Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)
South Florida

Overcoming an addictive disorder is no walk in the park. In addition to learning how to live an entirely new way of life, you have to face the consequences of your active addiction and inevitably undergo withdrawal. When your body becomes accustomed to the presence of a chemical substance it makes necessary adjustments. When you stop using the substance abruptly, your body and your central nervous system essentially go into shock. This is where the symptoms of drug and alcohol withdrawal come into play.

Unfortunately, many people who struggle with moderate or severe substance abuse disorders avoid seeking the professional help they need simply because they are afraid to undergo withdrawal. If you or someone close to you has attempted to get clean without professional help, you know just how unpleasant the process can be. No matter how strong you are in your conviction, once the physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal begin to set in you feel as if relief will only come if you reach for your substance of choice. Of course, this exacerbates the vicious cycle of substance use and you soon find yourself exactly where you started. When you have access to the right medications and to 24/7 medical care, the more severe symptoms of withdrawal can be successfully alleviated and you can go through the process of withdrawal comfortably. Contact us today to learn more.

What is Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)?

Medication assisted treatment, or MAT, refers to the use of certain medications to reduce the physical symptoms of drug and/or alcohol withdrawal and alleviate the intense cravings that all too often lead to relapse. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “MAT is the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a ‘whole-patient’ approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. Medications used in MAT are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and MAT programs are clinically driven and tailored to meet each patient’s needs.”

At Immersion Recovery Center we believe in treating each client comprehensively, tending to their mental and emotional well-being as well as their physical health. We prescribe certain FDA-approved medications for the treatment of opioid withdrawal, benzodiazepine withdrawal and alcohol withdrawal. In many cases, clients who have been struggling with a mild substance abuse disorder and who have no underlying mental health concerns can undergo a safe and comfortable withdrawal with a combination of nonaddictive sleep aids, over-the-counter pain relievers and nausea medications. Upon admission to our medical detox program each client undergoes an in-depth addiction assessment which helps our clinical team determine which MAT medications (if any) are going to be the most effective for each unique case. To learn more about MAT or to learn more about our multi-phased program of addiction recovery, contact us today.

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Benefits of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

There are many proven benefits which go hand-in-hand with medication assisted treatment, not only during the medical detox phase of the recovery process, but sometimes afterwards as well.

Benefits of Medication Assisted Treatment Include:

  • A Reduction of Withdrawal Symptoms – Medication used in addiction treatment settings helps reduce the physical and psychological symptoms of drug and alcohol withdrawal.
  • Increased Treatment Retention – Research shows people who are in treatment for addiction and who are utilizing MAT have a greater ability to retain what they learn in therapy, relapse prevention training and life skills training.
  • Decreased Illegal Opiate Abuse & Other Illegal Activities – Numerous studies have shown people who are in recovery for opiate addiction and who are taking medications like Suboxone are less likely to engage in drug-seeking behaviors or any other form of criminal activity.
  • An Ability to Maintain Employment – People who take medications like Suboxone during early sobriety have higher rates of obtaining and maintaining gainful employment.
  • A Reduction of Relapse & Overdose – MAT can be a fundamental part of relapse prevention. Of course, clients who successfully avoid relapse do not run the risk of experiencing life-threatening overdose.

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Medication Used for MAT

At Immersion Recovery Center we offer medication assisted treatment options for substance abuse disorders directly involving alcohol, benzodiazepines or opioids. The symptoms of alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawal can be dangerous when not closely overseen and medicated, and the intense drug cravings experienced by those undergoing opioid withdrawal often lead to relapse when left unaddressed.

Medication assisted treatment
  • Benzodiazepine Withdrawal – In the case of moderate or severe benzo addiction we often use a benzo taper which is implemented and closely monitored by a medical professional. Quitting benzos cold turkey can result in a range of serious and potentially life-threatening symptoms including grand mal seizures. By slowly reducing the amount of the drug present in the system, the more serious symptoms of withdrawal can be effectively avoided. A 25 percent weekly reduction is recommended for those who take an appropriate amount of benzo medication on a regular basis. When it comes to tapering schedules following a long-term benzo abuse disorder, a smaller weekly reduction is generally required.
  • Alcohol Withdrawal – The symptoms associated with alcohol withdrawal can pose serious health-related threats if they are not adequately treated. Some of the more severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include seizures, hallucinations/delusions and delirium tremens. We use benzodiazepines for alcohol withdrawal whenever necessary. Medications like lorazepam, diazepam and chlordiazepoxide have been heavily researched for the effective treatment of alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and are considered safe when used in the context of medical detox.
  • Opioid Withdrawal – At Immersion Recovery Center we use Suboxone or Subutex for opioid withdrawal, in addition to clonidine in some instances. Both Suboxone and Subutex are buprenorphine-based medications, used to alleviate the more severe symptoms of opioid withdrawal while reducing psychological drug cravings. Clonidine is an antihypertensive medication which has proven effective for the treatment of severe opioid withdrawal symptoms. Clonidine works by blocking certain chemicals in the brain which trigger the sympathetic nervous system. Up until recently, methadone was frequently used as a MAT option for people struggling with opioid dependence, but buprenorphine has proven to be a more effective option with fewer potential complications.

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Medication Assisted Treatment Timeline

How long does it take to undergo withdrawal when MAT is involved? One of the benefits of medication used in addiction treatment is it speeds up the withdrawal process significantly. Depending on the type of substance being abused and the severity of the substance abuse disorder, the withdrawal process typically takes between three days and two full weeks. Once you or your loved one arrives at our Delray Beach facility we begin by conducting an addiction assessment which helps our clinical team determine which detox methods are right for you. We show you around our homestyle retreat facility and allow you to relax in your bedroom for as long as you’d like to. Over the course of your stay you have the opportunity to participate in individual, group and family therapy along with a range of recovery-oriented group workshops. In most cases, clients stay in the detox portion of our program for around one week.

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    Medication Assisted Treatment in South Florida

    If you are looking for a MAT treatment program in South Florida, Immersion Recovery Center is available to help. Our team of experienced professionals work together to provide each individual client with a safe and comfortable drug and/or alcohol withdrawal while adequately preparing them for the next stage of their personal recovery journeys. However, Immersion Recovery Center is much more than a medication-based detox program. We believe in order for a person to successfully overcome addiction, the mental and emotional consequences of long-term substance abuse must be thoroughly addressed. In addition to treating the physical symptoms of withdrawal with appropriate medications, we offer our detox clients the opportunity to participate in intensive behavioral therapy, 12-Step meetings and holistic treatment options. Once they have been physically stabilized they are given the opportunity to immediately transition into a higher level of clinical care through our Delray Beach, Florida program. We offer one of the only true immersion recovery programs in the country, combining the 12-Step model with intensive behavioral therapy. To learn more about our recovery program or to begin your personal journey of healing, contact us today.

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