Health Care Resource Centers (HCRC) offers medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and substance use counseling for individuals struggling with opioid addiction. HCRC medication-assisted treatment programs provide methadone maintenance treatment, the gold standard in opiate addiction treatment for over 50 years. HCRC treatment plans are customized for each patient, delivering an individualized, comprehensive approach to recovery.
*At select HCRC locations
MAT has proven to be clinically effective and to significantly reduce the need for inpatient detoxification services for these individuals. MAT provides a more comprehensive, individually tailored program of medication and behavioral therapy. MAT also includes support services that address the needs of most patients.- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
HCRC recognizes that while addiction is a chronic disease, people do have the ability to change with the right treatment program and support system. Our clinicians work with patients to tailor a medication-assisted treatment program to their unique needs and goals. MAT programs offer a number of benefits to the individual struggling with opioid addiction.
Methadone and buprenorphine reduce withdrawal symptoms and control cravings.
Outpatient programs allow patients to maintain commitments to school, work and family while participating in treatment.
MAT reduces the risk of contracting diseases or experiencing other health risk factors associated with illicit opioid use, including overdose and death.
The structure of a MAT program can help patients stabilize early in their recovery.
At the proper dosage, methadone and buprenorphine do not create the “high” that illicit drugs produce, helping patients resume their lives without the risks of illicit drug use.
Medication, in conjunction with counseling and recovery services, decreases the possibility of relapse.
Involvement in a medication-assisted treatment program and supportive services decreases patient’s involvement in dangerous or illegal activities, and can reduce the risk of death.
A patient’s first dose of medication will be given once a full intake assessment has been completed and a medical practitioner has confirmed the proper initial dose. If methadone is prescribed, the dosage usually increases slowly over time until a comfortable level is reached. The physician and treatment team can assist patients in deciding which medication is right for them. If methadone is prescribed, the dose is usually increased slowly over the first several weeks until a comfortable level is reached. If buprenorphine is used, it is usually possible to achieve a comfortable dose in a shorter period of time.
After the patient’s proper dose of medication is achieved, they are considered to be in the stabilization phase. The proper dose has been reached when there is a reduction in cravings and withdrawal symptoms without serious side effects. The absence of physical symptoms allows for counseling and other support services to more effectively help a patient stabilize and clear the way for counseling to focus on the root causes of addiction. Most patients will be able to stop using illicit opioids in this phase.
Patients reach the maintenance phase when they are on a steady dose of medication, are regularly attending counseling and are able to maintain a healthier lifestyle. During this phase, patients may experience opportunities to regain the lifestyle they thought they had lost and reestablish relationships within families and communities. Many patients in this phase are physically, emotionally and mentally restored to the person they were prior to the effects of opiate addiction, but with better coping mechanisms in place to deal with life’s ups and downs.
When a patient has been stable in treatment for a period of time, they can choose to work with their counselor and physician to taper off the medication. That period of time is different for each person, but is typically more than 2 years of successful treatment. It is critical during this time that there is a support system in place, that the patient is actively working on their recovery and that they taper slowly following the physician’s recommendations.