Can You Build a Tolerance to Medication Assisted Treatment Drugs?

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Can You Build a Tolerance to Medication Assisted Treatment Drugs?


Making the decision and commitment to seek treatment is life changing. You may have many questions about where to go, how long to go, and what treatment will be like. If you are eligible for medication assisted treatment, you may wonder if you can build a tolerance to the medications.


Medication assisted treatment, or MAT, is designed to lessen the withdrawal symptoms while detoxing off certain drugs or alcohol. Some withdrawal symptoms can be life threatening and the medications can increase safety while withdrawing. Many abused drugs also have severe psychological withdrawal symptoms and medications can help ease the individual into recovery.
There has been extensive research to indicate that MAT, paired with counseling, is a successful route to treating substance abuse disorders. The type of drug addiction and severity of the abuse will dictate the prescription. We know this approach improves the chances of long term sobriety.


Currently, medication assisted treatment is most commonly used for opiate and alcohol dependence. The two most commonly prescribed medications for opiate abuse are methadone and buprenorphine (Suboxone). Two medications for the treatment of alcohol dependence are disulfiram (Antabuse) and naltrexone.


You can build a tolerance to some medication assisted treatment. Methadone reduces the symptoms of opiate withdrawal and lessons cravings, but tolerance occurs. Tolerance means you need more of the drug to create the same effect. Although methadone does not produce the same high as opioids, there is abuse potential. You may have withdrawal symptoms when going off Methadone, but they are not as severe other opiates.


Buprenorphine is a newer opiate treatment medication that has a lesser risk of abuse due to the differing chemical structure of the drug. Both drugs have the potential for tolerance which means the potential for withdrawals. Buprenorphine has a ceiling on the impact the drug can have which means increased doses do not increase affects. While tolerance, abuse, and withdrawals are possible, it is less than Methadone.


While tolerance is possible, there is research showing the use of medication treatment assistance for opiate users reduces mortality rates by ½. The drugs stop withdrawal symptoms. If done in a safe medical setting the medications do not produce the high. This reduces the user’s risk of relapse as they no longer have to seek drugs to avoid the withdrawal symptoms. Call now to find out of medication assisted treatment is right for you.


At Simple Recovery, we maintain a simple goal for our residents: learn how to live sober. Our multi-phase program is structured to rebuild life for each resident through clinical therapy, holistic recovery, and integration to either school, work, or volunteering. For information on our programs of treatment for addiction and dual diagnosis, call us today: 888-743-0490