Medically-Monitored Detox Vs MAT

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When stepping into the world of recovery, one of the biggest barriers and causes for relapse is the fear of experiencing withdrawal symptoms. But what are the pros and cons of medically-monitored detox vs MAT? While both forms are beneficial for recovery, there are some differences between the two.

Medically-monitored detox is a process beneficial for anyone struggling to clear the mind, and medication-assisted treatment (MAT) can be beneficial to anyone. It can help those who struggle with staying away from the substances that led them down the path to begin with. 

What is Medically-Monitored Detox?

Medically-monitored detox is a process necessary for clearing the mind and body of their dependence on toxic substances. It can help to create a new and fresh start for those who need it and begin recovery with a clean slate.

During this process, professionals address and manage the patient’s withdrawal symptoms. The detox process is the first step of recovery, and there are three vital components; evaluation, stabilization, and readiness to enter a formal rehab program.


This part of the medically-monitored detox process is where medical and mental health professionals formally evaluate a person’s needs. During the evaluation or assessment, there may be in-depth questioning on the substances being used, mental health conditions, and any health concerns that could be underlying.


During this part, a person undergoes the detox process and medications are used to manage these symptoms while simultaneously being monitored by medical and mental health professionals to adjust and implement new medications and activities to manage the symptoms. During stabilization, a client is supported and guided as they go through the process of detoxification.


This portion of detox is used to help a person become ready to enter into a formal rehabilitation program. Detox is the first step, and is meant to clean the body of any substances it may be dependent upon. Formal rehab programs are where behavioral and mental health are properly addressed and worked through.

During detox, the importance of a full continuum of care is stressed and encouraged. This ensures anyone going through the process has the best chance for success. Medically-monitored detox vs MAT similarities include that detox can be a necessary first step to properly entering into a treatment process, and having successful recovery from alcohol and drug addiction.

How Does Medication-Assisted Treatment Work?

Medication-assisted treatment consists of FDA-approved medication, used as directed, along with behavioral therapies in order to help those who struggle with substances to create a foundation, free from substances, and find recovery.

In a MAT program, medications are used in order to manage withdrawal symptoms from drugs and alcohol, as well as help to alleviate the mental cravings associated with addiction to these substances. Behavioral therapies are used as means of curbing the thought and behavioral processes that lead to using drugs and alcohol.

Benefits of Medically-Monitored Detox and MAT

The benefits of medically-monitored detox and MAT are substantial. Detox provides a safe environment for withdrawal symptoms to be monitored and addressed as they arise so that the person has a better chance of maintaining a drug and alcohol-free lifestyle once the process is complete.

MAT programs offer a safety net once the substances are removed from the body. MAT programs are intended to manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings, as well as block the effects of these substances where they to be used. Medically-monitored detox vs MAT both have benefits that could help someone find life in recovery.

Similarities of Medically-Monitored Detox and MAT

The similarities between medically-monitored detox and MAT include the fact medical professionals both FDA-approved medications in order to manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Some of the withdrawal symptoms associated with drugs and alcohol can include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • High or low blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Diarrhea
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle aches and cramping

Being able to manage these symptoms can help to create a positive experience so that someone is more likely to remain clean and sober.

Differences between Medically-Monitored Detox and MAT

The main difference between medically-monitored detox vs MAT is when and how professionals use the medications. The FDA-approved medications used in a detox process manage the symptoms in order to clear the mind and body. this prepares someone for the next step.

In a MAT program, the medications block the feeling the substances provide. This controls and manages urges and cravings, and provides positive support. It also offers behavioral therapies used to change thoughts and behaviors. Medically-monitored detox vs MAT differences also includes the length of time each someone needs it. MAT is a longer term than traditional detox, since it’s a starting point for recovery.

Get the Recovery You Deserve in Southern California

Struggling with substances can be life-altering. Having a dependence in order to feel normal is a struggle that can create a hard-to-break cycle. If you or a loved one struggle with addiction, recovery is possible. There is hope for a better life and future, and Ocean Hills can help! We offer a spectrum of care to help those who need it. Thus, they can begin living life again free from the chains of addiction.

Call us today and begin the next chapter.

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