Medically Assisted Treatment

August 5,2002

Medications are a very common part of addiction treatment. However, many people are unaware that there are medications available for their substance use disorder. Dr. Ashish Bhatt, MD discusses the use of medications during addiction treatment, and how medically assisted treatment can help maintain sobriety.


Dr. Bhatt: Hi, this is Dr. Bhatt, the medical content director at I want to take a moment from Straight Talk With The Doc to talk a little bit about medications and how medications can help in the treatment of addiction. Medications have been used for many, many decades to help people come off of drugs and alcohol. Often times, many people who suffer with addiction have underlying mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, or trauma, so there’s often medications involved in that.

The best way to address addiction, often, is a combination of biological modalities, psychotherapeutic modalities, such as therapy- individual, group, and family therapies. But, medications need to be looked at if this is an option for you. Many people don’t understand that there are medicines available to help people who suffer from different types of drug use disorders. The food and drug administration has approved medications for the use of treating substance use disorders such as alcohol and opioid use disorders. These medications can help decrease cravings, can help obtain abstinence, and help maintain sobriety for many people who use this correctly. The key is to get a proper evaluation and a proper diagnosis to see what type of medication could be right for you or your loved one.

Detoxification is an opportunity where medications can help ease the withdrawal symptoms coming off of drugs that have caused physical dependency. Antidepressants, antianxiety, are medications that can help correct or at least treat underlying mental health issues and help reduce symptoms that might be causing somebody to use drugs or alcohol to help cope. And anybody who is suffering possibly with a pain condition might get appropriate non-narcotic pain medications that could help any physical elements that might be leading somebody to use alcohol or drugs to help deal with their pain.

The bottom line is, there are options out there, so people should speak with their medical provider to see if there are appropriate medications to help treat their underlying issues that might be leading to their drug abuse.