Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) can have many benefits throughout your substance abuse recovery. The following five benefits are important to consider when determining if medication-assisted treatment is right for you.

1. Retained Focus on Recovery

At this time, recovery should be your main focus. Taking medications to assist you through the process of recovery can help you retain your focus on your recovery goals. Medications can be prescribed to help balance chemicals in your brain, allowing a higher level of processing and functioning. 

By relieving the many symptoms of substance use disorder, withdrawal, anxiety, depressive thoughts, and other emotions that may get in the way of your recovery plan, medication-assisted treatment can help you channel your focus into your recovery and let go of outside stressors. Recovery needs your full attention if you want to reach a point of long-term success with sobriety. Medication-assisted therapy can be a great way to work toward this standpoint.

2. Reduced Cravings

Medication-assisted treatment affects the way your brain functions. One major benefit of MAT in addiction recovery is the psychological need for problematic substances can be drastically reduced. While this does not mean that cravings are fully gone, they can be greatly diminished. This can push you along in your recovery process and help you avoid relapsing.

Since the medication works by affecting the chemicals in your brain, it can counteract the chemical imbalances that cause symptoms of withdrawal. This reduces the withdrawal side effects, making it easier to quit partaking in the addictive behavior. While the medication assists you in reducing your cravings, you can focus your attention on discovering natural ways for you to work through cravings on your own and learn to regulate the effects of cravings, working toward success without medication.

3. Improved Social Interactions

With the help of medication to reduce the psychological symptoms of withdrawal, your mind can feel more at ease when dealing with other life factors. Many individuals find it difficult to maintain positive social interactions while working through recovery and find that they have increased levels of irritability, which makes socialization difficult.

Medications can lower your levels of irritability, allowing you to have a more positive mood when you engage with others in social situations. It can reduce the stress of recovery when you are communicating with peers in a social group and allow you to focus on the conversations in front of you. This can be very helpful in building a support group or social network that has a positive impact on your recovery process.

4. Higher Retention Rates

Medication-assisted treatment is commonly used to help individuals who are dependent on the use of opioids. There are a few forms of medication used to treat opioid dependence specifically. Individuals who partake in medication-assisted treatment to help them recover from opioid addiction have a higher retention rate as of one year into sobriety than those who did not use medication-assisted treatment.

This study was specifically observing individuals with opioid addictions, but there are many positive effects on retention rates for addictions to a variety of substances. The overall goal of recovery is to refrain from using the problematic substance again in the future. Choosing a treatment with a high retention rate can help you avoid falling back into previous habits and instead achieve long-term success with addiction recovery.

5. Greater Overall Functioning

Individuals who take the path of medication-assisted treatment during their addiction recovery tend to report higher levels of overall daily functioning after completing treatment. With the help of medications to manage your emotions, you can focus on the skills at hand that can be used to set long-term habits. 

Learning to truly regulate your cravings and emotions and overcome obstacles during the process of recovery is an essential key to future success. Medication-assisted treatment can alleviate many outside factors, allowing your mind to truly focus on gaining these recovery skills. Those who use medications to their advantage have found that they were able to retain more skills from recovery and implement them into their overall daily functioning, leading to a successful life.

Recovery Through MAT

While medication-assisted treatment has many benefits, it is not a simple fix that guarantees sobriety. It is important to manage the use of medications along with therapy and other aspects of your recovery plan. The goal of this treatment is to have the medication assist you, not rely on it for your entire recovery process. Medication-assisted therapy on its own is not enough to allow your body and mind to fully recover from addiction. It is only recommended as a form of assistance to help you gain skills to recover and find long-term solutions.

Medication-assisted treatment can bring many benefits to your recovery process. Through the use of medication alongside your recovery program and other psychological services, you can push your recovery forward. Medication-assisted treatment can further your progress by allowing you to fully focus on recovery, reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms, improving social interactions, increasing retention rates, and improving your overall daily functioning. All of these benefits can help you get through the process of recovery and engage in a healthy lifestyle afterward. It is important to pair medication-assisted treatment with other forms of recovery techniques and therapy. Medication for this use is recommended to assist in the recovery process, not to be the full source of your recovery. Reach out to Dream Recovery to learn more about the benefits of medication-assisted treatment and to determine if this treatment path is right for you at (949) 732-1960.

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