MEDICATION ASSISTED TREATMENT (MAT)
Medication Assisted Treatment
Medication-assisted treatment is a treatment for addiction that includes the use of medication along with counseling and other support. Treatment that includes medication is sometimes the best choice for opioid addiction. If a person is addicted, medication allows him or her to regain a normal state of mind, free of drug-induced highs and lows. These changes can give the person the chance to focus on the lifestyle changes that lead back to healthy living. Used properly, the medication does NOT create a new addiction.
There are three medications commonly used to treat opioid addiction. These are methadone, buprenorphine (also called Suboxone, Buprenex, and Subutex), and naltrexone (also called Vivitrol). All of these medications have the same positive effect: they reduce problem addiction behavior.
Methadone and buprenorphine trick the brain into thinking it is still getting the problem opioid. The person taking the medication feels normal, not high, and withdrawal does not occur. Methadone and buprenorphine also reduce cravings.
Naltrexone helps overcome addiction in a different way. It blocks the effect of opioid drugs. This takes away the feeling of getting high if the problem drug is used again. This feature makes naltrexone a good choice to prevent relapse (falling back into problem drug use).
Will my insurance cover MAT?
Many insurance plans cover substance use disorder treatments including Medicaid and Medicare plans. To find out if your insurance covers treatment call the customer service phone number on the back of your insurance card.
Where can I access MAT locally?
Page material adapted from the following sources:
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2014). Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction: Facts for Friends and Families. HHS Publication No. (SMA) 14-4443. Retrieved from http://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content//SMA14-4443/SMA14-4443.pdf