Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the FAQ page for Austin Addiction Medicine Associates. Here, you’ll find answers to common questions about our practice, including our approach to addiction medicine, the range of services offered, and our philosophy in treating various substance dependencies and related mental health conditions. This page aims to provide insights and guidance for those seeking help, as well as their families, in navigating the complexities of addiction treatment and recovery.  Please contact us if you have any further questions.

1) What is addiction medicine?

Addiction medicine is a medical specialty that focuses on the treatment and management of addiction, encompassing a range of substance-related disorders. This field integrates several aspects of medicine, including psychiatry, psychology, and pharmacology, to address the complex nature of addiction. Practitioners in this field, such as Dr. Masters are skilled in the treatment of patients with addiction, often employing a combination of medication-assisted treatments, counseling, and behavioral therapies. Their aim is to help individuals overcome dependency on substances such as alcohol, prescription drugs, and illicit drugs, and to support them in achieving long-term recovery. Addiction medicine also involves preventative measures and the management of health issues associated with substance abuse.

2) What is Dr. Masters' approach to addiction medicine?

At Austin Addiction Medicine Associates, Dr. Matthew Masters offers a comprehensive range of treatments for various addictions and related disorders. His approach includes using Suboxone for opioid dependence, employing medication and support for alcohol dependence, and addressing mental health conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety with specific medications. He also takes a tailored approach to treating ADHD, avoiding a one-size-fits-all methodology. Each treatment plan is customized to the individual’s needs, focusing on effective and sustainable recovery.

3) How do I know if I need help with an addiction?

Recognizing the need for help with addiction often involves observing changes in behavior, physical health, and emotional wellbeing. Key indicators include a growing dependence on substances, difficulty in controlling use, neglecting responsibilities, and experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not using. Additionally, continued use despite awareness of negative consequences, increased tolerance, and a preoccupation with obtaining and using the substance are also warning signs. If these patterns are disrupting personal, professional, or social life, it may be time to seek professional help for addiction.

4) How does Suboxone work to treat opioid addiction?

Suboxone, used in treating opioid addiction, combines buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, reduces withdrawal symptoms and cravings by mildly stimulating opioid receptors. Naloxone, an opioid antagonist, discourages misuse by causing withdrawal symptoms if Suboxone is injected. This combination effectively lowers the potential for misuse and overdose, aiding in the transition to a stable, addiction-free state. Suboxone’s action in reducing withdrawal and cravings makes it an essential part of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction.

5) Can additiction be cured?

Addiction is generally considered a chronic, relapsing disorder rather than a condition that can be completely cured. Effective treatment enables individuals to manage their addiction and improve quality of life, but it often requires ongoing effort and support. Treatment approaches vary and can include a combination of medication, therapy, lifestyle changes, and support groups. The concept of being “cured” is not typically applicable in the traditional sense, as the risk of relapse remains; however, many many of Dr. Masters’ patients achieve long-term recovery and lead fulfilling lives while actively managing their addiction.

6) What are the benefits of outpatient treatment for addiction?

Outpatient treatment allows individuals to maintain their daily routines, including work and family responsibilities, while receiving treatment. This flexibility can be especially beneficial for those who need a support system while managing their recovery. Outpatient care is often more cost-effective than inpatient treatment and provides a level of continuity and integration with everyday life. It also encourages patients to practice coping strategies in real-world environments. Additionally, it offers ongoing support and therapy, crucial for long-term recovery.

7) Does Austin Addiction Medicine Associates offer telemedicine services?

Yes, AAMA provides telemedicine services, allowing patients to receive medical care remotely. This option is ideal for those who prefer or require consultations from the comfort of their own home or are unable to visit the clinic in person. Telemedicine sessions with AAMA offer the same level of professional care as in-person visits, ensuring that patients have convenient and flexible access to addiction treatment and support.

8) How long does outpatient addiction treatment typically last?

The duration of outpatient treatment for addiction can vary widely depending on the individual’s specific needs and the severity of their addiction. Generally, outpatient programs can range from several weeks to several months. Some programs may last for a shorter period, such as 30 days, while others could extend to a year or more. The length of treatment is often tailored to the individual, with continuous assessment and adjustment as needed to ensure the most effective recovery process. Regular review of treatment progress allows for modifications to suit changing needs over time.

9) How much does treatment cost?

For the initial evaluation with Dr. Masters, a one-hour session is priced at $300.00. To ensure commitment and attendance, a third of the fee is requested upfront. This prepayment serves as a motivational factor for patients to honor their appointment, reflecting an understanding of the challenges in the addict/alcoholic population. In case of a no-show, the prepaid amount acts as a non-refundable reservation fee, reinforcing the importance of commitment to the treatment journey. Follow-up appointments are typically ½ hour and are $150.00.  These may occur monthly to begin with, but as the patient heals they are less frequent and may only occur quarterly.

11) Does Austin Addiction Medicine Associates accept insurance?

While AAMA does not accept insurance, this approach can offer benefits. It allows for a more personalized and flexible treatment plan, tailored specifically to individual needs without the constraints often imposed by insurance protocols. This can lead to more focused and efficient care. Additionally, investing in such treatment is often cost-effective in the long term when considering the financial, health, and social costs associated with ongoing addiction. The upfront expenses can be outweighed by the long-term benefits of achieving and maintaining sobriety.  Though AAMA is out of network for insurance, you can be given a receipt to file with your insurance company for reimbursement.  Please keep in mind that filing with your insurance will alert them to your diagnosis.  Many patients prefer to keep their diagnosis private.

12) What should I expect during my first appointment?

During your first appointment with Dr. Matthew Masters, you can expect an initial assessment or consultation. This usually involves discussing your medical history, current health status, and specific challenges related to addiction or mental health. Dr. Masters may ask about your goals for treatment and any previous treatments you’ve undergone. The appointment is likely to include a discussion about treatment options and approaches that would be most suitable for your situation. It’s an opportunity to ask questions and establish a plan for your care.