Mari, Newark clinic client
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the standard of care for treating addiction to heroin and prescription painkillers. It has been proven to reduce overdose deaths, relapse rates, the spread of infectious diseases, and criminal activity.
Connections provides MAT on an outpatient basis to more than 1,500 people at clinics in Newark, Smyrna, Dover, Harrington and Millsboro. Our treatment program includes individual counseling and group therapy sessions as well as family therapy and intensive outpatient treatment for those who need it.
We offer ambulatory withdrawal and maintenance therapy with methadone or buprenorphine, also known as Suboxone. The drugs are long-acting, so they’re only needed once a day. They also don’t produce the euphoric high that heroin and prescription painkillers do.
Methadone studies have shown that a slow rate of withdrawal from the drug can result in a greater percentage of clients in treatment to achieve abstinence from the drugs they were once abusing. The drug also stops cravings, which is a leading cause of relapse.
Lamont Baker, Newark site director
Combined with counseling, methadone maintenance is the most effective treatment for heroin and opioid dependence.
MAT is a particularly important form of treatment for pregnant women. It is much safer for the mother and the baby to be on methadone or buprenorphine than to be addicted to heroin.
We also use Naltrexone, an opioid blocker. The injectable form of the drug, known as Vivitrol, is time-released over a four-week period that blocks the effects of heroin and prescription painkillers as well as alcohol. Vivitrol is a good alternative for individuals who have withdrawn from heroin or other opioids and who do not want to go on maintenance therapy, but need help to avoid cravings and other temptations to use.