Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is oftentimes considered by those entering addiction recovery, primarily because they are afraid of the withdrawal effects they may experience. While this may sound like an effective solution, not many people truly consider the risks that come with taking some of these medications. Some of the direct (and indirect) outcomes of MAT can make it even more challenging for a person in addiction recovery to meet their recovery goals – and here’s why.
- Medications often promote dependency on a new substance – the medication.
- Some of the medications provided in MAT are for long-term use, and they’re expensive.
- The side effects of medications given through MAT may range over time, but some are still addictive.
In 2017, a young woman’s story of addiction recovery was shared via TalkPoverty.org. She explained that her doctor heavily promoted MAT, and she was given a medication that she eventually became addicted to. She stated, “I’m not afraid of relapse…I’m afraid of dying. For someone my age, going cold turkey off 118 milligrams, I don’t know if I’d survive…The thing is, I don’t want to get off methadone (a common medication part of MAT). I want to stay on it my whole life.”
Insurance has become an even greater concern, as policies are changing and insurance isn’t always going to guarantee that the medication desired is going to be covered. What are some alternatives to MAT?
If we take recovery back to the start – to abstinence – many find that they’re able to work diligently in their recovery without running the risk of becoming dependent on something else. Thankfully, there are many therapeutic and holistic alternatives that can be used to help treat some of the uncomfortable physical, emotional and spiritual challenges faced in recovery, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and more.
Tree House Recovery is a men’s treatment program located in Portland, Oregon. Creating sustainable recovery through sustainable change, our programs help men learn how to live sober with adventurous lives. Call us today for information (503) 850-2474