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MAT services can be provided in a variety of settings and accessed through a large network of physicians and treatment facilities, including many primary care physicians.

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Over 2.5 million Americans suffer from opioid use disorder.

MAT has proved to be clinically effective and to significantly reduce the need for inpatient detoxification services for these individuals. MAT provides a more comprehensive, individually tailored program of medication and behavioral therapy.

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What is an Opioid?

An opioid is a type of drug found in some prescription pain medicines, as well as in certain “street drugs” such as heroin. Prescription opioids can assist with controlling pain when used under a doctor’s order. Opioids may be addictive and cause side effects, and even death, when used incorrectly.

Read Our Frequently Ask Questions
Myth:

MAT just trades one addiction for another.

Fact:

MAT bridges the biological and behavioral components of addiction. Research indicates that a combination of medication and behavioral therapies can successfully treat SUDs and help sustain recovery.

Myth:

MAT is only for the short term.

Fact:

Research shows that patients on MAT for at least 1-2 years have the greatest rates of long-term success. There is currently no evidence to support benefits from stopping MAT.

Myth:

My patient’s condition is not severe enough to require MAT.

Fact:

MAT utilizes a multitude of different medication options (agonists, partial agonists and antagonists) that can be tailored to fit the unique needs of the patient.

Myth:

MAT increases the risk for overdose in patients.

Fact:

MAT helps to prevent overdoses from occurring. Even a single use of opioids after detoxification can result in a life-threatening or fatal overdose. Following detoxification, tolerance to the euphoria brought on by opioid use remains higher than tolerance to respiratory depression.

Myth:

Providing MAT will only disrupt and hinder a patient’s recovery process.

Fact:

MAT has been shown to assist patients in recovery by improving quality of life, level of functioning and the ability to handle stress. Above all, MAT helps reduce mortality while patients begin recovery.

Myth:

There isn’t any proof that MAT is better than abstinence.

Fact:

MAT is evidence-based and is the recommended course of treatment for opioid addiction. American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, American Medical Association, The National Institute on Drug Abuse, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other agencies emphasize MAT as first line treatment.

Myth:

Most insurance plans don’t cover MAT.

Fact:

All state Medicaid programs cover at least one MAT medication and most cover all three (methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone). In addition, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) of 2008 requires health insurers and group health plans to provide the same level of benefits for mental and/or substance use treatment and services that they do for medical/surgical care.

What are the myths about Medication Assisted Treatment?

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