Medication-Assisted Treatment for Substance Use

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a whole-patient approach to the treatment of substance use disorders.

Research shows that when treating substance use disorders, a combination of medication and behavioral therapies is most successful. MAT is clinically driven with a focus on individualized patient care.

MAT has proven to be effective and to significantly reduce the need for inpatient detoxification services for these individuals. MAT provides a more comprehensive, individually tailored program of medication and behavioral therapy that addresses the needs of most patients.

(SAMHSA, 2020)

MAT Medications

The FDA has approved various medications to treat alcohol and opioid use disorders.

Family Recovery Center currently offers the following medications:

  • Suboxone (Buprenorphine)
  • Vivitrol (Naltrexone)
  • Sublocade (Buprenorphine extended release)

MAT Effectiveness

When combined with behavioral therapy, MAT has been shown to:

  • Improve patient survival
  • Increase retention in treatment
  • Decrease illicit opiate use and other criminal activity among people with substance use disorders
  • Improve birth outcomes among women who have substance use disorders and are pregnant
  • Increase patients’ ability to gain and maintain employment
  • Decrease a person’s risk of contracting HIV or hepatitis C by reducing the potential for relapse

(SAMHSA, 2020)

Medication-Assisted Treatment Myths

MAT just trades one addiction for another.
False. MAT helps individuals recover and live productive lives.

MAT is only for the short-term.
False. Research shows that people on MAT for at least 1-2 years have the greatest success rates.

There is no proof that MAT is better than abstinence.
False. MAT is evidence-based and is the recommended course of treatment for opioid addiction.

My condition is not severe enough to require MAT.
MAT utilizes various medication options that can be tailored to fit the unique needs of each person.

MAT will only disrupt and hinder a person in the recovery process.
MAT has been shown to improve quality of life, level of functioning, and the ability to handle stress. Above all, MAT helps reduce the chances of death while people begin the recovery process.

(National Council For Behavioral Health, 2016)