How Does Medication-Assisted Treatment Work?

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a very common program used by many facilities to treat co-occurring disorders primarily associated with opioid addiction. MAT programs combine mental health therapies, behavioral therapy, and medications used to treat opioid addiction.

Together with these counseling and behavioral therapies, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is utilized as a safe treatment of opioid reliance while helping in reducing physiological cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and normalizing body functions and brain chemistry. Medication-assisted treatment is intended to curb potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms while enabling the person to focus on their treatment and recovery.

MAT starts with our addiction psychiatrist carrying out medical and medical examinations of each patient to identify if MAT is even a needed approach for recovery. If so, there will be a combination of counseling options arranged alongside medication management plans. During this time, the client will be receiving the best care readily available while still being able to go about their day-to-day activities.

We make sure a versatile treatment strategy is offered to each client in order to be available for our clients as they go about their daily activities. To ensure this, we look at their medical and mental mental health records to determine the best course of treatment for their substance use disorder. However, it is the client’s task to prioritize their treatment to guarantee the treatment choices they are registered in are resulting in a continual healing.

Although additional medication while attempting to treat a condition where a medication is being abused may seem counterproductive, it is common for some drugs to be used during treatment in order to reduce potentially harmful side-effects of opioid cessation.

What is Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)?

What is MAT? Medication-Assisted Treatment is a program which uses medication together with behavioral therapy and individual or group therapy. MAT is usually a specialized outpatient practice that evolves according to the individual needs of each patient regarding their own battles with mental health disorders and/or opioid use. We understand that everyone begins treatment from a different place and with their own individual struggles with addiction and mental illness. Freedom Now’s MAT programs focus on establishing a specialized treatment strategy that assists each client in their recovery while bearing in mind their own schedules.

Is Medication-Assisted Treatment the Answer to Substance Use Disorders?

MAT is a viable source of encouragement and clinical care that helps treat those struggling with opioid addiction, other forms of substance abuse, and any underlying mental health related issues associated with addiction. Although medication assisted treatment (MAT) is typically not practiced for all substance use disorders, that does not mean treatment is not an option for you.

In some cases, additional medications can negatively impact the treatment process. However, clinical treatments combined with counseling are an option for almost any kind of addiction or substance use disorders you may be facing.

What are the Benefits of MAT?

MAT has been proven to be a successful resource for treating opioid addiction and other substance use disorders. By removing the fear of the physiological symptoms that tend to accompany detox and rehab, patients can approach MAT with confidence knowing that they are receiving the best care available in the field. Some of the benefits of enrolling in an MAT program include:

  • Safe environments for recovery
  • Cost-effective treatment options
  • Reduced risk of overdose and possible relapse
  • Greater chance for long-term recovery
  • Improved social interactions and communication skills
  • Reduced risk of the spread fatal disease

What Medications are Used for MAT?

At Freedom Now, we address MAT with several medications that have been approved by the FDA to treat opioid substance abuse. The medications we commonly use are:

  • Buprenorphine
  • Methadone
  • Naltrexone


Each of these medications have been proven to be feasible resources for assisting in dealing with substance abuse and addiction treatment.  All three medications are designed to decrease the impact or eliminate issues that may arise during detox and treatment. At Freedom Now, we use a drug that combines buprenorphine and naloxone. It is called Suboxone. The two most common drugs used  in MAT are Methadone and Suboxone. Below is a little information regarding both medications.


Methadone is an opioid agonist and pain reliever. This suggests that it latches onto the neuro-receptors and changes the way in which the nervous system and brain process pain. It is an effective drug, but should be administered with care. During methadone treatment,  a physician or pharmacist will assist plan out an administration plan and help manage the intake of the drug in low does. This enables the  body to adjust to the medication and can prevent a possible overdose.

Methadone, like Suboxone, is utilized to help reduce the side-effects of opioid cessation and is used to treat opioid addiction. Methadone is administered orally in either a liquid or tablet form and methadone treatment will continue as long as treatment is required and the client is benefiting from the treatment. Methadone treatment will only be administered in a controlled environment with a medication management strategy. Dosages can be as low as 1 milligram.

Suboxone – Buprenorphine/Naloxone

Suboxone, like Methadone, is an opioid agonist. But, unlike methadone, it is a partial agonist. Suboxone likewise connects to the brain’s receptors and prevents the “high” effect of opioid abuse. Although Suboxone is an addiction treatment medication, it may be less reliable depending on the severity of the addiction.

Suboxone includes two active components Buprenorphine and Naloxone. Buprenorphine is the active partial opioid agonist and assists block the pleasurable feelings that come from opioid abuse. Naloxone is a drug that helps in reversing the effects of opioids. Like Methadone, Suboxone is utilized to help reduce the potentially agonizing side-effects of opioid cessation. Suboxone is most commonly prescribed and taken only while in a MAT program.

Suboxone will be administered daily in the form of a dissolvable film or a tablet. A single dosage of Suboxone generally varies in between 12 milligrams and 32 milligrams.

How Effective is MAT?

MAT has actually shown to be scientifically effective and to significantly decrease the need for inpatient detoxification services for these people. MAT supplies a more detailed, individually customized program of medication and behavioral counseling. MAT also includes assistance services that deal with the needs of most patients.

The ultimate objective of MAT is full healing, consisting of the ability to live a self-directed life. This treatment method has been shown to:

  • Enhance patient survival
  • Boost retention in treatment
  • Decrease illicit opiate use and other criminal activity amongst individuals with substance use disorders
  • Increase clients’ ability to get and keep employment

Research study also shows that these medications and therapies can contribute to reducing a person’s threat of contracting HIV or Hep C by decreasing the possibility for relapse.

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