Medication for Addiction Treatment


Medication for Addiction Treatment (MAT) is the use of medications, with the use of psychosocial therapies and supports as needed, to provide a whole-person approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. While many people do well using just medication to treat their substance use disorder, other individuals benefit from additional psychosocial therapies and supports. Medication for opioid use disorder is the first line treatment for all persons, including pregnant and breastfeeding persons with opioid use disorder.

Safe and effective medications are currently available and approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of alcohol use disorder, opioid use disorder, and tobacco use disorder. Medications for Opioid Use Disorder decrease the risk for overdose, overdose death, other deaths.

Approved Medications

The following is a list of substance use disorders and the FDA-approved medications that treat them:

Alcohol Use Disorder
  • Acamprosate
  • Disulfiram
  • Naltrexone
Opioid Use Disorder:
  • Buprenorphine
  • Methadone
  • Long-acting Naltrexone Injection
Tobacco Use Disorder/Nicotine Dependence
  • Bupropion
  • Nicotine Replacement Therapy
  • Varenicline

Pregnant Persons

Medication for opioid use disorder (MOUD) is the preferred approach for treating pregnant persons with opioid use and/or opioid use disorder. MOUD is associated with better adherence to both prenatal care and substance use disorder treatment, and is associated with better outcomes, both for the pregnant person and the newborn.

Methadone and Buprenorphine are preferable to medically supervised withdrawal for pregnant persons, and are recommended by numerous professional medical organizations, including Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA), the World Health Organization (WHO), the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

Medically supervised withdrawal is not recommended during pregnancy as it is associated with higher rates of a return to opioid use and correlated with worse outcomes.

Priority Admission

Pregnant persons and pregnant persons who inject substances are priority populations for treatment admission under the requirements of SAMHSA's Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant.

If a program cannot admit persons in these groups immediately, it is the responsibility of that program to locate another program that will meet their needs.




Adolescent Medication for Addiction Treatment Grand Rounds

Medical leadership at OASAS was joined by national experts for a unique three-part webinar series to discuss the use of medications to treat substance use disorders, including opioid use disorder, in adolescents and young adults. Please refer to the Adolescent Endorsement page for more information.

The three-part webinar series includes:

  1. MAT and More: Using Medications for Youth with SUD - Alcohol, Tobacco, and Especially Opioids, hosted by Dr. Marc Fishman, Dr. Sharon Levy, and Dr. Marc Manseau
  2. Meeting Youth Where They Are: SUD Treatment in Pediatric Primary Care, hosted by Dr. Sharon Levy and Dr. Kelly S. Ramsey
  3. Involving Family in SUD Treatment for Youth, hosted by Dr. Marc Fishman and Dr. Grace Hennessy

Each of the three parts fulfills 1 clock hour credits toward:

  • CPP/CPS initial
  • CASAC/CPP/CPS renewal


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