California Medication-Assisted Treatment
Since the opioid epidemic has caused a rise in overdose and fatalities, there have been a number of California medication-assisted treatment programs that have opened up across the state to combat the ongoing epidemic.
Restoration Recovery Center is proud to be a provider of medication-assisted treatment.
Medication is an important tool in drug and alcohol addiction treatment for specific substance use disorders. This article will explore how medication is used in the addiction treatment process, what medications are available, and how insurance covers medication-assisted treatment for addiction.
What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?
Evidence-based treatments using medication have been developed to assist the drug and alcohol addiction treatment process. Commonly referred to as medication-assisted treatment (MAT), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved several different medications to be used alongside behavioral therapies.
Medication-assisted treatment may be useful during:
- Medical detox
- Residential rehab
- Partial Hospitalization Programming (PHP)
- Intensive Outpatient Programming (IOP)
It is important to note: medications do not provide a cure for substance use disorders and are not substantial enough on their own for treatment. However, they can be a helpful tool in the recovery process for many.
Medications Assisted Treatment for Alcohol
There are several medication options that have been found to be effective in aiding the treatment process for alcohol rehab, also known clinically as an alcohol use disorder (AUD). FDA-approved medications for alcohol use disorder treatment include:
- Naltrexone: A medication that blocks the euphoric feelings and effects of alcohol intoxication when alcohol is consumed. Can help people remain motivated to stay in treatment and avoid relapses.
- Disulfiram: Helpful in the initial stages of abstinence when the person has already stopped drinking alcohol. This once-a-day tablet elicits unpleasant side effects including vomiting, chest pains, nausea, headache, and difficulty breathing if a person drinks even a small amount of alcohol.
- Acamprosate: A medication that is taken three times a day for people who are no longer drinking alcohol. It helps prevent people from drinking alcohol and is typically introduced to a person’s treatment on the fifth day of abstinence.
Medications Assisted Treatment for Opioids
Medications-assisted treatment can also be applied to opioid addiction treatment. FDA medications approved to assist in treating opioid use disorders (OUD) include:
- Buprenorphine: A medication that works to reduce and suppress cravings for opioids.
- Naltrexone: It blocks the sedative and euphoric effects of opioids.
Naloxone (Narcan) is a medication that can be administered to someone overdosing on opioids. It works by reversing the toxic effects of an opioid overdose. Naloxone is not effective in reversing overdoses from other drugs, it is only effective for opioid overdoses.
Is Medication-Assisted Treatment Effective?
Addiction is a complex disease and medication-assisted treatment is not for everyone. That being said, it can be a helpful tool in preventing relapse and staying abstinent from drugs and alcohol.
Not all people going through alcohol and drug rehab will require medication-assisted treatment. The use of medication in addiction treatment will depend on many individual factors. If you are interested in potentially using medication as a part of your addiction treatment, consult your healthcare provider.
Is Medication-Assisted Treatment in California Covered By Insurance?
The California Mental Health Parity Act “requires all state-regulated commercial health plans and insurers to provide full coverage for the treatment of all mental health conditions and substance use disorders.”
For many insurances, however, whether or not medication-assisted treatment is cover will depend on the plan. Some plans may require prior authorization or a co-pay for medications or services.
Restoration Recovery Center’s compassionate team can help you figure out what your insurance can cover. Conversations are 100% confidential.
How Long Does MAT Last?
The medications used to assist opioid use disorder treatment have been found to be safe to use for months, years, and even your whole life. Other medications may just be used during the detoxification process to help with the management of withdrawal symptoms.
For people who are taking a medication and would like to stop taking that medication, a gradual, tapering process is typically used to slowly stop taking the medication. Medication for any substance use disorder treatment should not be discontinued without first consulting your healthcare provider.