much safer than heroin or fentanyl, when taken without proper management or supervision by a physicain, the misuse of Suboxone can lead to dangerous and potentially life-threatening health complications including:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Intense depression
- Difficulty sleeping/ insomnia
- Dizziness/ fainting
- Difficulty Grasping a breath
- Blurred vision
- Lack of coordination
- Slowed heart rate
- Fatal overdose
Close medical supervision by a medical specialist is not just the best option, but necessary for the wellbeing and safety of the patient.
Methadone is also a MAT drug previously referred to as MMT (Medication Maintenance Treatment); in other words, a synthetic opioid primarily utilized to treat opioid addiction. Methadone is a substitute drug for heroin, fentanyl, or other prescription opioids. Because this narcotic is long-lasting, it can be taken once daily, which is mostly helpful for those with extreme issues with other illicit drugs.
Methadone was first created to prevent pain and increase the quality of life. Still, for many people, methadone maintenance has caused a dramatic decrease in quality of life and increased pain, a condition known as hyperalgesia. Large or sometimes even moderate dosages of Methadone can cause low blood pressure, shallow breathing, cardiac issues, coma, or even death.
Due to the long-term nature of methadone effects, MMT and MAT treatment options are often viewed as ‘trading one addiction for another.’ Furthermore, Methadone also carries a high risk for dependency and overdose when mixed with other substances, misused or abused.
Suddenly discontinuing or reducing Methadone, often leads to severe withdrawal symptoms such as:
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Extreme anxiety
- Nausea and vomiting
- Excessive sweating
- Increased heart rate
- Severe depression
Getting off Methadone is notoriously difficult and possibly dangerous, especially for those with previously existing medical conditions. Because of these and other risks, it is essential to follow up with a medical professional that can guide you to the best methadone detox program that will meet your health needs. Medically assisted detox under sedation has been a blessing for many people addicted to opioids, but especially for those trying to come off Methadone. In fact, rapid detox is quickly becoming the detoxification treatment of choice for those suffering from methadone addiction.
Medically Assisted Detox
When People Search for Medically Assisted Detox Near Me, What Are They Seeking?
Medically assisted detox programs provide ongoing medical support to patients undergoing detoxification from drugs or alcohol. During the withdrawal phase, individuals have access to medical assistance and supportive medications to alleviate discomfort while controlling the physical response. Medically assisted detox programs are structured for the safest detox processes while providing comfort and professional emotional support.
Medical detoxification programs that start in a hospital provide a much higher level of safety than those which do not. At a hospital, patients can undergo a comprehensive medical evaluation to assess the health condition and safest detox protocol to be followed. Furthermore, at a hospital, medical specialists are widely available to consult and care for any unexpected events that can occur during detoxification. Although not all patients need this superior level of care during detoxification, those who don’t have access to it often suffer unnecessary consequences.
Most people look for inpatient medical detox programs because they provide potent medications to alleviate withdrawal symptoms. However, as pleasant as it is to bypass much of the painful withdrawal symptoms, knowing that medical professionals are safeguarding your health is a worthwhile bonus! Additionally, medically assisted detox programs work to improve your physical health on a grander scale. At the hospital, labs can show certain nutritional deficiencies that have been ignored due to the lack of symptoms masked by opioids. Addressing those deficiencies intravenously, at a hospital, is also a huge benefit that can make recovery much more comfortable.
A Step Above
Medically Assisted Detox programs are not the same as drug rehabs, as they are only the best first step or a “step above” any other form of detoxification treatments available. The best drug and alcohol treatment centers provide both medically assisted detox programs and recovery treatment with a seamless transition from one to the next. Having adequate professional medical and mental health support through such a fragile period, is crucial to achieving full recovery.
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Importance of Naltrexone or Vivitrol Post Medically-Assisted Detox
Naltrexone and Suboxone sound quite similar, which causes a tremendous level of confusion to the public. Unlike Suboxone, Naltrexone, an opioid antagonist medication, has no opiates, which makes it non-addictive and non-habit forming. Naltrexone blocks the receptor sites, eliminating physical cravings allowing the individual to focus on their emotional facets of the healing process.
When Naltrexone is used post medically assisted detox, in conjunction with individual psychotherapy, chances of achieving full recovery are substantially higher.
Finding the Best Medical Detox
Before committing to any detox program, do your due diligence and engage in thorough research of detoxification options. Discuss your medical history and recovery goals with your doctor. But more importantly, do not attempt to detox on your own. Alcohol and opioid withdrawal symptoms can be severe and even life-threatening. Beyond the health risks of trying to detox cold turkey, the intense pain of withdrawal may lead to a dangerous relapse.
Waismann Method® medically-assisted detox helps you safely overcome the adverse side effects, pain, and discomfort of an opioid drug and alcohol withdrawal. By removing these barriers, which often impede you from beginning the recovery process, an effective medical detox allows you to be emotionally present so you can focus on other essential aspects of transforming your life.
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