What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?

Medication-Assisted Treatment, or MAT, is defined by several drug policy agencies as a combination of the use of approved treatment drugs with counseling and behavioral therapies.  

Under this definition, the treatment drug would be used at the beginning phase of therapy, at the lowest effective dose, for a short period of time. The reason for the use of the MAT drugs is to allow the person to hold in check their withdrawal symptoms and cravings long enough for the counseling and behavioral treatments to work. 

For example, MAT is defined by the federal agency SAMSHA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) as follows:

“Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of medications with counseling and behavioral therapies to treat substance use disorders and prevent opioid overdose.” [ click here for more ]