Medication Management

At Alta Loma, we specialize in treating residents with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. This allows us to recognize the role that medications have not only in the recovery process but in our resident’s everyday lives. We know that finding and managing the right psychiatric drugs for mental health conditions like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia is crucial to living a balanced, healthy life, and that neglecting to take or safeguard prescribed medication could jeopardize the recovery process and lead to a relapse of symptoms. To help residents transition toward independent living, we teach them how to manage their medications responsibly and develop strategies for successful treatment adherence.

To accomplish this, residents meet regularly with clinicians and psychiatrists to address their medication and mental health needs, as well as to discuss any concerns they may have. We also have a nutritionist on staff to help residents establish an eating plan aimed at managing common side effects such as weight gain and constipation. As residents progress through the Alta Loma continuum of care, they will gain the tools and skills they need to implement the recovery strategies they have learned and successfully manage all aspects of their daily lives. Our goal is to help residents transition into independent living and integrate back into society to live their fullest life possible.

How Medications Help in Recovery

At Alta Loma, we support the use of medications throughout the rehabilitation process. Medications are used in combination with other services such as counseling, behavioral therapy and 12-step support to provide a holistic approach to mental health and substance use treatment. At Alta Loma, we recognize the role of medications in helping residents achieve and maintain their recovery.

The most well-known example of medication use in recovery is opiate replacement therapy, which is the use of methadone, naltrexone or suboxone to help those struggling with an opioid addiction manage withdrawal symptoms, reduce cravings and lower the risk of relapse. Known as medication-assisted treatment (MAT), these drugs bind to the same receptors and block the effects of other opioids, allowing a resident to focus on recovery and function normally without feeling as if they are under the influence. Over time, this can help rewire the brain and diminish the reward pathways that are so strongly linked to an individual’s substance of choice.

Medication-assisted treatment is also useful for those struggling with mood and thought disorders. Mental illness is a multifaceted condition with distressing symptoms that may include scattered thoughts, mood swings, paranoia, substance abuse and hallucinations depending on the diagnosis, and getting these under control quickly is essential to achieving lasting recovery. When an individual’s mental health needs aren’t adequately treated with the right combination of therapy and medication, they are less likely to be successful in recovery and cope with daily life.

Aspects of treatment such as medication management are crucial for helping residents with co-occurring disorders find the right balance and begin to heal. At Alta Loma, we specialize in treating mental health and co-occurring substance use disorders with integrated treatments that address the resident as a whole, facilitating a greater degree of emotional and psychological stability. By using medication-assisted treatment and teaching proper medication management skills, we help residents better control their mental health symptoms so they can focus on achieving sustainable recovery.

Medication-Assisted Treatment and Mental Health

Medications in treatment can be a short-term or long-term solution for helping a resident maintain their mental health and reduce the risk of symptom relapse. When it comes to mental illness, medications are an important and effective aspect of the treatment process for bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and more. If left untreated, mental health disorders and the accompanying symptoms can be very disruptive to one’s health and wellness. Due to this, controlling the symptoms of a resident’s mental illness is an essential part of transitioning into recovery and effectively beginning the process of rehabilitation therapy. At Alta Loma, our certified therapists and treatment specialists work closely with residents to administer effective medication-assisted treatment when appropriate to alleviate the symptoms of mental health disorders. Our collaborative team develops individualized treatment plans for each resident, which may or may not include medications such as:

  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Antipsychotics
  • Beta-blockers
  • Sleep aids
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Opioid replacement therapy

The type of medications used varies for each resident depending on their treatment plan, their mental health disorder and whether they have a co-occurring substance use disorder. Each medication we use targets a specific concern and are used to stabilize mood, reduce cravings and normalize functioning so our residents can focus on the recovery process. Our clinical experts carefully monitor the use of all medications throughout treatment, which are administered in conjunction with other therapies to help our residents get the most out of their time with us.

How Does Medication-Assisted Treatment Work in Addiction?

Medication-assisted treatment is also an important aspect of addiction recovery. When a substance is used for an extended period of time, the body and brain become dependent on it. Addiction rewires the brain and associates dopamine-releasing drugs with pleasure and reward, providing motivation to seek them out and repeat the experience. When an individual enters addiction treatment and commits to sobriety, they often experience unpleasant side effects and symptoms as drugs and alcohol leave the body. This process is known as detox and withdrawal, often regarded as the biggest challenge for residents in early recovery. For residents who have completed detox, cravings or triggers often linger that can threaten one’s intentions for abstinence.

Medication-assisted treatment works by satisfying the chemical needs of the brain without the use of illicit substances, reducing cravings and making it easier to cope with stressors or triggers. This allows residents to take a step back from their substance use and reach a place of grounded stability without experiencing unpleasant side effects. From there, residents can begin to manage their addiction and focus on healing to achieve long-term sobriety. When used as a part of a broader recovery plan, MAT has been shown to improve treatment outcomes, minimize relapses, eliminate withdrawal and reduce cravings. For dual diagnosis residents, medications can also be used to treat the symptoms of mental health disorders, improving overall health, quality of life and mood. Managing the mental health needs of residents with co-occurring disorders is crucial to their success in treatment and ensures that they receive the integrated, comprehensive care needed for deep and lasting recovery.

Medication-Assisted Treatment

Recovery isn’t an event; it’s a lifelong process. It’s a process in which slow, steady steps build a strong foundation for a life free of substance use. For many residents, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) can be crucial to this process. At Alta Loma, MAT is a part of our integrated, comprehensive care which provides the necessary resources for residents to heal from addiction. Our goal is to treat the physical, mental and emotional needs of our residents so they can find the stability they need to work towards recovery and independent living.

Contact Alta Loma

Healing on Your Terms

If you or someone you care about is struggling with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders, a collaborative group of clinicians at Alta Loma in Georgetown, Texas, is ready to create an individualized recovery program just for you. With comprehensive care that integrates mental health, substance use and medication-assisted treatments, our experienced team can help you rediscover life without drugs or alcohol. Contact or call one of our friendly representatives today at 866.457.3843 to find out how Alta Loma can help.