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- Content Reviewed By:
- Andrew McKenna - JD
- Deputy Director of NCADD Westchester
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Alcohol and Drug Rehab Centers
Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is one component of care for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) and Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). MAT is an approved part of many patients’ opioid treatment programs (OTPs) and involves the use and integration of certain FDA-approved medications to treat cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Medication-Assisted Treatment has been dubbed the “gold standard” of addiction treatment and has proven incredibly effective when used with counseling as part of a comprehensive treatment approach. In one commonly cited study reported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), MAT was reported to aid in nearly a 40 percent reduction of opioid overdose deaths among participants. Fortunately more and more treatment centers are offering MAT as part of their overall treatment approach.
For more information visit: Adopting Evidence-Based Medically Assisted Treatments in Substance Abuse Treatment Organizations: Roles of Leadership Socialization and Funding Streams - PMC
What Medications Are Used In MAT?
Currently three medications are FDA-approved to be used in Medication-Assisted Treatment, including:
- Suboxone® (Buprenorphine and Naloxone) - Available in pill or sublingual (under-the-tongue) film form at intervals and doses specific to your care needs according to your doctor’s recommendations. Buprenorphine and Naloxone work together by offering a limited supply of opioids to curtail cravings and withdrawal symptoms, while blocking the euphoric effects of opioids. Buprenorphine and naloxone are also prescribed under the names Zubsolv® and Bunavail®. For more information visit: What is Buprenorphine? | SAMHSA
- Sublocade® - (Extended-Release Buprenorphine) - Sublocade is available by injection and offers small extended-release doses of buprenorphine to reduce opioid cravings. A single injection will typically last 26 to 30 days.
- Vivitrol® (Monthly Injectable Naltrexone) - Vivitrol® is a monthly injection of the medication Naltrexone. Vivitrol is FDA-approved to treat alcohol and opioid dependency. Vivitrol works by blocking endorphins (euphoric feelings) caused by alcohol or opioids from attaching to brain cells. For more information visit: VIVITROL.com | Alcohol Dependence
Methadone is another medication used in MAT. Traditionally Methadone is dispensed in a more controlled setting such as outpatient clinics under heightened medical supervision. These stricter controls are starting to loosen due to the gravity of the opioid overdose epidemic, and Methadone is now being prescribed as a take-home medication.
For more information visit: Methadone Take-Home Flexibilities Extension Guidance | SAMHSA
Remember that MAT is recommended as only one prong of a comprehensive treatment plan. Successful drug treatment involves various treatment modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization Reprogramming (EMDR), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), just to name a few.
MAT’s purpose is to help a person get to a point where they can engage in different forms of evidence-based psychotherapy in order to get to the root cause of destructive drug and alcohol use, likely resulting in Substance Use Disorder (SUD).
For more information visit: Medications, Counseling, and Related Conditions | SAMHSA
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