ROAD Program

THE ROAD PROGRAM

Our ROAD Program offers a combination of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) and Behavioral Health services that we believe is the recipe for recovery. Please note that patients enrolled in the ROAD program MUST be involved in both MAT and Behavioral Health services. We Adhere to the abstinence model, meaning that drug or alcohol use while enrolled in the program is prohibited.

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Medication Assisted Treatment is the use of medication and behavioral health therapy to provide a whole-patient approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. Research shows that a combination of medication and therapy yields far better outcomes than one treatment alone. This combination also helps individuals sustain recovery for the rest of their lives.

The goal of MAT is to increase longevity and quality of life. These outcomes have been well-documented in the scientific literature by a significant number of double-blind, placebo-controlled scientific studies. Some MAT medications (such as Buprenorphine) are even listed in the World Health Organizations list of essential medications. The prescribed medication normalizes brain chemistry, blocks the euphoric effects of alcohol and opioids, relieves cravings, and normalizes body functions without the negative effects of the abused drugs.

MAT for Opioid Use Disorder and Alcohol Use Disorder

At ROAD to a Better Life we use Buprenorphine and Naltrexone for MAT treatment of Opioid Use Disorder.

Buprenorphine for Opioid Use Disorder

Buprenorphine is a long acting medication that blocks the effects of other opioids. As a long acting medication, buprenorphine therapy replaces the extreme highs and lows of illegal drug use while addressing cravings and avoiding physical and psychological withdrawal. After stabilization has been reached ( 1 to 2 weeks) a patient will no longer experience euphoric effects from illicit drugs.

Buprenorphine has been found to have an anti-depressant effect. Patients who are self-medicating their depression with illicit opioids may find buprenorphine particularly useful in assisting in their recovery.

Naltrexone for Opioid Use Disorder and Alcohol Use Disorder

Naltrexone is a blocker, that, when taken in high enough doses, will block the effects of all other opioids. A patient with Naltrexone in their system will be unable to get high from the use of opioids.

Naltrexone comes in two primary forms in the United States – a pill form and injection. The pill form is generally taken on a daily basis. The injection form (Vivitrol) is a combination of Naltrexone and a substance similar to dissolvable sutures that allows the medication to be slowly released into the bloodstream. A Vivitrol injection will be effective for approximately 28 days.

Naltrexone (both pill and Vivitrol) has shown to be effective at decreasing alcohol use. The effects vary widely from person to person – some patients report total cessation of consumption while others report a decrease in use. Regardless of the degree of effects, naltrexone therapy will result in an increase in quality of life for most patients.

MAT for Other Substance Use Disorders

Opioid and Alcohol Use Disorders have shown to be the most responsive to Medication Assisted Treatment therapy.   Cocaine Use Disorder and other Substance Use Disorders have had some limited success with a variety of medications. A ROAD to a Better Life provider will discuss these medications with any patients seeking assistance with Cocaine Use Disorder or other Substance Use Disorders.

Adjunctive Medications

A ROAD to a Better Life medical provider may also wish to prescribe additional medications to assist a patient.  Initially, the medical provider may prescribe comfort medications to help a patient cope with any physical or psychological withdrawal symptoms.  A ROAD medical provider may also want to prescribe medications for co-morbid problems such as depression or anxiety or the provider may refer a patient to a psychiatrist for more focused psychiatric treatment.