Medication-assisted Treatment

Medication Assisted Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is treatment for addiction that includes the use of medication along with counseling and other support.

Treatment that includes medication is often 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. It frees the person from thinking all the time about the drug, reduces problems of withdrawal and helps people manage their addiction so that the benefits of recovery can be maintained.

There are three main choices for medication to treat opioid addiction. The two most common are methadone and buprenorphine. Occasionally, another medication called naltrexone is used. All of these medications have the same positive effect: they reduce problem addiction behavior. People can safely take treatment medication as long as needed – for a few months, one or several years, or even for life. Plans to stop taking any medication should ALWAYS be discussed with a doctor.

Taking medication for opioid addiction is like taking medication to control heart disease or diabetes. Used properly, the medication does NOT create a new addiction.