MAYVILLE, N.Y.:-- One of the many treatment options available in Chautauqua County for those struggling with opioid addiction or alcohol addiction is Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT). MAT is the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a whole-patient approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. Research shows that when treating substance-use disorders, a combination of medication and behavioral therapies is most successful.
MAT is used for the treatment of addiction to alcohol and opioids such as heroin and prescription pain relievers that contain opiates. The prescribed MAT medication operates to normalize brain chemistry, block the euphoric effects of alcohol and opioids, relieve physiological cravings, and normalize body functions without the negative effects of the abused drug.
A common misconception associated with MAT is that it substitutes one drug for another. Instead, these medications relieve the withdrawal symptoms and psychological cravings that are caused by chemical imbalances in the body. MAT programs provide a safe and controlled level of medication to overcome the use of an abused opioid or alcohol. Research has shown that when provided at the proper dose, medications used in MAT have no adverse effects on a person’s intelligence, mental capability, physical functioning, or employability.
There are three drugs prescribed for the treatment of opioid dependence:
- Methadone reduces opioid cravings and withdrawal and can blunt the effects of other opioids. Patients who take methadone must receive the medication daily under the supervision of a physician at a clinic. Unintentional overdose is possible if patients do not take methadone as prescribed.
- Buprenorphine (Suboxone, Sublocade) reduces opioid craving and withdrawal and can blunt the effects of other opioids. Unlike methadone treatment, which must be performed in a highly structured clinic, buprenorphine is the first medication to treat opioid dependency that is permitted to be prescribed or dispensed in physician offices. Depending on what type of medication is prescribed, many patients may not have to take it every day.
- Naltrexone (Vivitrol, ReVia, Depade) works differently than methadone and buprenorphine in the treatment of opioid dependency. If a person using naltrexone relapses and uses the abused drug, naltrexone blocks the euphoric and sedative effects of the abused drug and prevents feelings of euphoria. The pill form of naltrexone (ReVia, Depade) can be taken once a day. The injectable extended-release form of the drug (Vivitrol) is administered in an intramuscular shot once a month
All three of these treatments have been demonstrated to be safe and effective in combination with counseling and psychosocial support. Due to the chronic nature of opioid use disorder, the need for continuing MAT should be re‐evaluated periodically. There is no maximum recommended duration of maintenance treatment, and for some patients, treatment may continue indefinitely.
To access MAT, please call a local provider to make an appointment. At this time, most providers are providing telehealth appointments, which are completed over the phone or internet meeting platform. The first appointment with a clinician is all about gathering as much information as possible during a patient assessment to make the best decision for treatment.
“Our County and our community partners have worked to build a comprehensive system of services and supports to meet the needs of those struggling with addiction,” said Pat Brinkman, Chautauqua County Director of Community Mental Hygiene Services. “Providers within Chautauqua County offer both Vivitrol and Suboxone, two highly effective medications. Vivitrol and Suboxone are the most frequently utilized medications to treat opioid addiction. I want every resident struggling with opioid addiction to hear this message. Addiction treatment is available. Medication-assisted treatment is available now. There are no waiting lists. You could be evaluated and started on medication today. Go to combataddictionCHQ.com for a list of providers and contact information. Treatment is available, and recovery is possible. Now is the time.”
Please reach out to one of the following Chautauqua County providers to learn more or to make an appointment to start Medication-Assisted Treatment for addiction:
The Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Clinics are providing telemedicine appointments Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Clinics are open for crisis appointments and other special circumstances Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The clinics are located at 200 E. Third St., 5th Floor, in Jamestown and 319 Central Ave. in Dunkirk. For more information, please call (716) 661-8330 or (716) 363-3550.
UPMC Chautauqua Outpatient Mental Health and Outpatient Chemical Dependency clinics are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Its clinic at the Jones Health Center, 51 Glasgow Ave. in Jamestown, can be reached at (716) 664-8641 and its clinic at the Dunkirk Health Center, 306 Central Ave. in Dunkirk, can be reached at (716) 363-0018.
TLC Health operates clinics at 33 N. Main St. in Cassadaga and at 7020 Erie Rd. in Derby, just outside of Chautauqua County. Its Cassadaga Clinic can be reached Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at (716) 595-3355. Its Derby Clinic can also be reached at (716) 947-0316.
The Resource Center (TRC) provides one-to-one counseling, group counseling, and medication-assisted treatment. TRC office at 186 Lakeshore Dr. W. in Dunkirk is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and its office at 880 E. 2nd St. in Jamestown is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (716) 366-7660 or (716) 661-1447.
The Chautauqua Center provides behavioral health services with individual and group counseling and treatment for substance use disorder, including medication-assisted therapy. The Chautauqua Center has offices at 107 Institute St. in Jamestown and 319 Central Ave. in Dunkirk. For more information, please call (716) 484-4334 or (716) 363-6050.
To find out more about Medication-Assisted Treatment, please visit samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment.
For more information about local resources and treatment providers, please visit www.CombatAddictionCHQ.com.