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A Common Myth About Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

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There are several myths about the effectiveness of Medicine Assisted Treatment (MAT) of Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). The most common myth is that the medication (most commonly buprenorphine or methadone) is just having the patient substitute one addiction for another. Thus, there is not true recovery.


Much of the time, patients use opioids not to get high, but to avoid the withdrawal symptoms such as body aches, nausea, vomiting, insomnia and anxiety. FDA-approved Buprenorphine and methadone are opioid agonists. That means they help patients avoid withdrawal symptoms without offering the high, which means they are less addictive. Their effects also last much longer (24-36 hours), which allows patients to get on with their day without having to think about opioids. Further, the risk of overdose is much lower for patients receiving these medications through a treatment program that includes counseling and other behavioral therapies. So, patients in MAT are eliminating their requirement for an opioid high, being safer and facilitating their mental and emotional stability.


A major symptom of OUD is that the person cannot function properly. Because the main focus is to obtain the high from the opioid to avoid withdrawal, the normal functions in that person’s daily life are disrupted. Usually this means that the person begins to forego the responsibilities of work and relationships.


Evidence shows that MAT is an effective means of regaining the emotional and physical stability that leads recovery from OUD and the ability to re-establish oneself as a functioning member of society. If you believe that you or a loved one is suffering from OUD, consult your doctor or a recovery specialist.


If you think you or a loved one are suffering from OUD, seek treatment by contacting a medical professional.

Dale Willenbrink
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If you’ve been worried about a loved one, or if you’re concerned about the way you use your pain medication, we urge you to contact us as soon as possible for help. To take the first step, contact us online or call 855-993-0960  right away.

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