Medication-assisted Treatment
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Overview

Medication-assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of medications, in combination with psychosocial treatment and supports, to provide a whole-person approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. MAT is clinically driven with a focus on individualized patient care. While many people can do well using only medications to treat their addiction, research shows that many and likely most individuals need psychosocial treatment and supports in order to enjoy optimal outcomes long-term and achieve full, sustained recovery. Safe and effective medications are currently available and approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) for the treatment of alcohol use disorder, opioid use disorder, and tobacco/nicotine use disorder. MAT for opioid use disorder in particular is the safest approach to care and considered the best practice in the treatment of most patients including pregnant women.

The following substance use disorders have medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat them:

  • Alcohol Use Disorder
  • Opioid Use Disorder
  • Tobacco Use Disorder/Nicotine Dependence

Approved Medications

Research shows that a combination of medication and therapy can successfully treat these disorders, and for some people struggling with addiction, MAT can help sustain recovery." (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Medication and Counseling Treatment)

The following substance use disorders have medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat them:

 
Alcohol Use Disorder:
Opioid Use Disorder:
Tobacco Use Disorder/Nicotine Dependence

Pregnant Women

Medication-assisted Treatment (MAT) is the preferred approach for treating pregnant women with opioid use disorder. MAT is associated with better adherence to both prenatal care and substance use disorder treatment, and is associated with positive birth outcomes, like reduced risk of obstetric complications (source: ACOG). MAT is recommended over medically supervised withdrawal by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) which stated, “opioid agonist pharmacotherapy is the recommended therapy and is preferable to medically supervised withdrawal because withdrawal is associated with high relapse rates, which lead to worse outcomes [for pregnant women with an opioid use disorder]” in this committee opinion.

Priority Admission

Pregnant women and intravenous drug users are priority populations for treatment admission under the requirements of SAMHSA's Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant. If one of these individuals cannot be admitted to a program immediately, it is the responsibility of that program to help locate another program that will meet their needs.

Training

Adolescent Medication-Assisted Treatment Grand Rounds

Top medical leadership at OASAS are joined by national experts for a unique three-part webinar opportunity to discuss the use of medications to treat addiction, including opioid use disorder, for 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 SUDs - 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

Contact Office of Addiction Medicine

Assists physicians and treatment practitioners integrate the latest clinical treatment protocols.

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