What is MAT?
For individuals battling addiction, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have indicated medication-assisted treatment or MAT as an evidence-based treatment for addiction. MAT does not provide a cure for addiction/dependence, but rather, provides an avenue for the individual to live a functional life with the assistance of medication, counseling, and behavioral health services (Volkow, Frieden, Hyde, & Cha, 2014). MAT targets the same receptors in the brain as the drug of choice, warding off withdrawal symptoms, while reducing the likelihood of engaging in compulsive and dangerous drug seeking behavior.
There are currently three MAT options that can be used to treat opioid addiction: methadone, buprenorphine/Suboxone, and naltrexone/Vivitrol (Volkow, Frieden, Hyde, & Cha, 2014). Each of these medications is a different type of drug that solicits a different response from the targeted brain receptors and each is approved for MAT and can be prescribed per the specific needs of the individual.
The following organizations support and endorse MAT: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, & National Center for Biotechnology Information