For those following news about the opioid epidemic in Philadelphia and beyond, medication-assisted treatment, or MAT for short, is a frequently encountered phrase.
Medication-assisted treatment, the provision of one of three FDA-approved medications (methadone, buprenorphine or vivitrol) in conjunction with psychosocial interventions (cognitive behavioral therapy or contingency management) for people diagnosed with an opioid use disorder (OUD) is the gold standard of treatment.
Medication-assisted treatment is the treatment of choice for OUD owing to its robust evidence base. In study after study, MAT has been shown to have meaningful outcomes across multiple domains including mortality, physical health indicators, employment and crime rates.
In short, if you have an opioid use disorder and receive MAT, you are more likely to live longer, gain employment, not go to jail and stay healthier physically.