Medication-assisted treatment is the use of FDA-approved medications, in combination with counseling, behavioral therapies, and social support; to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use and opioid use disorders. When used to treat opioid addiction, MAT stabilizes brain chemistry, blocks the euphoric effects of opioids (the “high”), relieves physiological cravings, and normalizes body functions.
Benefits of MAT include improving the capacity of participants to reduce illicit drug use, disease rates, and overdose events, as well as successfully fulfilling other conditions of court involvement, including participation in treatment. Further, across the criminal justice system, MAT has been found to reduce criminal activity, arrests, as well as probation revocation, and reincarceration.
Studies have shown that individuals who have access to the three MAT drug options- Methadone, Buprenorphine, and Naltrexone- in a treatment capacity are more likely to remain in treatment and abstain from illegal drugs or their substance of abuse than individuals who receive only behavior modification counseling or no treatment.
Please be sure to communicate with the Statewide MAT Coordinator if you have questions about the implementation of MAT services in your accountability court program.
MAT Training Opportunities
Treatment Services Program Manager, Tara Zellous
Statewide MAT Coordinator, Erica Acebo-Johnston