Understanding Medically Assisted Detox vs. Medication-Assisted Treatment
Detoxification is the first step in overcoming addiction. Of course, the substance of abuse and the duration of the addiction will determine which type of detox is best. However, other factors such as age and physical health must also be considered.
Addiction treatment is the next stage of recovery that consists of a comprehensive program of classes and activities that address the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of the addiction.
Here are some the ways medically-assisted detox and medication-assisted treatment differ:
Medically assisted detox (MAD), also known as medical detox, happens in the beginning stage of addiction treatment. The process allows the body to eliminate all traces of the substance of abuse. When cravings subside, the individual is ready for rehab. During medical detox, the withdrawal symptoms are monitored by medically trained professionals to ensure the safety and comfort of the client. Medications may be used to help manage withdrawals.
In most cases, individuals struggling with alcohol or opioid addictions benefit from this type of detox. The services are offered in a variety of settings such as hospitals, clinics, and treatment centers. Also, there are levels of intensity in medical detox programs. For instance, the individual may need inpatient, partial hospitalization, or outpatient services. Professional rehabilitation is the next step in treatment.
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) differs from medical detox because it occurs during inpatient or outpatient substance abuse treatment. It provides a combined approach of counseling, behavioral therapies, and FDA-approved medications to help individuals manage withdrawal symptoms and overcome psychological cravings. The medication is strictly monitored and in most cases, is intended for short-term use only. However, some individuals continue on a maintenance program of MAT medication after leaving treatment.
This approach to addiction treatment is controversial due to the potentially addictive qualities of the medications used.