Mental health and substance abuse disorders are prevalent conditions in the United States, as well as all over the world. According to the National Institute on Mental Health, approximately one in five American adults experience mental illness yearly. Additionally, an estimated 19.3 million Americans were struggling with substance abuse in 2019 alone. Thankfully, several treatment options are available. This may include medication-assisted therapy and traditional therapy.
In this blog post, we’ll compare these two types of therapy. This article aims to guide you to determine which one is right for you.
Medication-assisted therapy (MAT) is a form of a treatment plan. It involves using medication to treat substance abuse disorders in conjunction with counseling and behavioral therapies. MAT is commonly used to treat addiction to substances such as opioids, alcohol, and nicotine. MAT has become accessible through online apps like Confidant Health. The Confidant Health app provides access to expert help for MAT. This app is confidential and discreet, so you can get the support you need without any stress.
Moreover, the medication used in MAT works to reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms. On the other hand, the therapies help address the emotional and mental challenges that people with opioid use disorder suffer with. This treatment makes it easier for individuals to stop using drugs or alcohol and cope effectively.
One of the primary benefits of MAT is its effectiveness. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), MAT can increase an individual’s chances of long-term recovery. MAT can also help reduce the risk of overdose, which is particularly important for individuals with opioid use disorders.
Despite its effectiveness, MAT is not without cons. Some individuals may experience side effects or adverse reactions from the medication. Common side effects include nausea, constipation, or dizziness. Some people may become dependent on the medication used in MAT, which can lead to withdrawal symptoms. Lastly, others may find it challenging to open up during therapies.
Traditional therapy, also known as talk therapy, is a treatment option involving consulting a mental health professional. There are several types of traditional therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral, psychodynamic, and interpersonal therapy. Traditional therapy can help treat various mental health conditions.
Traditional therapy is known for its versatility, making this its main benefit. It can be tailored to an individual’s specific needs. It can also be used to treat a wide range of mental health conditions, such as depression, PTSD, and more. Additionally, traditional therapy can help individuals develop coping skills and strategies to manage their symptoms independently.
However, traditional therapy may not be effective for everyone. Some individuals may find opening up to a mental health professional challenging. On the other hand, some may not respond well to talk therapy alone.
Critical Differences Between Medication-Assisted Therapy and Traditional Therapy
Many people need clarification on the differences between medication-assisted therapy and traditional therapy. To understand the differences, we’ll first need to look at what each therapy addresses.
Medication-assisted therapy is a combination of medication and therapies addressing physical, mental, and emotional needs. It is an option for those who suffer from unresponsive mental health conditions from traditional therapies alone.
On the other hand, traditional therapy only involves talking to a mental health professional about your condition. This approach focuses solely on addressing the mental and emotional aspects of your condition without addressing physical needs.
Discussing this option with a mental health professional is essential. If you’re considering a combination of therapies, talk to your doctor. They can help you determine if a combination of therapies is right for you. Furthermore, they will help develop a treatment plan that meets your needs.
Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Therapy
Before choosing between medication-assisted therapy and traditional therapy, there are several factors to consider.
First, individuals need to consider the specific condition being treated. For example, medication-assisted therapy may be more effective for substance abuse disorders. Whereas traditional therapy may be more effective for certain mental health conditions.
Next factor to consider is a personal preference. Some individuals may prefer medication-assisted therapy. As discussed, MAT offers a holistic approach. However, others may prefer traditional therapy because it allows them to discuss issues and develop coping skills.
Lastly, it’s also important to consider the potential side effects and risks associated with each type of treatment option. As such, medication-assisted therapy may cause minor side effects. Traditional therapy, on the other hand, may not have any physical side effects but can be emotionally challenging for some people.
Choosing the Right Therapy: Considerations and Next Steps
In conclusion, medication-assisted therapy and traditional therapy are two effective options for mental health and substance abuse disorders. Both of these treatment approaches have their own set of advantages and drawbacks. When it comes to choosing between them, individuals need to consider many factors.
Remember, MAT is not a one-size-fits-all solution for mental health and substance abuse treatment. And nothing exists as such. It is advised to work with a mental health professional and consider all the available options. Through this, individuals may develop a treatment plan that meets their specific needs and helps them achieve long-term recovery.