MAT Overview

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) combines the use of medications and behavioral therapy to individuals with opioid use disorders.

MAT is a safe and effective option to provide physical relief from opioid cravings—it is even safe for women who are pregnant.

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Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is MAT?

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) combines the use of medications and behavioral therapy to treat people who have substance use disorders.

The use of certain types of medications, like buprenorphine, suboxone, and naltrexone has become a central part of the treatment of opioid use disorders.

Are you substituting one addiction for another?

MAT drugs DO NOT substitute one addiction for another. When someone is treated for an opioid addiction, the dosage of medication used does not get them high–it helps reduce opioid cravings and withdrawal.

These medications restore balance to the brain circuits affected by addiction, allowing the patient’s brain to heal while working toward recovery.

Is MAT the right treatment for you?

MAT is one of many options for treating opioid use disorders. No single option is appropriate for everyone. MAT is an adjunctive treatment or assistive therapy to the overall treatment of a person with a substance use disorder.

MAT will not "cure" the person's addiction or ensure success in recovery unless the person additionally engages in behavioral treatments such as counseling, therapy, social support, and long-term aftercare.

How do MAT drugs work?

Opioids alter the chemistry of the brain by attaching to opioid receptors. When the prescribed MAT drugs attach to their receptors, they reduce the perception of pain.

Do patients in MAT ever relapse?

Because relapse is quite common in all forms of substance use disorders, people who relapse at one stage of the process are encouraged to start over.

For many people with substance use disorders, relapse is a learning experience that can be built upon to achieve success, as opposed to being viewed as a failure or an inability to recover from their substance use disorder.