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MAT Addiction Treatment

Medical assisted treatment (MAT) is a new 12-Step addiction treatment buzzword. But what does it mean?

MAT Addiction Treatment?One of the latest trends in 12 Step treatment center and rehab methods is medication assisted treatment (MAT). Though MAT addiction treatment may integrate 12 Step methods and counseling too, it requires a long-term reliance on specific drugs. These pharmaceutical substitutes serve as legal, medically regulated alternatives to illegal and overused substances.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), common clinical MAT options include opioid antagonists (naltrexone, naloxone, methadone, buprenorphine) and medications that prevent alcohol use (acamprosate, disulfiram). While some soften the symptoms of withdrawal, many are intended for long-term use, either in subsequently smaller doses or in regular extended-release form for years to come.

Before you decide to incorporate a new substance into your approach, learn more about the possible consequences of recent increases in MAT training and medicines.


You are in control of your life, including every choice you make. However, if you believe that a substance controls you, you're less likely to explore your own power to change your circumstances permanently. MAT methods ask you to admit that drugs control you, and allow you to maintain this lack of control by depending on a new substance instead.

It's easy to believe that you're fragile and weak if you "need" to take a form of your drug of choice regularly. Though you're now following the law and medical advice, you're not completely in control of your brain or behaviors. For example, if you take disulfiram (also known as antabuse) to ensure that alcohol causes a horrible physical reaction, you're resigning yourself to a lack of personal restraint through maintaining a chemical restraint using the drug. Would you take a drink if it didn't make you sick? If so, you may still want to explore this desire from a cognitive behavioral perspective.


Ultimately, a medication assisted treatment substitute is still a substance that controls you. If you want to make long-term progress, you must motivate yourself by identifying goals that give you purpose. MAT drugs are simply removing a choice temporarily. It's time to understand why the choice to use is so appealing, what leads you to make it, what purpose it serves, and what alternatives you could choose to achieve the same results. You're in control, and once you realize that, you won't need chemicals to control you.

At Saint Jude Retreats, your goals are our goals. Instead of creating a new reliance to replace your relationship with substances, you customize your own self-directed curriculum. As you take charge of your future, we hope you'll grow in confidence and feel empowered to make even bigger choices and changes. Alcohol and drugs are not sentient, and they can't compel you to self-destruct unless you choose to allow them to do so. Instead of relying on new drugs, stay with us and learn how to rely on yourself.


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