Integrated MAT

Quitting Cold Turkey and Integrated MAT

Quitting Cold Turkey and Integrated MAT

Quitting cold turkey and Integrated MAT

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is recommended by the United States Department of Health & Human Services – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)1. Integrated MAT combines FDA-approved medications and mental health services like counseling and behavioral therapies. This holistic approach is quite the controversial topic but has proven to be a safe alternative to overcoming an addiction “cold turkey”. Integrated MAT begins with medications to help a person detoxify from a substance ultimately leading to the end goal of total sobriety. SAMHSA reports that MAT programs are promising treatment modalities, by effectively improving quality of life and reducing the risk of relapse & death for those afflicted2.

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Why is it so controversial?

One of the big reasons people are opposed to Medication Assisted Treatment is that, despite it’s efficacy, the evidence-based practice is sometimes incorrectly viewed as the act of replacing one drug with another. Scientific evidence supports the understanding that MAT, when combined with behavioral and mental health services, helps people overcome their addiction and live an independent, healthy, and sober life2. As a matter of fact, the medications used in Integrated MAT do not act as a substitute for an illicit substance, they work to reduce the overwhelming and often painful symptoms of withdrawal2. With the help of our medical professionals at the Harm Reduction Center, clients are able to receive treatment and care within a controlled and safe environment.

Abstinence, better known as quitting “cold turkey”, has worked for many. The cravings and withdrawal symptoms from substances are bearable for some, but for others abrupt abstinence is like running a marathon before learning to crawl. At the Harm Reduction Center, we recognize that quitting “cold turkey” doesn’t work for everyone on their journey to recovery. A 2015 study found that after 18 months of an MAT treatment program, over half of their cohort was completely abstinent. At 30 months the group was interviewed again and over 60% reported being abstinent3. Proving that through MAT curbing cravings of the body and blocking receptors in the mind from responding to any illicit substances, keeps painful withdrawal symptoms away and creates normalcy so that a person may become a functioning member of society while also fostering relationships. Let our team of medical professionals help you or your loved one manage and prevent some of the complications associated with drug withdrawal. Every person’s walk to a new life is different and it’s important to us that your plan works for you. Contact us now for more information on how Integrated MAT can help you or a loved one rid their life of drugs and/or alcohol.


  1. https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment
  2. https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/treatment#medications-used-in-mat
  3.  https://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/nida-notes/2015/11/long-term-follow-up-medication-assisted-treatment-addiction-to-pain-relievers-yields-cause-optimism

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