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Medication-assisted treatment (MAT)

What is medication assisted treatment for opioid addiction?


Medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which is more popular than ever, is a pharmaceutical-based method of treating addiction. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT), which combines medication and behavioral therapy to address substance use disorders, is a popular kind of care for those who are addicted to opioids. MAT makes use of treatments that are supported by scientific research and FDA-approved drugs.


When abused, opioids including heroin, Percocet, fentanyl, OxyContin, morphine, Dilaudid, and many more can be lethal. An estimated two million Americans are addicted to prescription opioids, and an additional one million are addicted to heroin, according to a recent research. These figures are startling, but they are still increasing every day across the country. Additionally, the consequences of untreated opioid addiction are lethal. According to the Center for Disease Control, 130 Americans perish each day as a direct result of an opioid overdose.


Benefits of choosing a medication-assisted treatment program for opioid addiction include:


  • Increase treatment retention
  • Reduces the risk of overdose
  • Eases extreme withdrawals and cravings
  • Decreases the risk of relapse 
  • Lowers the risk amongst pregnant women giving birth with substance use disorders
  • Improves better social integration and functioning
  • Decreases tendencies for criminal activities
  • Safe and effective 
  • Reduces the risk of sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C
  • Increases the chances of maintaining continuous sobriety

Methadone – We assist patients in making the shift to a more deliberate recovery path from methadone maintenance. Methadone is a complete agonist that interacts with receptors in the nervous system and brain to minimize the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms while also preventing the euphoric effects of opiates. In the form of a liquid solution, methadone is delivered once day.


Vivitrol (Naltrexone) – An FDA-approved injectable drug called Vivitrol is given once a month to reduce cravings for a considerable amount of time. This naltrexone-based drug reduces withdrawal symptoms, curbs opiate cravings, and guards against overdose.

Suboxone (buprenorphine) – Suboxone is a partial agonist, not fully interacting with opioid receptors like methadone. Buprenorphine and naloxone are the main ingredients in Suboxone, a medication that effectively reduces cravings while also reducing the symptoms of opiate withdrawal.

After finishing a program of medication-assisted treatment, patients may continue taking the prescribed drugs for months or years. The drugs given in MAT programs are effective for treating withdrawal symptoms both before and after detoxification as well as while receiving treatment. Psychiatric medications, as well as drugs that treat pre-existing medical disorders, may also be used during MAT.

Behavioral Health and presenting problems.
Untreated behavioral health issues, which include mental health and substance use disorders, pose a serious threat to public health and present difficulties for the healthcare delivery system. In order to provide the best results for Californians with low incomes, BHPS aims to strengthen the state’s behavioral health care systems and focuses on integrating mental health, drug use, and physical health services.

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