Understanding MAT

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is an effective approach to addiction treatment. As the name implies, MAT uses medications to help those struggling with addiction overcome their condition.

SAMHSA defines MAT as 'the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a "whole-patient" approach to the treatment of substance use disorders.'

Medical intervention is one aspect of a broader approach used in addiction treatment. Medication helps clients manage their problematic symptoms. As a result, they can engage more in other parts of treatment. Clients in addiction recovery programs receive intensive psychotherapy, behavioral therapy and counseling, as well as life coaching and skills building alongside medical support.

What Does MAT Treat?

MAT treats clients struggling with:

  • Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)
  • Opioid Use Disorder (OUD)

The medications used in MAT promote healthy brain chemistry by rebalancing the hormones and chemicals in the body that have become out of balance due to alcohol or opioid misuse.

Some MAT medications block the effect of alcohol and opioids on the brain. This serves to reduce cravings and helps clients get through the withdrawal stage of recovery. 

Other medications prevent the body from becoming overwhelmed by abstinence from a given drug. For example, sudden cessation of opioid use can be dangerous if the client has a physical dependence. As such, MAT would involve substituting the client's substance of misuse with a safer, controlled substance, such as methadone. 

What Are MAT Medications?

Methadone

Methadone is an effective medication used in opioid addiction treatment. Methadone treatment aims to ease the withdrawal symptoms that occur when a client stops using opioids. Withdrawal is one of the leading causes of relapse. Methadone helps clients get through withdrawal safely so they can start the rest of their recovery.

Buprenorphine

Buprenorphine reduces cravings for clients struggling with OUD. Similar to methadone, Buprenorphine is a partial agonist which means it activates the opioid receptors in the brain, but to a far lesser degree than a full agonist. Buprenorphine, unlike methadone, does not produce a high. 

Naltrexone

Naltrexone is prescribed under the brand name Vivitrol. Naltrexone reduces cravings and lowers rates of relapse in both OUD and AUD. Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist, which means it blocks the brain's opioid receptors. As such, it becomes impossible to achieve the 'high' associated with opiate-derived drugs. MAT providers use Naltrexone after the detox stage of recovery, not before or during. 

What Are the Benefits of Medication-assisted Treatment?

SAMHSA reports that MAT helps clients struggling with AUD or OUD achieve and maintain sobriety. MAT supports clients on a chemical level while also supporting their behavioral health through behavioral therapies. 

Addiction treatment programs use MAT to suit the client's needs. Some medications and therapeutic approaches will be more suitable than others, depending on a range of factors, such as your history of drug misuse and your current health status. MAT's comprehensive and tailored approach offers a range of benefits to clients. Benefits of MAT include:

  • Increased engagement in rehab and therapy
  • Increased likelihood of completing a rehab program
  • Decreased symptom severity
  • Improved chances of gaining and maintaining employment
  • Reduced risk of relapse

Why Choose MAT?

There are many reasons to opt for MAT if you are struggling with AUD or OUD. MAT is an effective treatment approach for both of these disorders. Delivered alongside counseling and behavioral therapy, MAT is an integrated approach to addiction recovery. It can increase the time a person spends in treatment, which increases their chance of recovery success. 

Some people disregard MAT as substituting one drug for another, but this is not the case. MAT is safe. While MAT involves drugs, the medications used are highly regulated at a federal level and are FDA approved. MAT promotes addiction recovery by keeping the body as safe as possible. It reduces the risk of overdose that might happen if a client were to seek illicit drugs on the street. 

MAT is an approach to addiction treatment endorsed and supported by:

A comprehensive and integrated approach to treatment, MAT is a leading treatment type for both alcohol and opioid addiction. By easing withdrawal symptoms, MAT promotes greater resilience and encourages a deeper commitment to one's recovery. 

At Enlightened Solutions, we offer our clients tools to use as they move forward in a sober lifestyle.  We focus on healing the whole person and not just treating the addiction. Enlightened Solutions is a licensed co-occurring treatment center. We treat both substance use disorders and the mental health issues that frequently accompany addiction.  Our treatment program is rooted in the 12-Step philosophy and provides each client an individualized recovery plan. At Enlightened Solutions, we offer a range of treatment modalities, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), family constellation therapy, art and music therapy, yoga and meditation, massage,reiki, acupuncture and chiropractic care, and equine-assisted therapy.  Our facility near the picturesque southern shore of New Jersey allows us to provide optimal healing and relaxation. If you struggle with addiction, or if someone close to you does, please call us at (833) 801-5483 for more information.


Choosing Faith in Moments of Crisis

Choosing Faith in Moments of Crisis

When we’ve been struggling with addiction, many of us have become all too familiar with experiencing serious crises in our lives. The ways in which we manage to handle our stress during a crisis and respond to the issues at hand can help determine whether we will make it through the crisis successfully or create more turmoil for ourselves. We experience conflicts in our relationships, spikes in our feelings of inner turmoil, and difficult situations with our health, stress levels and finances. We can feel particularly worried and even panicked when we see these issues as debilitating crises rather than as challenges to overcome.

Our default emotional response to difficulty is often one of fear. We react to our feelings of overwhelm and stress in ways that compound our fear rather than soothe it. To work with our crisis management, we can practice having faith, staying calm and being grounded.

To help calm ourselves down, we can practice deep breathing exercises. One exercise that is particularly beneficial for anxiety is 1:2 breathing where we make our exhale twice as long as our inhale. Try repeating affirmations such as, “This too shall pass. I believe in my ability to get through this. I have faith in myself. I can stay calm. I am at peace.” We can stop our anxiety from overwhelming us to the point where we feel as though we’re losing control over our thoughts and emotions. We can choose emotional responses that calm us down rather than creating extra stress for ourselves.

When we are operating out of fear, we make it harder for ourselves to think clearly and act rationally. We have harder time processing our thoughts and feelings. We can overreact, panic and become pessimistic and even paranoid. When we’re in this place, we don’t have the clarity we need in order to allow things to work out naturally for us. We’re pushing things forcefully, and this form of resistance just makes things harder for us. We’re manifesting with an energy of fear and negativity, which brings us more circumstances reflecting these things. We create more fear-inducing and negative situations to have to contend with.

The challenge for us in these moments is to focus on faith rather than fear, on hope rather than negativity. Practice visualizing the best possible outcome. Learn how to look for the silver lining in even the most challenging situations. Uncover the blessings and the lessons available to us in every moment of crisis.

We believe in treatments that connect mind, body and spirit. At Enlightened Solutions, you will benefit from the healing modalities we’ve seen be wonderfully effective in helping countless people recover. Call (833) 801-LIVE today for more information.


A Disconnected Crown Chakra

A Disconnected Crown Chakra

Our seventh chakra is the crown chakra, and it represents our connection to our higher power, to collective consciousness, to cosmic awareness. When we experience blockages in our energy, and in particular in the energy of this chakra, we can experience profound emotional crises which often contribute to our addictions and mental health issues.

Being disconnected from our higher power means we are also disconnected from our inner self. Our ability to access our innate wisdom and love, and our ability to forgive and to have compassion and empathy, can all be hindered. Essentially we are cut off from our source – our higher power, the universe, source energy – and like a body of water cut off from its source, we can become empty and lifeless. We can lose our vitality, our sense of hopefulness and purpose. We can struggle to know our place and to find our direction. We don’t feel confident in ourselves, and deep down we don’t love ourselves. We don’t have a clear sense of what purpose we’re here to serve or what path to follow in order to fulfill it.

Without a connection to our higher power, we can lose our faith – our faith in ourselves, our faith in our abilities, our faith in our capacity for healing and for overcoming challenges, our faith in humanity. We can experience serious depression and other existential crises as a result. We can turn to things outside of ourselves to fill that hole, the void within us that can only be filled by the light of inner power and self-love – things such as substances, unhealthy relationships and compulsive behaviors. When we look at the health of our emotions and our energy, we can see that our addictions very often come directly from a place of unhealed emotions and toxic energy.

An unhealthy crown chakra can make us withdraw from other people and avoid having close relationships. We might isolate ourselves and close ourselves off from intimacy and closeness. We may feel apathetic about people’s pain and lack the ability to connect with them, to feel their pain with them, and to care deeply. When we are cut off from our true selves, we tend not to treat other people with authenticity. In a sense we don’t know who we are. We’ve lost our true selves. It’s impossible to be genuine with other people when we can’t connect with ourselves in an honest way. We tend to lie to ourselves and to others, to totally disconnect, and to remove ourselves from people, and it can take years to understand why.

Healing our energy is an important part of recovery. Call (833) 801-LIVE for information on our treatment programs.


A Clouded Third Eye Chakra

A Clouded Third Eye Chakra

Our third eye chakra, also known as our pineal gland, represents the vision that goes beyond what our two seeing eyes can see – our inner vision, intuition and clear perception, as well as the ability to manifest from visualization.

When our third eye is blocked, we can have tremendous difficulty connecting to our inner selves. We can feel totally lost, uncentered and ungrounded. We can feel as though our minds, bodies and hearts are all in different places, battling different things, without a sense of connectedness between them. We can feel like we’re detached from our inner strength and power.

Our intuition is a powerful guiding force in our lives, but an unhealthy third eye can mean we have a hard time listening to it or hearing it. We may be ignoring it and prioritizing the other aspects of our lives, such as our relationships and addictions, or we may be so inundated with all of those other things that we have a hard time knowing how to decipher its messages. We may have difficulty knowing whether the voice we are hearing is our true inner voice or the voice of our fears and doubts. When we don’t follow our intuition, we become disconnected from ourselves and struggle to know our place in the world and our purpose. We don’t have a solid sense of direction and it can be a real challenge moving forward in life, looking ahead, setting goals and gaining momentum. We can greatly hold ourselves back.

A blocked third eye can show up in how we perceive things in our circumstances and relationships. We can have a very hard time seeing the big picture, gleaning the lessons and wisdom within them, and being able to process information for our own personal growth. We get caught up in the challenging details of situations which means we can miss the lessons we were meant to gain from them. As such we become distracted and confused by, sometimes even obsessed with, the things that are of less importance, the illusions, rather than being able to see through all of that and into the heart of the matter. The third eye is often associated with obsession, another form of illusion which totally takes us away from the truth. A healthy third eye enables us to go deeper into the truth with clarity and perceptiveness.

Our recovery benefits greatly from healing ourselves holistically. Call (833) 801-LIVE for more information on the treatment programs we provide.


A Blocked Throat Chakra

A Blocked Throat Chakra

Our throat chakra governs communication, and self-expression, two critically important elements of interpersonal relationships as well as our relationship with self. When our throat chakra is blocked, it can have tremendous effects on how we function in our lives.

A blocked throat chakra can be identified when we have difficulty communicating and expressing ourselves. We might have a hard time speaking to other people. We might shut down and turn to silence and avoidance during conflicts. We might have extreme anxiety about being in social situations where we have to talk. Even speaking with the people closest to us can be a huge challenge. We might have learned silence as a coping mechanism in childhood. We might have adopted this as a way to avoid problems within our families or to escape punishment. We may have had caregivers who had difficulty communicating, and we inherited this trait from them. We may have grown to develop this coping mechanism after difficult relationships or traumatic experiences.

Communication is so important for the health of our relationships. Without it, we can develop unhealthy patterns and cycles in our relationships that can contribute to their toxicity and abusiveness. We can have difficulty connecting with our partners, friends and loved ones. We might keep our distance, thinking it will keep us safe. We might isolate ourselves and have a hard time being around other people. We might not be able to handle dealing with conflict.

Self-expression is so important for the development of our inner voice and for learning to empower ourselves. When we feel silenced, whether by other people or out of our own fear, we essentially block ourselves from harnessing and conveying our inner power. We can become emotionally stunted and derail our healing process. We can hinder the progress of our growth and development.

Being able to speak our minds, voice our opinions and express our needs is of the utmost importance to our relationships, and also to our self-confidence and feelings of self-worth. It is very hard to have healthy relationships when we can’t express ourselves fully. Just as important, it’s extremely difficult to have a healthy relationship with ourselves when our self-expression is stifled. We may be living in fear of what will happen if we express ourselves, of being judged or rejected, of being hurt or abused if we are true to who we are. We may be closing off entire parts of ourselves because we are afraid to face them, because we ourselves reject them. We become disconnected from our true selves. We don’t tap into our full potential or allow ourselves or the world to see what we’re truly capable of. We keep ourselves small. We’ve learned coping mechanisms of silence that we think will protect us but which can actually harm us.

Healing ourselves from within is transformational. Call (833) 801-LIVE for more information on our holistic healing methods.


An Unhealed Heart Chakra

An Unhealed Heart Chakra

A healthy heart chakra is fundamentally important to our emotional wellbeing. Our hearts are a source of infinite wisdom and power, and when their energy is out of balance, it can wreak havoc on our lives.

Love is perhaps the most important force in our existence as human beings. An imbalanced heart chakra can cause us to have an unhealthy relationship with love – love for other people, for humanity and for ourselves. A lack of self-love is a driving force behind our depression, anxiety and other mental health issues, as well as our addictions and other self-destructive behaviors. Not loving ourselves leads to deep insecurities, feelings of low self-worth and self-esteem, and our tendencies to want to hurt ourselves and self-destruct.

When we don’t love ourselves, we don’t have the instincts for self-preservation and self-protection that enable us to move through life in healthy, confident ways. We struggle with feeling good enough. We have a hard time feeling as though we belong. We may feel out of place everywhere because within ourselves we haven’t found the nurturing emotional sanctuary we need. We may reject ourselves, in whole or in part, and we might be unnecessarily disparaging and overly critical of ourselves. We might live in so much fear that we’ve lost our connection to self and to our sense of self-love. When we don’t love ourselves, it’s practically impossible to have healthy relationships with other people and to feel love.

An unhealthy heart chakra can lead us to very toxic ways of handling our emotions. When we can’t connect with ourselves and others in loving ways, we have a hard time expressing how we feel. We suppress our emotions. We reject them. We bury them. We develop unhealthy and even abusive relationships. We have a hard time communicating our emotions, and we might struggle to feel emotionally connected to anything – our inner selves, our families and other loved ones, our purpose and direction in life. As a result, we can become increasingly lonely. We might isolate ourselves from other people out of fear of connection and rejection. Deep loneliness can cause us to lose hope. We feel can hopeless about what we’re meant to do in life, about our ability to have love in our lives, about life in general. We might feel as though our futures are bleak and the world is a cold and heartless place.

Healing from addictions means healing our hearts as well. Call (833) 801-LIVE for information on our treatment programs.


A Misaligned Solar Chakra

A Misaligned Solar Chakra

Our solar chakra, or third energy center, has to do with our will, our inner power and our confidence. Think of the sun shining brightly and all the incredible power it has. That’s exactly what a healthy solar chakra is like.

When our solar chakra is out of balance, we can find ourselves struggling with low self-esteem and feelings of low self-worth. We might speak poorly of ourselves and look down on ourselves. We might be overly critical of our mistakes, our perceived failures, even our lives as a whole. We may have a poor self-image and struggle with insecurities in the form of body image issues, eating disorders, inadequacy complexes and other emotional difficulties. We might suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.

When we don’t have a healthy relationship with ourselves and our solar chakra is imbalanced, we can struggle with our sense of identity. We may feel confused about who we are and our place in the world. We might have a hard time expressing our authority when around other people, and as a result people may take advantage of what is perceived as weakness. You may even feel weak and convey that to other people.

Without a healthy solar chakra, we often don’t have a strong sense of autonomy or independence, and we might find ourselves feeling the need to rely on other people. We might form codependent relationships where our sense of self is compromised. We may feel powerless in different areas of our lives, and we may feel like we’ve given away all our power in relationships. We might feel that we haven’t found our voice personally and professionally, both in personal relationships and in our work. This can leave us feeling profoundly unhappy and unsatisfied. We might isolate ourselves. We might struggle to set goals for ourselves. We may have a really hard time speaking up for ourselves, expressing our needs and voicing our opinions.

A healthy sense of inner power is so important for navigating the emotional challenges of life. When our solar chakra is misaligned, we can have a hard time facing our emotions. We may be afraid to confront them. We might suppress them and avoid having to deal with them. This inability to handle our emotions in healthy ways is one of most common factors in addictions. When we don’t have a strong sense of self and don’t process our emotions productively, we very often funnel them into our addictions, finding solace in substances, relationships and compulsive behaviors.

Working to heal ourselves holistically is an important part of recovery. Call (833) 801-LIVE for more information on how we can help.


An Unhealthy Sacral Chakra

An Unhealthy Sacral Chakra

Our sacral chakra is our second energy center and governs our emotions, sexuality, creativity and manifestation. These things are all related, and when we carry extreme shame or other negative emotion pertaining to one, it can greatly affect the others. For example, when we carry shame around our sexuality, we have a harder time exploring and expressing our creativity, and our power to manifest what we want in our lives is hindered. Unhealthiness in any of these areas can cause us to have an imbalanced sacral chakra.

When our sacral chakra is out of balance, we have a hard time expressing, managing and processing our emotions. We might feel overwhelmed and confused about our emotions, or we may feel numb and have difficulty feeling them at all. We might not have the skills we need to identify our emotions and to navigate them. As a result, we can become further removed from our sense of self and find it hard to connect with our intuition.

Sometimes our sacral chakra is imbalanced because we’re carrying sexual shame from a traumatic experience. Sometimes we feel ashamed because of the cultural taboos around sexuality that make us feel wrong or sinful for enjoying sex. Our sexual energy can become repressed, and we might not know how to express our sexuality in healthy ways. We might become compulsive sexually, or on the other hand we might shut down and not open ourselves up to allow ourselves to have intimate partnerships.

A misaligned sacral chakra can hinder our ability to express our creativity. Many of us have creative talents and passions that get lost or buried under the busyness of our daily lives and responsibilities. We forget the artistic things we loved to do when we were younger. We can feel disconnected from the beautiful parts of ourselves. We might become depressed from the lack of creative outlets so many of us need in order to be happy.

When we have an imbalanced sacral chakra, we can struggle to manifest because we don’t have a clear sense of who we are, how we feel, what we want in life, or the direction in which we’re headed. As a result, we are often manifesting from a place of confusion and  misguidedness, causing all kinds of things we don’t want to show up in our lives. We don’t have clarity around our emotions, our purpose or our direction, so it can be very difficult to direct our energy towards manifesting in positive ways.

Holistic healing is a major focus here at Enlightened Solutions. Call (833) 801-LIVE for more information on our treatment programs.


An Imbalanced Root Chakra

An Imbalanced Root Chakra

Our chakras, or energy centers, can develop imbalances, especially after traumatic experiences, which can contribute to our feeling depressed, anxious, insecure, unstable and off center. Imbalances in each chakra can lead to unique emotional difficulties correlated to our energy.

The root chakra is our first chakra, and it represents our sense of safety and security. It governs the energy pertaining to our survival and instincts. It is associated with how safe, secure and grounded we feel, both within ourselves and within the world around us. When our root is healthy, balanced and in alignment, we feel supported, guided and protected, both by our inner strength and our higher power. We have confidence in ourselves, in who we are and in where we’re headed. We feel sure of who we are. We feel connected to our purpose, we can set clear goals for ourselves, and we can take steps towards accomplishing them. We believe in ourselves, and we know that we are strong, powerful and capable.

When our root chakra is imbalanced, we can feel ungrounded and uncentered. We can feel as though we don’t have a strong sense of security or stability. We can feel insecure, suffer from low self-esteem and be overly anxious. We can feel lacking in emotional and financial support, not only from ourselves but also from the people around us and the world as a whole. We don’t feel self-assured or at peace within ourselves. We struggle with feeling bad about ourselves, we feel guilt easily, and we carry shame within us, often for many years.

When we don’t feel grounded within ourselves, we struggle to make decisions. We can feel as though we don’t have a clear sense of direction and aren’t connected to our inner guidance system. We often feel stuck. We can really struggle with our sense of purpose in life and have a very hard time following our intuition. We can feel lost and overwhelmed.

When our root is imbalanced, we can have a very challenging relationship with fear. While fear is a normal and natural part of life that helps to keep us safe, we can really struggle with fear when we don’t have a basis of groundedness and self-assuredness. We can suffer from phobias and debilitating insecurities. Because we don’t feel safe and secure, it can be very hard for us to express our fears and to get help facing them. We can become caught in cycles of suppressing our emotions and our fears, which can greatly contribute to depression and anxiety. We can seek solace in things that aren’t good for us, making ourselves susceptible to developing addictions.

Recovery involves the holistic healing of our minds, bodies and spirits. Enlightened Solutions is here to help. Call (833) 801-LIVE.


Encourage and Congratulate Yourself

The Importance of Chakra Healing

When working to heal from our addictions and mental health issues, sometimes we focus disproportionately on our minds, on our troublesome thoughts, on the fears and pain we mentally have a hard time letting go of. We forget that all of these things – our thoughts, our emotions, our fears and painful memories – impact our energy not just our minds. Our energy governs and affects everything in our lives. Working to heal our minds without also working to heal our energy is like trying to solve half the puzzle. The remainder of the puzzle has yet to be clarified and processed. Working with our energy centers, or chakras, is a powerful way to heal ourselves in a holistic way.

Healing our energy is of critical importance to our recovery. When our energy is healthy, we can work with our thoughts and emotions in productive ways without being derailed by the sheer power of them. We can heal from our traumatic experiences without being completely overwhelmed by them. We can process our painful memories, and although we may never forget them, we can release the hold they have over us. Our energy doesn’t have to be dictated by our pain. We can heal our energy and as a result be able to incorporate our pain into the fullness of our being, into the light and love of our inner power. This process enables us to accept our pain in order to heal it. We can allow it to be a part of what strengthens and empowers us rather than what ultimately takes us down.

When we have unhealthy energy imbalances, we suffer from debilitating anxiety, depression, panic attacks and other mental health issues. We can struggle with other related challenges such as insomnia, eating disorders, body image issues, deep insecurities, complexes, phobias and neuroses. We can live our lives in pain and fear, not knowing there is another way to live. Many of us turn to whatever we find helps ease the pain, whatever makes us feel better, distracts us and helps us to escape. For some of us this escape becomes an obsession with food and we self-destruct by overeating, bingeing and purging, or we starve ourselves, all in an attempt to forget our original pain with food as the medium. For others, the escape comes in the form of addictive substances such as drugs and alcohol. For many people, it is a compulsive behavior such as sex, gaming, gambling, or other risky behavior.

Healing from our complex emotional issues means taking inventory of how our energy has been impacted over the course of our lives. Our minds are not the only things affected by our mental health issues and addictions. They are ailments that are related to the health of our energy, emotions and spirits, just as much as they are related to the health our minds.

We’re here to help. Call (833) 801-LIVE for information on our treatment programs.