Medication-Assisted Treatment

Soul Sanctuary was created to heal the souls of individuals at the depth of despair over their addiction to drugs and alcohol. We are a small residential rehab facility located in beautiful Laguna Beach, CA right on the ocean.

Laguna Beach Medication-Assisted Treatment

Addiction is oppressive, it controls every aspect of a person’s life, and breaking its hold is a difficult and potentially dangerous process. The withdrawal symptoms that come with stopping the substance abuse can be incredibly uncomfortable, and in some cases, life-threatening. Preventing the symptoms is often the reason and addict will relapse. At Soul Sanctuary, we provide medication-assisted treatment (MAT) during our detoxification program. Our Laguna Beach rehab values the advances that have been made in medicine and the benefits it brings to the recovery process.

Often the first step in an addiction treatment center is to go through a detox program. While being monitored by doctors and clinicians, patients are given medication to help the body handle intense withdrawal symptoms.

What is MAT?

medication-assisted treatment

Medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, is using certain medications known to combat the effects of opioid or alcohol, and combining them with behavioral therapies. This form of treatment can be beneficial and effective. It helps the body have an easier transition from being dependent on drugs and alcohol to being sober. MAT is also used for relapse prevention in patients who experience a severe dependency.

MAT has two ways of working. The first involves doctors administering an agonist opioid depending on the type of substance being abused. The agonist opiates will activate the same brain receptors that have already been targeted by the opiates being abused. The agonist opiates will activate the brain receptors that are targeted by the substance being used. The agonist remains in the bloodstream for an extended period and will break the connection between the opioid and brain.

The second way MAT is used is when a doctor prescribes an antagonist, a non-opioid that attaches to the receptors blocking the opioids from reaching them. This can be a safer option because if the user relapses, they will not feel the effects of the antagonist. Whereas if they relapse while using an agonist, the consequences could be deadly. After an addict uses an agonist or antagonist, their dependency on the drug or alcohol will begin to fade.

While the patient is on the doctors recommended treatment, they will also be attending one on one counseling and behavioral therapies. This provides a type of holistic approach, as both the body and mind are being addressed. This method has shown to:

Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment

While there are countless benefits to using MAT, there are also many myths and misconceptions about it. Some people believe that it is a dangerous method because they have the false idea that it is replacing one substance with another. However, one of the benefits of medication-assisted detox is that it is done in a highly secure and controlled environment. Along with the supervision of doctors and clinicians that can intervene if any health issues occur. 

Another benefit of using MAT is that studies have shown that it increases the chances of a patient remaining in treatment and decreases illicit drug use. It also reduces risky behavior such as injection and transmitting diseases like HIV or AIDS. Using medication-assisted treatment has proven to decrease an addict’s dependency and, when combined with counseling, improves mental health.

medication-assisted treatment

Medications Used for MAT

Medication that are typically found in an MAT program include:

An effective pain reliever, Methadone is used for addicts who are expected to experience pain for an extended period and will need pain medication but cannot use other medications. It also helps prevent withdrawal symptoms for addicts who have an opioid use disorder and are in treatment for it. 

Methadone can come in tablet form or as a solution to be taken by the mouth and taken every 8 to 12 hours for pain management. If it is being prescribed to manage withdrawal symptoms, the doctor will work with the patient to plan out a dosing schedule. 

Buprenorphine is used to treat opioid use disorders and is a partial opioid agonist. This means that it attaches itself to the brain’s same receptors as a full agonist but does not fully activate them. Buprenorphine can be used in an inpatient detox program and an outpatient detox program and is usually more accessible than other medications.

Buprenorphine is useful as it can:

  • Lessen physical dependence
  • Lower the risk of misuse or abuse
  • Work as a ceiling effect for opioids
  • Provide a mild withdrawal
  • Decrease cravings
  • Help patients remain in the treatment program

Naltrexone is used to block the effects of opioid medication to prevent an addiction from developing. It is often used for drug and alcohol treatment, as it keeps the user from feeling any sense of euphoria or pain relief. It is useful in breaking the addict’s dependency on the substance. 

Suboxone is a type of prescription medication that combines buprenorphine and naltrexone. The buprenorphine will block the effects of opioids from reaching the brain’s receptors, while the naltrexone is used to reverse the effects. This combination of both helps to ease or prevent the withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid abuse. 


While other medications must be prescribed by a specialized treatment center, suboxone can be prescribed by a primary care physician. Suboxone is often used at the start of substance abuse treatment, counseling sessions, and other treatments that are also involved in the program. 

We Can Help You

medication-assisted treatment

Soul Sanctuary provides the best treatment options for alcohol and drug addiction. Our doctors and counselors work together to develop the best treatment plan for you that addresses your specialized needs. 

As you progress through the program and show improvement, we can adjust your treatment plan and add new goals for you to accomplish. 


Our Laguna Beach recovery center is dedicated to finding the best and most effective treatment programs for our patients. We believe that utilizing medication-assisted treatment can provide lasting results for you and keep you from relapsing. MAT is a valuable and effective tool and will allow you to see beyond the difficulties of withdrawal to a life free of addiction. Contact us today and learn more about how we can help you.

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