Medication Assisted Treatment in Louisville, KY




Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) offers a combination of Food and Drug Administration-approved medications along with behavioral therapy. Patients diagnosed with Opioid Use Disorder are prescribed special drugs designed to ease them through opioid withdrawal and to block the physiological effects, all while they receive continued counseling and support therapy. This evidence-based approach is fast becoming the gold standard in treatment options for opioid addiction. Individuals receiving MAT often demonstrate dramatic improvement in their addiction behavior and functioning.


The medications used to treat addictions are powerful drugs. They are not one-size-fits-all cures for every opioid use disorder and their potential for misuse if not managed carefully is serious. That’s why competent treatment professionals conduct thorough screenings before ever dispensing medications. Physicians need to assess the severity of the patient’s disorder and any underlying co-occurring conditions to find the most appropriate course of action.

A complete patient history will identify the physical and psychological effects of opioid abuse on the user. Probing drug use history, past treatment outcomes, and family and psychosocial supports provides further useful detail. Finally, a toxicology screening helps determine the patient’s readiness for medication treatment.

With all the preliminary work completed, a comprehensive wellness plan is presented. It will include a therapy schedule and drug treatment regimen. After educating the patient on the risks and benefits of the new prescribed medication, drug therapy can begin.


Currently, there are three medications approved to treat Opioid Use Disorder: Methadone, Naltrexone, and Buprenorphine. Each has its own specific benefits and restrictions. As with any chronic disease, the drug that is most effective varies for each patient. Here are a few of the major differences.


A long-acting full opioid agonist. It reduces opioid craving and withdrawal and blunts or blocks the effects of opioids. It can only be dispensed through federally regulated opioid treatment programs. Methadone is taken once a day and available in various forms such as powder, liquid, tablets, and diskettes. Under medical supervision it has been proven to be safe and effective when prescribed as part of a treatment plan that includes counseling and social support programs.


An opioid antagonist. It is a non-narcotic, non-addictive medication that works to block and bind the opioid receptors which produce the opioid high. It is prescribed in a once-per-day pill form (ReVia) or as a once-a-month extended release injectable (Vivitrol). It is a safe and effective Medication-Assisted Treatment option provided that the patient is completely through opioid withdrawal and has stopped using addictive substances. If the patient does attempt to use opioids while on Naltrexone they will not achieve the euphoric effect. Due to this inability to get high, there is a danger that taking ever-increasing amounts of opioids could lead to overdose and death. If patients on Naltrexone discontinue use they may have reduced tolerance to opioids and future use at past dosage could be life-threatening.


A long-acting partial opioid agonist (brand name Subutex). It produces effects such as euphoria or respiratory depression at low doses; however, these effects are weaker than full opioid agonists such as heroin and methadone. Its opioid effects increase with each dose until at one point it levels off for good. This ceiling effect lowers any risk of misuse and dependency. It can be prescribed by any licensed health care provider, though federal law requires those prescribing Buprenorphine to receive special training and certification. It is the first approved medication for opioid dependency permitted to be prescribed or dispensed in the physician’s office. It is taken as an oral tablet or film dissolved under the tongue. Dose is usually once a day, but physician can scale dosing depending on the patient.


Suboxone is one of the more common drugs used in Medication Assisted Treatment. It is the brand name for the combination drug consisting of Buprenorphine and Naloxone. Naloxone (also known as Narcan) is a strong opioid antagonist. It bonds to the opioid receptors in the brain but does not produce a high or dangerous side effects. In fact, it reverses the opioid high. The combination of Naloxone with Buprenorphine (as in Suboxone) is intended to block the possibility of intravenous abuse. Suboxone, as prescribed, is taken as a sublingual film or tablet. If the tablets are crushed or dissolved and injected, the Naloxone effect dominates to block any euphoric effect and may even bring on opioid withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone clinics are a growing business and are not all the same. If Suboxone treatment is your choice, be sure to find a practice that offers a full continuum of care.

Medication Assisted Treatment in Louisville, KY

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is becoming the new gold standard for lasting recovery from opioid addiction. It involves administering potent FDA-approved medicines to help control the negative side effects of opioid withdrawal and to fight against potential relapse. In studies, over 80% of MAT patients maintain sobriety, as long as they stay on their medications. Inspired by this success, the trained medical professionals at Bright New Beginnings incorporate an evidence-based approach to find the lowest effective dose that is right for your condition and then carefully monitor your treatment. Of all the approved Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD), the drug most commonly prescribed in our practice is buprenorphine/naloxone. Buprenorphine is a long-acting, partial opioid agonist. That means it attaches to the same opioid receptors in the brain affected by heroin and other opiates and works to block other opioids from binding. It does not elicit the same euphoria or physical dependence as more potent opioids so there is less potential for misuse. It has been shown to reduce withdrawal symptoms and reduce opioid cravings. Buprenorphine, as part of a comprehensive treatment plan, has been shown to be effective in helping patients stay in treatment and on their way to a life-long recovery. For successful long-term recovery, it is critical for patients to understand their addiction and all the underlying contributors to their condition. Psychological counseling and social therapies are vital in helping shape a comprehensive plan for a healthy future. Bright New Beginnings offers confidential individual therapy designed to meet your personal needs. When necessary, we may also incorporate group therapy, family and supporters affected by your addiction. The type of counseling and therapy in your treatment plan will depend on your situation.


If you think you may be a candidate for Medication-Assisted Treatment for your addiction, find a drug rehab or addiction treatment center near you. The Board-Certified physician specialists at Bright New Beginnings are here to answer your questions and help you find the best treatment possible. Make the call to Bright New Beginnings. Your new life starts now.