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Medicine Wheel Clinic

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What is MAT and How Does Opioid Misuse Impact the Brain? 

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of medications in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies to treat patients with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). OUD is a condition where a patient's brain chemistry has changed through the misuse of Opiates such as Heroin, Hydrocodone, Morphine, Oxycodone, Dilaudid, Fentanyl, and Codeine. The primary goals of MAT are treating withdrawl and preventing relapse. Opioids are already in our brain naturally. They are a part of the brain's reward system that makes us feel good when we do good things (The Limbic System). Over stimulating the brain's pleasure system to get high makes it harder for the brain to feel pleasure on it's own. With prolonged use the neurotransmitters that produce good feelings (dopamine and serotonin) start to struggle to feel good about anything but the drug that is damaging the brain. Left untreated, this can cause a lack of ability to feel pleasure from healthy things like eating, sleeping, relationships, sobriety, health, and reaching goals. MAT stabilizes the body so that the patient can focus in therapy on how to create a life the patient doesn't need to escape from through the misuse of drugs.

How Does MAT Help?

MAT is a form of treatment for people who are addicted to opiates like pain medication or heroin. MAT stabilizes withdrawal symptoms, blocks or reduces euphoria from opiates, provides gradual detoxification, provides professional one-on-one counseling sessions with a college educated therapist, refers patients to other forms of care (medical, social services, legal, psychiatric, etc), reduces crime in the community, teaches anger management, encourages a daily routine, uses positive reinforcement and personal accountability, teaches help versus codependent enabling, encourages healthy relationships, teaches financial accountability, teaches impulse control, teaches healthy boundaries, teaches what to do if someone is experiencing an overdose, teaches what your rights are as a patient and citizen, exposes patients to differences in perspective and culture, provides routine medical screening, provides free HIV, TB, and Syphilis testing, teaches life skills, provides the patient with the freedom from the stress and consequences that come along with avoiding withdrawl, and helps the patient learn tools and life skills that set them up for success and stability. Contact us for more information today!

What Is The Opioid Epidemic?

The US Department of Health and Human Services says the following:


In the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to Opioid pain relievers and healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates.


Increased prescription of Opioid medications led to widespread misuse of both prescription and non-prescription Opioids before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive.


In 2017 HHS declared a public health emergency.


For More Information:


SAMHSA, Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, www.SAMHSA.gov


HHS, Health and Human Services, www.HHS.gov


NIDA, National Institute on Drug Abuse, www.drugabuse.gov

Is MAT Right for Me?

The first step to creating a new life is admitting that you need help.  Does this sound like you?

  • Have you been dependent on an Opioid for over a year?
  • Do you worry about withdrawal and how to prevent it?
  • Do you continue to use drugs despite consequences or risks?
  • Do you want to change but need help getting there?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, MAT is here to help.

How Do I Get Started?

Call Medicine Wheel Clinic today to speak with a counselor about taking the next step towards a new life!  Medicine Wheel Clinic looks forward to helping you to attain stability and reach your goals.  It;s never too late to change, start your new path today!