Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) combines the use of specific medications in combination with therapeutic services, ultimately resulting in a drug free life. Medications have been used widely in the past to overcome substance abuse, but not until recently has the field strongly positioned the emphasis on therapeutic services as well. It has evolved into a whole-patient approach.
These services empower the patient to break through addictions with the initial use of a suppressant. The prescribed medications, such as suboxone and methadone, curb cravings, and allow the patient to focus on the issues that led to substance abuse. This is particularly effective for opioid and heroin addiction, in which physical withdrawals are extreme, and especially those who are at risk for overdose. But the the modality been found effective in smoking and alcohol addiction as well. MAT confronts the physical dependence that addiction creates while also understanding the need to work through the psychological component of addiction. It’s a blended; two-pronged approach.
Treatment centers around the country are adopting this method after research has shown its effectiveness. And it is spreading like wildfire. It is a hot topic for SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration), IRETA (Institute for Research, Education, and Addiction), and The Association for Addiction Professionals. Stay tuned for updates from these organizations!