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Guide to Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Guide to Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Treatment of substance abuse problems can take many forms and will be different for everyone.

While some people will see tremendous progress with traditional psychotherapy, others may benefit from other unique forms of therapy. Still, others may be looking for medication designed to help them in the recovery journey.

What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is an approach to treatment that involves using medication along with various therapies for recovery from substance use disorders. Medication-assisted treatment is often used during alcohol or opioid addiction treatment, especially for people addicted to painkillers. These medications help to block the effects of opioids to help reduce cravings as a person’s body adjusts in early recovery.

Some common medications used during medication-assisted treatment include:
  • Disulfiram (alcohol)
  • Naltrexone (alcohol)
  • Acamprosate (alcohol)
  • Naltrexone or Vivitrol (opioids/alcohol)
  • Methadone (opioids)
  • Buprenorphine (opioids)

Does MAT Work?

This combination of medication and therapies is supposed to provide patients with a more comprehensive approach to treatment, but is medication-assisted treatment effective?

Medication-assisted treatment can be helpful for people in need of alcohol abuse treatment with different medications helping with different areas of recovery.  Acamprosate is given to people in early recovery and is proven to help reduce the risk of relapse when combined with psychosocial interventions.1 On the other hand, naltrexone has been effective in decreasing relapses as well as the amount of alcohol consumed. It may be best suited for people who are struggling to quit completely but want to decrease their alcohol intake.2 This may, in turn, help increase the effectiveness of behavioral therapies and eventually help them abstain from drinking altogether. At Banyan Pompano, we do offer a Vivitrol assistance program alongside our various unique programs and therapies to help our patients find lasting sobriety.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has deemed buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone all safe and effective means of treatment for people with opioid use disorders when they are combined with behavioral therapies and programs.3 These medications alone are usually not sufficient for lasting recovery because of the underlying psychological issues often connected to substance abuse. Therapies and programs like meditation, pet therapy for addiction, the 12 steps, and a variety of other psychotherapy techniques can help address these problems to decrease the risk of relapse. There is also evidence to suggest that patients on medication-assisted therapy for at least a year have the greatest chance of success for long-term recovery.4

At Banyan Pompano, we create treatment plans that focus on the individual’s specific needs including determining whether or not treatment should include medication. Regardless of the specifics, the treatment plan will be tailored to the patient with their long-term success in mind.

If you or someone you care about have a substance use disorder and needs help, call 888-280-4763 now.


  1. AAFP- Effectiveness of Acamprosate in the Treatment of Alcohol Dependence
  2. SAMHSA- Evidence for the Efficacy of Naltrexone in the Treatment of Alcohol Dependence (Alcoholism)
  3. FDA- Information about Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Guide to Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)
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