Medication Assisted Treatment
What is medication-assisted treatment (MAT)?
Substance use disorders affect people from all walks of life and all age groups. These illnesses are common, recurrent, and often serious, but they are treatable and many people do recover. Research shows that a combination of medication and therapy can successfully treat substance use disorders. For some people, MAT can help sustain recovery.
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. Medications used in MAT are approved by the Food and Drug Administration and MAT programs are tailored to meet each patient’s needs. Third Street Family Health Services can provide MAT to adults, pregnant women, and youth.
How does MAT work?
MAT is primarily used for the treatment of addiction to opioids such as heroin and prescription pain relievers that contain opiates. However, MAT can also be used for the treatment of alcoholism and misuse of other substances.
The prescribed medication operates to normalize brain chemistry, block the euphoric effects of alcohol and opioids, relieve physiological cravings, and normalize body functions without the negative and euphoric effects of the substance used.
What are the benefits of MAT?
The ultimate goal of MAT is full recovery. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), research also shows that MAT medications and therapies can contribute to lowering a person’s risk of contracting HIV or hepatitis C by reducing the potential for relapse. Other benefits include:
- Improved patient survival
- Greater retention in treatment
- Decreased illicit opiate use and other criminal activity among people with substance use disorders
- Increased ability to gain and maintain employment
- Improved birth outcomes among women who have substance use disorders and are pregnant