Opioid addiction is a major, and growing, epidemic in the US. Dr. Mark Herbst strives to help any individual struggling with opioid addiction. He specializes in treating patients with substance abuse addiction and helping them get back to living a normal, healthy life.
What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?
MAT uses medication together with counseling and behavioral therapies to help alleviate substance abuse disorders and restrain opioid overdose. This helps to provide a whole-patient approach to the treatment of substance use addiction.
Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs)
The misuse of opioids has drastically increased in the United States. And as a result, Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs) were created to help people who have an opioid use disorder. OTPs present a wide range of services in order to reduce, eliminate, or prevent the use of illicit drugs, potential criminal activity, and/or spread infectious diseases. The main focus of OTPs is to improve the quality of life of the people receiving the treatment
How effective is MAT?
Around 1.8 million Americans have been diagnosed with opioid use disorder akin to prescription pain relievers. MAT has proven to be clinically effective and has significantly reduced the need for inpatient detoxification services.
The ultimate goal of MAT is full recovery, including the ability to live a self-directed life. This treatment approach has been shown to:
- Improve patient survival
- Increase retention in treatment
- Decrease illicit opiate use and other criminal activity among people with substance use disorders
- Increase patients’ ability to gain and maintain employment
- Improve birth outcomes among women who have substance use disorders and are pregnant
Opioid Dependency Medications
Opioids such as methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone are used to treat opioid dependence, substance abuse and addiction to short-acting opioids such as heroin, morphine, and codeine, as well as semi-synthetic opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone.
Methadone tricks the brain into thinking it’s still getting the abused drug. However, the individual is not getting high from it and feels normal.
Like methadone, buprenorphine suppresses and decreases cravings for the abused drug.
Naltrexone is unlike methadone and buprenorphine in the treatment of opioid dependency. If a person using naltrexone relapses and uses the abused drug, naltrexone blocks the euphoric and sedative effects of the abused drug and stops the feelings of euphoria.
Opioid Overdose Prevention Medication
FDA approved naloxone, an injectable drug used to prevent an opioid overdose. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), naloxone is one of a number of medications considered essential to a functioning health care system.
Alcohol Use Disorder Medications
Disulfiram, acamprosate, and naltrexone are the most common drugs used to treat alcohol use disorder. They cannot cure the disorder, but they are the most effective in people who participate in a MAT program.
Disulfiram is a medication that treats chronic alcoholism. It is most effective in people who have already gone through detoxification or are in the initial stage of abstinence.
Acamprosate is a medication for people in recovery who have already stopped drinking alcohol and want to avoid drinking.
When used as a treatment for alcohol dependency, naltrexone blocks the euphoric effects and feelings of intoxication. This allows people with alcohol addiction to reduce their drinking behaviors enough to remain motivated.
Dr. Herbst is a Los Angeles psychiatrist who is certified to use the MAT approach to treat patients with opioid addiction. If you are struggling with opioid addiction, schedule a time to come in for a consultation with Dr. Herbst. Together, you can beat this substance abuse addiction.