Medication-Assisted Treatment: What Is It?

Medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, is the use of clinically-approved medications combined with other behavioral therapies and counseling. MAT is used to treat opioid use disorders effectively. In addition, it’s also used to reduce or prevent opioid overdose.

What Medications Are Used?

The FDA has approved three drugs for treating opioid dependence: methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone. When combined with counseling and other therapy, using these three drugs is highly effective.


A medication used to block the euphoric effects of the drugs. Methadone can also be used for managing side effects and reducing withdrawal symptoms. Because it’s also an opioid, this medication should only be administered in a controlled and safe environment and with help from certified medical professionals.


This medication can reduce withdrawal symptoms and prevent craving and is also an effective medication for long-term treatment. It can also help cut overdose rates by about 50 percent.


Ideal for short-term treatment and can help reduce the risk of overdose. Naltrexone is the only approved medication that can be prescribed to patients and doesn’t need to be administered by a medical professional.

The duration of the MAT treatment always depends on the patients. If you have a loved one suffering from opioid use disorders, we recommend consulting a medical professional for advice on how long to use the medications for treating the disorder.

What Is The Goal Of Medication-Assisted Treatment?

Medication-assisted treatment aims to help patients fully recover from the disorder, including the ability to successfully lead a self-directed life. Also, MAT reduces the risk of contracting hepatitis or HIV by preventing relapse. 

The overall goal of medication-assisted treatment is to help all patients return to their normal lives and stay productive. A recovery plan that includes both MAT and behavioral therapies can increase your chances of successfully recovering from the addiction. 

MAT can help with:

  • Safer withdrawal by controlling cravings
  • Increases treatment retention
  • Improves survival
  • Prevents relapse

The approved medications work by normalizing brain chemistry, blocking the euphoric effects of the opioid, reducing or relieving cravings, and normalizing bodily functions.

Who Needs Medication-Assisted Treatment?

If you or a loved one struggles with opioid abuse, we recommend that you contact professionals so they can advise whether or not you need medication-assisted treatment. 

MAT is best in a residential treatment program and under a health professional’s supervision. Patients with a severe disorder may experience serious withdrawal symptoms, and it may be difficult to control them without the help of professionals. Also, some medications shouldn’t be prescribed to the patients but will only need to be administered by a health professional. 

The medications used by this treatment have been proven effective, especially in eliminating opioid cravings. Its close monitoring of the progress of each patient can help reduce overdose and death.

Do I Need Medication-Assisted Treatment?

Medication-assisted treatment needs to be combined with behavioral therapies and other treatment plans for the patient to be able to reap the maximum benefit. Below are a few things to consider whether or not MAT is suitable for you. 

  • If you have had a history of opioid abuse and have not been able to treat it successfully, then you may be able to benefit from medication-assisted treatment. See a professional to help you determine if it’s the right fit. 
  • While you can always decide to get the treatment and have a professional administer the medications, it’s still best to get help so that a health professional can properly assess your condition. 
  • Patients with opioid abuse and alcohol disorders may incorporate MAT for them to recover quickly.

Benefits of Medication-Assisted Treatment

MAT is one of the most effective treatments for opioid abuse. Below are some of the benefits you get when you decide to get medication-assisted treatment.


While the progress depends on the patient, MAT has been proven effective in treating opioid abuse, especially when combined with behavioral therapies. So long as the patient is consistent with the treatment and religiously follows it, he can reap all the benefits of medication-assisted treatment. Of course, it also helps to choose the best facility and professionals to help you treat your opioid addiction.


Remember, not getting treatment for opioid abuse will cost you more money in the long run. You may even have to spend more on the treatment if you don’t get help right away. In addition, drug abuse can lead to other health issues that may cost you more money. If you want to treat your addiction, we suggest that you contact a professional for an assessment to help you decide whether you need MAT.


While MAT is recommended during residential treatment, you can still continue with the medication-assisted treatment after your residential stay. You don’t even need to come to the facility when health professionals prescribe naltrexone for your treatment. However, you’ll need to visit if you’re given methadone or buprenorphine because both medications need to be administered by a health professional.

Medication-Assisted Treatment Available At Dream Recovery In Costa Mesa

Opioid addiction is a chronic condition that can relapse even after treatment. Thankfully, there is always help available for people suffering from opioid use disorder. Like most chronic diseases, there is treatment available. However, you’ll need to commit to your efforts to full recovery. It also helps to have the best facility to help you fully recover from the addiction. 

Do you need help? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our goal is to help all patients fully recover from opioid abuse and prevent relapse. Contact us, and our team of health professionals are more than happy to assess your situation and provide you with a customized treatment plan.

We only use evidence-based approaches combined with exceptional clinical services. We have the best team who have the compassion and dedication to help each patient recover. Get in touch with Dream Recovery in Costa Mesa today for a consultation.


Information about Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) (2019). U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Addiction in Opioid Treatment Programs (2005). National Institutes of Health.


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