How Does MAT For Alcohol Use Disorder Work?

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Most people in the U.S. will consume alcohol within their lifetime. However, research shows that a significant number of those individuals will develop an alcohol dependence issue. Individuals who do end up developing alcoholism will require professional treatment from mental health and addiction providers. Furthermore, alcohol withdrawal can be life threatening. Therefore, MAT for alcohol use disorder may be implemented in order to safely treat withdrawal symptoms and psychological cravings.


What Is Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)?

Medication Assisted Treatment, or MAT, is a method of addiction treatment that uses medications while concurrently incorporating behavioral therapy in order to treat substance abuse disorders. MAT programs have been proven to be effective. SAMHSA has published evidence that states medication assisted treatment helps prevent relapses and can lead to longer periods of abstinence. 

At The Healing Center in Cherry Hill, NJ our MAT programs are customized for each client’s individual needs. The purpose of MAT programs is to provide individualized care that helps treat and stabilize those struggling with addiction and alcoholism. A key part of our program is the behavioral health treatments component. During therapeutic sessions clients are able to address the root causes of their addiction. We offer a number of different therapeutic approaches including group therapy, individual therapy, trauma therapy, EMDR, CBT, and DBT.  Meanwhile, the medications provided in our alcohol use disorder MAT program helps clients to manage their initial withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. Thus, our program significantly reduces the risk of relapse and gives our clients the opportunity to heal. Overall, the goal of our program is to allow clients to take the time they need to do the internal work that it takes to maintain recovery.


MAT For Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcohol use disorder is extremely difficult to overcome. Alcohol is legal and easily attainable at corner stores, grocery stores, bars, clubs, and gas stations. Furthermore, alcohol is excessively advertised in the U.S. on commercials, social media, movies, and advertisements. Alcohol is also normally a part of social events and celebrations for Americans. Due to the fact that alcohol is both socially acceptable and readily available, alcoholism is challenging to recover from. MAT for alcohol use disorder can make the process easier. There are a couple of different medications that can be used including disulfiram, naltrexone, and acamprosate.



Disulfiram is a very effective MAT for alcohol use disorder option for those who have fully completed the detoxification process. This medication is a pill that is taken once a day. Disulfiram works by producing extremely unpleasant side effects if someone consumes any alcohol at all.  The side effects include:

  • Headache and migraine
  • Nausea and upset stomach
  • Chest pain
  • Vomiting
  • Trouble breathing

The side effects normally start within the first few minutes after an individual drinks alcohol. The effects can last over an hour. Disulfiram does have some dangerous side effects, such as trouble breathing. Therefore, it is not available at all MAT for alcohol use disorder programs.


Naltrexone is one of the most common medications that MAT for alcohol use disorder programs offer. This medication blocks the euphoric effects produced by alcohol. Naltrexone helps break the connection between alcohol and pleasure for people. Thus, individuals have an easier time staying away from drinking long term. Naltrexone can be taken as a tablet or injectable. As with the other medications, evidence proves that it is most effective when the client is also participating in behavioral therapy. 


Acamprosate is another medication that is offered in MAT alcohol use disorder programs. It is considered the most effective and beneficial option for those who have fully completed the detoxification process. The medication is given after five days of complete abstinence and reaches its full effectiveness over the course of the next week. Acamprosate comes in a tablet and is taken three times per day. The medication is proven to reduce cravings. Therefore, it increases a person’s ability to maintain their recovery.


MAT For Alcohol Use Disorder In Cherry Hill, NJ

At The Healing Center in Cherry Hill, NJ we offer a MAT for alcohol use disorder program. We believe that medication assisted treatment can help our clients through the difficult period of early sobriety. Our program involves both medications and therapies in order to properly address both the psychological and physical aspects of addiction. Furthermore, we understand that addiction treatment should not be a one size fits all approach. Thus, we offer a variety of therapeutic modalities and medications within our programs.

Our clinical staff will tailor your treatment plan to suit your own personal needs and circumstances. Alcoholism is extremely difficult to conquer on your own. Thankfully, you don’t need to begin this journey by yourself. Our staff at The Healing Center is here to help you. Our MAT alcohol use disorder program is just one of the many services we offer to help you heal. If you or a loved one is struggling with alcoholism, then call our admissions team today. We can help you get your life back on track.