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Medication Assisted Treatment

One of the biggest hurdles for people who are considering getting help for their addiction is the concern about withdrawal symptoms. For many, there may have been an attempt to quit on their own and the side effects were too hard to ensure, and a relapse occurred. Medication-assisted treatment in Denver provides the solution for many people in these situations.

What Is Medication-Assisted Treatment?

Medication-assisted treatment is a type of substance abuse treatment that uses medication to alleviate withdrawal symptoms and curb cravings, in combination with behavioral and cognitive therapies. This approach is a more holistic approach to dealing with substance abuse disorders, and numerous studies have shown it can be a highly effective means of treatment. People that struggle with alcohol or opioid addiction are the best candidates for medication-assisted treatment in Denver, CO.

When used under the guidance of clinical professionals, these FDA-approved medications can be game-changers for those navigating the challenges of addiction recovery. MAT can also be used as a way to prevent or reduce opioid overdoses. The medications work in a variety of ways, including blocking the effects of a substance, causing unpleasant side effects if a substance is used, and reducing or eliminating withdrawal symptoms. 

Medication-Assisted Treatment in Denver For Opioid Addiction

Approximately two million people had an opioid use disorder in 2018. This includes both heroin and prescription pain medication that contains opiates. Four types of medications can be used during MAT for opioid addiction.


Buprenorphine tricks the brain into thinking the person is using heroin by providing low to moderate feelings of euphoria. This stops withdrawal symptoms from happening and helps prevent a person from relapsing.


Similar to Buprenorphine, methadone makes a person feel as if they have taken heroin without actually feeling high. This helps stop withdrawal symptoms from occurring. 


Using Clonidine aids in relieving withdrawal symptoms that occur when a person detoxes from opioid abuse.


Naltrexone blocks opioid receptors in a person’s brain so that if they use opioids, they will not experience a high. Withdrawal symptoms may occur for a short time if they do use them, causing the person to be less likely to use opioids again. 

Medication-Assisted Treatment in Denver For Alcohol Addiction

A survey showed that in 2019, 14.1 million adults suffered from an alcohol use disorder. Among adolescents aged 12-17, 414,000 had an addiction to alcohol. Three types of medication can be used as part of MAT for alcohol addiction.


Using Naltrexone reduces cravings for alcohol. If a person does consume alcohol, this drug will prevent them from feeling intoxicated, as well as cause unpleasant side effects to happen. This makes it less likely a person will want to drink again. 


Benzodiazepines provide relief for anxiety and depression, which often occur when a person stops abusing alcohol. These medications can also prevent seizures from occurring, which may happen if a person experiences delirium tremens while detoxing. 


Clonidine helps relieve common withdrawal symptoms that occur, including muscle aches, cramps, runny nose, anxiety, and agitation.

Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment in Denver

There are many options for treating substance abuse disorder. When considering which one is right for you, it’s helpful to know what the benefits of medication-assisted treatment in Denver can be. They include:

Faster Reintegration into “Normal” Life

Studies have shown that medication-assisted treatment can help clients get back to their normal lives and rejoin their day-to-day lives relatively quickly. The combination of therapy and medication helps people learn to manage their stress and emotions while avoiding some of the difficult physical symptoms that happen when they stop using opioids or alcohol. Many who use MAT report feeling an accelerated ability to feel normal again, which helps them assimilate into their new sober lives at a brisker pace than they might have if they didn’t use MAT. 

Protection Against Withdrawal Symptoms

One of the biggest concerns for any person who has suffered from addiction is dealing with unpleasant and challenging withdrawal symptoms. In some cases, those symptoms can return long after they’ve completed detox. Some MAT medications can be taken long-term, which helps negate the likelihood that a person will be sidelined by withdrawal symptoms that occur several months or even a year or more after they initially become sober. 

Better Chances of Long-Term Recovery

Because MAT helps promote a faster reintegration into a stable, normalized life and helps protect against withdrawal symptoms, it improves the chances of a person staying in long-term recovery. Medication-assisted treatment in Denver, CO, is all about treating the patient with a comprehensive approach in order to yield better results and keep them on the right path. 

Why You Should Use Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment works for many but is not the best option for everyone. Treatment providers take into consideration individual factors for each client in order to determine if MAT is right for them. These factors include which substances they abuse, how long the addiction has gone on, the typical amount consumed, their current physical and mental health status, and any previous attempts at detoxing.

When developing a plan, providers consider:

  • Providing relief from many withdrawal symptoms
  • Increasing the chances a person will stay in treatment
  • Negating the effects of using some substances or causing negative side effects to happen if they are used, which reduces the temptation to use drugs or alcohol again
  • It involves supervision by medical professionals who can monitor a person’s progress
  • The counseling included in MAT adds value to a person’s overall recovery
  • People who can benefit from MAT and use it are less likely to relapse
  • Reducing the risk of a person overdosing
  • Individuals who qualify for MAT may be more likely to enter treatment knowing the benefits of this approach
  • Many insurance plans cover MAT

There are some drawbacks to using MAT to treat addiction. These include:

  • Some of the medications used require medical supervision to wean off them
  • There can be the potential to misuse or abuse a MAT medication, particularly if the person is not monitored by a professional
  • Some treatment programs believe in not using new medications to help wean someone off addictive ones
  • Possible side effects from some of the medications
  • MAT does not provide the benefits a person can achieve if they do not regularly participate in the therapy portion of the program

Medication-Assisted Treatment in Denver

Medication-assisted treatment may be the missing link you need to successfully navigate the challenging early days of recovery. We provide this and other types of therapy to help you conquer addiction and any accompanying mental health issues. If you’re interested in learning more about our MAT program in Denver, CO, contact Continuum Recovery Center of Colorado today and let us answer your questions.

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