Medication-Assisted Treatment Models
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of pharmacological medications, combined with counseling and behavioral therapies, in treating substance abuse. Research shows that combining medication, counseling, and/or behavioral therapies is often an effective form of substance abuse treatment. Therefore, medications prescribed as part of MAT models are one component of a comprehensive treatment plan that focuses on the “whole patient.”
In July 2016, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality announced that it will award grants to support primary care clinics in rural communities to deliver MAT. These grants will use new technologies, including smart phone apps and remote training to help provide MAT to individuals with opioid abuse issues. As of December 2016, there are five medications that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of opioid and alcohol abuse. There are no medications approved by the FDA for the treatment of cannabis, hallucinogen, or stimulant abuse.