What is MAT?

MAT is an abbreviation that stands for Medication Assisted Treatment, one of the many ways a person can get help for their substance use disorder. Just like medication is often used to treat other chronic health conditions like diabetes or asthma, MAT incorporates prescription medications that can help improve a person’s addiction-related symptoms, including withdrawal symptoms and cravings. MAT can also help prevent drug overdoses and often reduces the need for inpatient detoxification (detox) services.

MAT is a whole-person approach that has been in use by medical providers for decades. It is proven to be a safe and effective option for treating substance use disorders, including opioid use disorder and alcohol use disorder. Once a doctor has determined that a person could benefit from MAT, FDA-approved medications are offered in addition to counseling or other behavioral health therapies. The medications that are often used as part of MAT include Buprenorphine, Methadone, Disulfiram, and Naltrexone. These medications work by blocking the effects of alcohol and opioids, lessening physiological cravings, and normalizing bodily functions without the negative and euphoric effects of the substance used.

MAT is an evidence-based treatment option that has been shown to improve patient survival rates and increase addiction treatment retention rates. It has even been effective at reducing a person’s risk of hepatitis or HIV/AIDS because it reduces the likelihood of intravenous (IV) drug use. Depending on a person’s unique circumstances, MAT can be safely used as an effective substance use disorder treatment for months, years, or for life.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use disorder, Wayspring may be able to help. Use our 5-question member eligibility tool to find out if you’re eligible to enroll in our no-cost services today!