facebook
Logo for: PursueCare

Medication-Assisted Treatment

At PursueCare, we believe you don’t have to uproot your life and miss work or school to get the treatment you need. Our licensed care team will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan that fits your needs and lifestyle so that you can have access to addiction treatment, all from your phone.

One of our treatment modalities is medication-assisted treatment, or MAT as it is commonly known.

What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) uses multiple medications combined with counseling and therapy to help stabilize brain function and reduce addiction’s neurological and behavioral effects. A common medication used in this treatment is Suboxone® (brand name), a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. These medications help cut cravings from:

  • Heroin
  • Fentanyl
  • Morphine
  • Semi-synthetic opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone

MAT provides what is known as a “whole patient” approach. These personalized programs are designed to reduce withdrawal, cravings, pain, and other opioid and substance use symptoms. They also help address behaviors that may contribute to addiction and relapse while providing patients with a lasting recovery.

Is Medication-Assisted Treatment Effective?

Yes, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) has been shown to be useful and beneficial for individuals recovering from substance use disorders. The ultimate goal of MAT programs is for patients to achieve full recovery.

Am I Still Sober If I Use MAT?

Let’s pretend you had a heart condition and you had to take physician-prescribed medications to manage it. Or that you had diabetes and had to inject insulin to manage your sugar levels. Would someone accuse you of not being sober? Probably not.

The same applies to controlled, physician-prescribed medications used in medication-assisted treatments to manage substance use disorder (SUD) and opioid use disorder (OUD), both chronic, recurring brain conditions.

The key to medication-assisted treatment is the word “assisted,” which means that medication alone isn’t an effective treatment for addiction—it must be combined with counseling and behavioral therapies.

Medication-Assisted Treatment is NOT “Trading One Addiction for Another.”

This is one of the most widely-spread misconceptions about medication-assisted treatment (MAT).

One possible reason for this misconception is that medications like buprenorphine and methadone are in the same family as heroin and prescription opioids, so one might immediately think it’s a substitution of one drug for another.

How are medications to treat addiction different than the so-called “street drugs”?

Medications used in MAT are physician prescribed, longer acting, and safer. They are designed to help individuals overcome dangerous opioid addictions. When used properly and under professional supervision, these medications generally do not result in significant adverse effects. When used correctly, they also do not cause any of the highs associated with problematic use and compulsive drug-seeking.