Medication-assisted treatment, also known as MAT, combines medication with therapy to provide a whole-person approach to opioid addiction treatment. Family Guidance Centers offers MAT using all three federally- approved medications for opiate use disorder, which are methadone, buprenorphine (Suboxone), and injectable naltrexone (Vivitrol). Years of research has shown that people who participate in MAT achieve better long-term outcomes and reduce their likelihood of continued use of opioids. The medications we use in our MAT program help our patients safely stop using opioids while alleviating distressing opioid cravings and painful withdrawal symptoms. Medication, however, only addresses the physical symptoms of opioid addiction. AT FGC, we include a therapeutic component in our MAT program so that we can address the emotional, behavioral, and social aspects of opioid addiction.
The therapeutic component of MAT helps FGC patients to process life experiences, including adverse childhood experiences and histories of trauma and abuse that may contribute to their struggles with opioid use. Therapy also allows individuals to make the behavioral changes needed to achieve lasting recovery. This whole-person approach helps our patients get to the root of their struggles with addiction and motivates them to make the necessary behavioral and lifestyle changes that can lead to successful, sustained recovery.
At FGC, we recognize that every patient does not need or want medication as part of their recovery process. Therefore, each patient completes a comprehensive assessment to determine the appropriateness of MAT and to create an individualized treatment plan. In addition, before beginning MAT, patients receive education on all three medications so that an informed decision can be made about which medication is best for them. Each patient starting MAT also sees an FGC program physician for a history and physical examination before beginning treatment. Our goal at FGC is to equip every patient who takes part in our MAT program with the tools they need to maintain lasting recovery.