What is Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)?

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), including opioid treatment programs (often referred to as OTPs), combines behavioral therapy and medications to treat opioid use disorders. There are three medications approved for use in the context of MAT:

  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine/naloxone (including Suboxone)
  • Naltrexone (Vivitrol)
Methadone maintenance treatment for opioid use disorders can only be provided by licensed methadone clinics. Buprenorphine/naloxone and naltrexone can be prescribed in a primary care office-based setting. However, any provider prescribing buprenorphine/naloxone first needs to attain a special waiver, known as the DATA 2000 Waiver. Note that under federal law, MAT patients must receive counseling, which could include different forms of behavioral therapy, in combination with their medication.

FOR MORE INFORMATION REGARDING MAT, PLEASE VISIT THE SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES WEBSITE BY
CLICKING HERE.

Our SC MAT ACCESS team has also compiled a brief informational slide set regarding MAT. You can download these slides by clicking the button below.

What is the evidence supporting the effectiveness of MAT?

MAT has proved to be clinically effective and to significantly reduce the need for inpatient detoxification services for individuals with opioid use disorder. MAT provides a comprehensive, individually tailored program that combines medication and behavioral therapy. MAT traditionally includes support services that address the needs of most patients (e.g., vocational, case management). The goal of MAT is recovery, which includes the ability to lead a healthy, intentional life. MAT has been show to:

  • Improve patient survival
  • Increase treatment retention
  • Decrease illicit opioid use and other criminal activity
  • Increase patients’ ability to gain and sustain employment
  • Improve birth outcomes among pregnant women
  • Decrease risk for contacting HIV or hepatitis C by reducing relapse potential
FOR MORE INFORMATION REGARDING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF MAT FOR OPIOID USE DISORDERS, PLEASE SEE THE COCHRANE REVIEW LINKED BELOW.

Where can I learn more about substance use treatment (including MAT) services in South Carolina?

The Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS) is the South Carolina government agency charged with ensuring quality services to prevent or reduce the negative consequences of substance use and addictions. The mission of DAODAS is to ensure the availability and quality of a continuum of substance use services, thereby improving health status, safety, and quality of life for individuals, families, and communities across South Carolina. DAODAS coordinates a statewide system of local substance abuse agencies that provide prevention, treatment, and recovery services.

Learn more about DAODAS, including how to contact your nearest substance abuse treatment agency, at their website: www.daodas.sc.gov