Medication-Assisted Treatment For Alcohol Addiction

About 88,000 people die every year in the US from alcohol-related causes. This means it’s among the leading causes of death in this country.

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Dr. Langdon M.D.

Medically Reviewed By: Kimberly Langdon M.D.

Alcoholism is a serious condition that can be fatal.

So if you have an addiction to alcohol and you’re ready to quit, you’re on the right path. Most cities have alcohol rehab programs you can go to treat your addictionIf you’re in Massachusetts, Bedrock Recovery Center is a great option, as you’ll have access to different treatment options.

One treatment option with a high rate of success is alcohol medication-assisted treatment, or MAT. This is the use of medications to treat addiction to certain types of drugs. This method is known for helping people not only quit opioids or alcohol, but also helps keep you off these drugs long term. Note that MAT also involves behavioral therapies in addition to medication.

If you’re interested in trying out MAT for alcohol addiction, take a look at what to expect from this method. Then contact Bedrock Recovery Center to learn how to get started with alcohol rehab programs like this.

Alcohol Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Program At Bedrock

At Bedrock Recovery Center, we’re proud to present an evidence-based alcohol rehab program that combines medication with therapy from caring counselors. When you undergo MAT for alcohol addiction, our team will come up with a program that is specific to your needs.

Typically, alcohol rehab programs like ours start with detox. This is followed by alcohol inpatient residential treatment. There, you’ll undergo therapy and receive medication to help you quit using alcohol. You’ll also learn skills to help you cope once you’re ready to return home. The program ends with aftercare to increase your chances of successfully quitting alcohol for good.

The goal of MAT for alcohol addiction is not just to treat your symptoms, but also provide you with the skills you’ll need to stay sober. The use of medication early on will help normalize your brain chemistry and reduce your cravings for alcohol. This will let you focus on the therapy you’ll get to address underlying issues.

This is important, because many people who are addicted to alcohol are dealing with a mental illness. More specifically, about 37% of alcohol abusers struggle with at least one mental illness. Some common conditions include anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

This is why alcohol dual diagnosis—where a recovery center treats alcoholism and any underlying mental conditions—is so important. So, if you’re looking for comprehensive treatment during alcohol rehab, dual diagnosis is one option. And we at Bedrock Recovery Center can meet those needs when you get MAT for alcohol addiction.

Who Needs the Alcohol Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Program?

If you’re wondering if you could benefit from MAT for alcohol addiction, one question to ask yourself is if you’re dependent on alcohol. If the answer is yes, you should look for an alcohol recovery center that offers MAT, because it could serve you well.

If you’re not sure if you’re dependent on alcohol, there are some symptoms to look for. The following are signs you’re addicted and should start looking at alcohol abuse treatment centers:

  • You want to cut back on your alcohol intake, but haven’t successfully done it
  • You give up social and work opportunities so you can drink
  • You can’t limit the amount you drink
  • You spend a lot of time and effort getting alcohol, drinking it, and recovering from it
  • You drink even when it’s not safe, such as when you have to drive or operate machinery
  • You often have strong cravings to drink
  • You’ve lost a job or failed a class because of your drinking
  • You keep drinking even when you know it causes health, work, or social problems
  • You have to drink more than ever just to feel any effects
  • You drink to avoid the unpleasant alcohol withdrawal symptoms

If you can relate to many of these symptoms, you could likely benefit from MAT for alcohol. This is because you’re dependent on this substance. This means it’s time to start looking for alcohol addiction centers near you.

What to Expect from our Alcohol Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Program?

As you look for alcohol abuse treatment centers in your area, you should get an idea of what to expect from MAT. In general, you’ll be treated with a mix of alcohol detox medication and behavioral therapy.

You’ll start with detox, as you’ll need about a week to get the alcohol out of your system. This time period will be uncomfortable and even dangerous for you to do at home. So going to a medical alcohol rehab center is usually recommended.

In fact, the alcohol withdrawal symptoms include the following, often as early as five hours after your last drink:

  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Shaky hands
  • Sweating
  • Insomnia

These symptoms may be followed by hallucinations within about 24 hours after your last drink. You might also get seizures within 48 hours. After that, you may experience delirium tremens. This is a symptom that includes extreme hallucinations and delusions. This sometimes comes with a racing heart, fever, and high blood pressure.

These serious symptoms are why it’s best to be monitored by trained staff. They can keep you safe and away from addictive substances during your alcohol cleanse. Note that most of the MAT medications are best for when you’re done with detox. So there aren’t many alcohol detox drugs that will keep your withdrawal symptoms at bay.

But some alcohol abuse treatment centers do use benzodiazepines to reduce the symptoms during detox. This type of drug can help prevent more serious effects, such as seizures. The staff at the center you choose may also use non-drug methods to reduce symptoms. This will depend on your needs as you go through detox.

The Alcohol Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Process

Once you’re done with detox, the team at the recovery center you choose will decide which medications are right for you. The following are the most common drugs for treating alcohol addiction:

Acamprosate: This is often the first drug given after detox. While it doesn’t stop withdrawal symptoms, it can stop cravings for alcohol. It usually comes in the form of a tablet that you take three times per day.

Disulfiram: This is also meant for when you finish detox. It’s meant to cause unpleasant symptoms—such as nausea, fever, and racing heart—if you drink alcohol while taking it. The point is to discourage you from drinking as long as this tablet is in your system.

Naltrexone: This drug stops the euphoric effects that you hope to get from alcohol. So if you drink while taking this drug, you won’t feel the buzz you’re trying to get. This drug can also reduce cravings for alcohol.

The staff at the medical alcohol rehab center you choose will decide which drug will work for you. You’ll also go to regular therapy appointments while you get MAT for alcohol addiction.

The kinds of counseling you’ll get can range from individual cognitive-behavioral therapy to group therapy. Depending on your needs, you’ll likely live at an inpatient residential treatment center for at least a month.

Why Choose Bedrock Recovery Center?

Now that you know how MAT for alcohol addiction works, you can look for the best alcohol rehab centers that offer this treatment. Bedrock Recovery Center is one of those centers. Our compassionate team is highly trained when it comes to MAT, behavioral therapy, and other treatment options.

When you come to us for help with your alcohol addiction, we’ll create a unique treatment plan for you. Our team will carefully determine if you need detox help at our center. We’ll also decide if you’d benefit from behavioral therapy, MAT, educational workshops, alcohol dual diagnosis, and more. So if you’re looking for help overcoming your alcohol addiction, contact us today to get started!

Written by Bedrock Recovery Center Editorial Team

© 2024 Bedrock Recovery Center | All Rights Reserved

* This page does not provide medical advice.

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