When you’re ready to get clean and sober, the worst thing you can do is quit cold turkey with no medical attention. Not only are you more likely to relapse, but the withdrawal can be seriously harmful or even deadly. If you’re in the southern California area, there are many treatment options to help you recover safely. Let’s explore some of the medication-assisted treatment Los Angeles and surrounding counties have to offer.

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What Is Medication-Assisted Treatment?

Medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, involves drugs such as acamprosate, buprenorphine, naltrexone, and suboxone to minimize cravings and help detoxify the body. Your addiction recovery specialist will choose a MAT drug for you based on your need, the substance or substances you’re addicted to, and your overall treatment plan, including prescription medications for other conditions. MAT accompanies other types of treatment such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and counseling.

Which Drug Will I Receive?

If you’re struggling with opioid addiction, you’ll likely be given suboxone, which prevents the brain from gaining a high from opiates while lessening pain, or buprenorphine, which produces a non-addictive high while blocking effects of other opiates. These drugs are intended to help wean the brain off opiates. MAT is considered much safer for pregnant women than detoxing cold turkey.

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Alternately, you may be given naltrexone, which decreases cravings. Studies have shown that an oral regimen is less effective than the injectable version. Naltrexone has also been tested for alcohol abuse because it blocks the positive feeling from drinking. However, it has not been shown to eliminate drinking. For that, acamprosate is the best option, but it must be used in conjunction with counseling or group therapy. It disrupts the neural pathways that create dependency on alcohol while reducing anxiety symptoms related to withdrawal. This is why Medication Assisted Treatment Los Angeles is so helpful.

How Do I Afford MAT?

The State of California funds many low-cost addiction treatment centers; those in the Los Angeles area are listed on MATSDirectory.com. To help treat inmates experiencing addiction withdrawal, the Los Angeles Department of Health Services implemented a program to provide access to MAT in all area jails; funding comes from the state’s Department of Health Care Services.

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The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that most insurers provide coverage for addiction treatment, while the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) requires that patients have comparable coverage for behavioral health, including addiction treatment, that they do for their basic coverage.

When beginning your recovery, it’s important to understand the options that may be offered to you. MAT is part of a whole-person treatment plan that can help minimize your risk of relapse and relieve, if not eliminate, withdrawal symptoms. It’s also crucial to have a support network in place for MAT to work most effectively, so make sure your loved ones are informed as well. 

If you or a loved one needs help, call us at 949-625-4019.

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