What is Medicated Assisted Treatment?
“Medicated 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 a combination of medication and therapy can successfully treat these disorders, and for some people struggling with addiction, MAT can help sustain recovery” (SAMHSA, 2019).
MAT is mainly used to treat opioid addiction.
What Medications are Used for MAT?
FDA-approved buprenorphine products approved for the treatment of opioid dependence include:
Bunavail (buprenorphine and naloxone) buccal film
Cassipa (buprenorphine and naloxone) sublingual film
Probuphine (buprenorphine) implant for subdermal administration
Sublocade (buprenorphine extended‐release) injection for subcutaneous use
Suboxone (buprenorphine and naloxone) sublingual film for sublingual or buccal use, or sublingual tablet.
Subutex (buprenorphine) sublingual tablet
Zubsolv (buprenorphine and naloxone) sublingual tablets
FDA-approved methadone products approved for the treatment of opioid dependence include:
Dolophine (methadone hydrochloride) tablets
Methadose (methadone hydrochloride) oral concentrate
FDA-approved naltrexone products approved for the treatment of opioid dependence include:
Vivitrol (naltrexone for extended-release injectable suspension) intramuscular (US FDA, 2019).
What kinds of Counseling/Behavioral Therapies are used during MAT?
“Under federal law, MAT patients must receive counseling, which could include different forms of behavioral therapy. These services are required along with medical, vocational, educational, and other assessment and treatment services” (SAMHSA 2019). Reality Check offers group and individual counseling with a Masters Level Alcohol & Drug Counselor on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 4-6pm. Call for details.
“MAT is recommended for adults presenting for clinical treatment of OUD with physiological dependence: it significantly augments treatment retention, reduces illicit opioid use, reduces the burden of opioid craving, and, in the case of agonist therapies, provides effective relief of the opioid withdrawal syndrome. Thus, MAT is a stabilizing addition to relapse-prevention counseling and mutual help groups (such as Narcotics Anonymous) in that it increases the effectiveness of those interventions. Longer-term, abstinence-based residential treatment without MAT shows limited effectiveness, especially among recently detoxified heroin users,97,98 and loss of tolerance during this period of abstention poses an increased risk of fatal overdose if one relapses to opioid use upon discharge to home. Youth is a predictor of early dropout from psychosocial treatment of OUD,99 whereas medication adherence and early opioid abstinence predict greater retention and treatment success among youth treated with buprenorphine/naloxone” (Connery 2015, p.69).
The stigma affiliated with addiction is very much intertwined with people’s opinions of MAT. Unfortunately, MAT is often looked down upon, because some people do not like the idea of treating substance use disorder with another substance. This outlook is narrow-minded however, as the substances used during MAT do not induce a high, but rather ease the pain of withdrawal and help subside cravings. Potential misuse of these medications also raises concern.
MAT Now Offered at Reality Check ...
Reality Check has partnered with Better Life Partners to offer medication-assisted treatment and recovery services using a multi-disciplinary team of clinicians. Services include individual and group counseling, medication management, and wraparound support services, with most major insurance plans and Medicaid accepted. For more information at 603-563-0837.