Medication Management and Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
Medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, has been proven to be a highly effective approach to treating substance use disorders. As a response to the nation's opioid addiction epidemic, medication-assisted treatment protocols have been developed to serve as an adjunct to evidence-based addiction treatment.
Sanford Behavioral Health's medication-assisted treatment program incorporates a 12-step methodology, whole-body wellness, and the family's vital role in its treatment approach. We offer patients access to a comprehensive MAT program incorporating medication, therapy, and support services. Our medication-assisted treatment in Marne, Michigan, utilizes FDA-approved drugs. To learn more about MAT programs or our other addiction treatment programs, don't hesitate to reach out to us at 616.202.3326.
What Is Medication-Assisted Treatment?
MAT helps patients get through the discomfort of opioid withdrawal, and it helps to reduce drug cravings. MAT is primarily used for the treatment of addiction to opioids and alcohol. The prescribed medication normalizes brain chemistry, blocks the euphoric effects of alcohol and opioids, and relieves physiological cravings. Recovery from addiction is a process, and the medicines give our patients time to work on recovery without unnecessary discomfort.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA) says the ultimate goal of MAT is total recovery. The MAT approach has been shown to:
- Improve patient outcomes
- Reduce cravings
- Increase retention in treatment
- Decrease illicit opiate use
- Increase patients' ability to gain and maintain employment
- Improve birth outcomes among women who have substance use disorders and are pregnant
A medication-assisted treatment program allows patients to improve overall health and decrease the potential for overdose and other dangerous consequences of substance use disorders.
Our MAT Program
Sanford Behavioral Health's medication-assisted treatment program combines psychosocial/behavioral therapy and pharmacotherapy to treat alcohol and opioid use disorders. Our clinical team works alongside our medical team, and both clinical and medical practitioners specialize in addiction treatment.
Federal Law requires patients who receive MAT as an opioid treatment program to obtain medical, counseling, vocational, educational, and other assessment and treatment services in addition to prescribed medication. We offer a variety of convenient individual, group, and family therapy sessions, so patients can choose from programs that address their specific challenges. Our MAT staff participates in continuing education to ensure that the medical and clinical care provided at Sanford Behavioral health is comprehensive, individualized, effective, and evidence-based.
I see people in so much pain. Our patients worry about their physical health as a result of their substance use. Also, there are psychiatric issues that accompany substance use disorders. Most of our patients have co-occurring intrusive thoughts, anxiety, depression. They self medicate. Our patients look for a psychiatric evaluation, and long-term medical and psychiatric care. We want to provide medical services, residential and outpatient MAT for opioid use and cravings. And our goal to to stop the pain.Dr. Gilbert Masterson, Sanford Behavioral Health, Chief Medical Officer
Services Provided in Medication-Assisted Treatment
Our medical services are led by Gilbert Masterson, M. D., with 24-hour support for all residential patients. All levels of care include on-site supervision by medical doctors with specialties in psychiatry and addictionology, advanced practice providers, registered nurses, and registered dietitians. The medical services that we provide to patients in the MAT program can include the following:
- Screening and orientation to treatment
- Multidisciplinary diagnostic assessments and exams
- Follow-up medical exams
- Medication administration
- Group therapy meetings
- Weekly individual and family therapy sessions
- Drug testing and breathalyzer tests
- A structured daily check-in with staff
- Crisis safety planning
- Aftercare planning and referrals
- Treatment planning
- Case management services
The services in our MAT program help patients recover and achieve their goals.
Assessments Used for Medication-Assisted Treatment
Before beginning medication-assisted treatment, a patient will undergo a thorough medical examination to confirm a diagnosis and develop an individualized treatment plan.
Clinical assessments are performed at the start of treatment by master's level clinicians. Assessments identify the appropriate level of care, current physical and mental health symptoms, issues in life areas, medical and mental health treatment history, substance use history, family dynamics, trauma history, presence of risk to self or others, and more.
Medical Assessments and Exams
Nursing assessments are completed at the intensive outpatient and outpatient level of care to pre-screen and determine if medication-assisted treatment is appropriate. Nursing assessments are performed by a registered nurse (RN).
Medical exams are performed by a medical director (MD) or nurse practitioner (NP). Follow-up exams are conducted for continual evaluation and management of symptoms and medication. Weekly medical visits are usually required in early treatment until further stabilization.
Randomized Drug Screening
Drug screening is part of the therapeutic process and serves as an accountability measure, promoting the maintenance of sobriety. All testing is done privately and respectfully, and all results are shared personally with the patient. Drug testing provides opportunities for appropriate medical and therapeutic intervention. Following Michigan licensing requirements, urine samples will be tested within 72 hours of being collected.
Medications Used for MAT
The National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization all recognize medication-assisted treatment as the "gold standard" of opioid addiction treatment. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams issued a report in September 2018 that called for access to FDA-approved medications as a part of treatment, alongside behavioral interventions and support groups. The FDA has approved, and Sanford Behavioral Health prescribes the following medications for our medication-assisted treatment programs:
These medications alleviate withdrawal symptoms, reduce cravings, and block the effects of opioids. Our medical team prescribes medications and is administered under supervision in a controlled setting.
Medication-assisted treatment is not a replacement for traditional therapy and counseling but rather an additional tool to support recovery. The medication helps to alleviate cravings and the physical symptoms of withdrawal, allowing patients to focus on their behavioral health needs and build a foundation for long-term sobriety. To get a better understanding of the FDA-approved medications that we use, please get in touch with us.
Continuum of Care at Sanford Behavioral Health
At Sanford Behavioral Health, we recognize the importance of a long-term continuum of treatment programs, classes, and resources. Successful treatment of substance use disorders typically requires continual evaluation and adjustments, similar to the approach taken for other conditions. Our medication-assisted treatment programs are just one step on the journey to long-term recovery. Please don't hesitate to contact us at 616.202.3326 to learn more about our medication-assisted treatment options.