2.1 million people struggle with opioid use disorder (OUD) annually. In addition, almost eight times as many people — 14.6 million Americans — live with alcohol use disorder (AUD). These numbers are worrying.
Brain imaging reveals that drug misuse can affect a person’s ability to make decisions and maintain relationships. So what starts as an occasional binge — or a coping mechanism — can take over someone’s life.
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is an FDA-approved program that can help individuals with substance use disorders.
Here we discuss whether naltrexone — a part of MAT — is addictive. Read on to learn more.
What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) combines drugs with counseling and behavioral therapies to treat substance misuse.
Does Medication-Assisted Treatment Work?
MAT is a proven treatment. Studies show that it enables up to 70% of individuals to overcome substance misuse.
It is effective in all age groups. Young adults report a 90% increase in their ability to refuse drugs. This is because of an increase in their relapse-prevention skills. As a result, 52% of treated users can abstain from drugs.
Is Medication-Assisted Treatment Addictive?
Whether MAT is addictive depends on the medications used. For instance, FDA-approved medications for opioid use disorder include:
- Methadone — a full opioid agonist — with a high potential for misuse and addiction.
- Buprenorphine — a partial opioid antagonist — with mild addictive potential.
- Naltrexone — an opioid antagonist — with no addictive potential.
Similarly, FDA-approved medications for alcohol use disorder include acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone. Neither of these is addictive.