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Medication-Assisted Treatment

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Medication-assisted treatments (often called MATs) are potentially life-saving medications that, when used in combination with counseling and behavior therapies, provide effective treatment for certain substance use disorders. Because on-going substance use creates significant physical and brain changes, medication can be very helpful in restoring medical stability in early substance use recovery and lead to better long-term success.

Different types of medication-assisted treatments are available for different substances. For instance, opioids are treatable with methadone, buprenorphine, naloxone, or a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone (brand name – Suboxone). These medications treat opioid dependence in different ways. However, there are some general similarities. For instance, each allows the patient to focus on lifestyle changes, relapse prevention, and recovery goals by reducing symptoms of withdrawal and cravings.

Meanwhile, alcohol dependence can be treated with disulfiram, acamprosate, and naltrexone. As with the medications for opioid dependence, each of the medications available for alcohol dependence treats the disorder in different ways. Thus, an assessment from a professional trained in addiction medicine is very important in deciding what medication could be most beneficial. 

In a similar fashion, nicotine is treatable with a variety of prescribed and over-the-counter medications and products including:  gum, patches, sprays, inhalers, or lozenges or medications such as bupropion (brand name – Zyban and Wellbutrin) and varenicline (brand name – Chantix). 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has more information on all of the above medication-assisted treatments

We promote medication-assisted treatments in all of our programs. Any resident who is eligible and interested in a medication-assisted treatment regimen is provided with information on the options available to them. They’re then either prescribed the relevant medications, or they’re connected with a prescribing provider. 

Cazenovia Recovery is able to prescribe certain medication-assisted treatments for individuals enrolled in our residential Rehabilitation programs. For individuals in our other programs, we connect them to local prescribers and help them maintain their medication regimens.

If you are not a resident in our programs and you’re looking for access to medication-assisted treatments, we recommend that you contact your primary care doctor or health insurance provider for more information. 

More information on medication-assisted treatment is also available from the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS). 

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