The Importance of Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?

Medication-assisted treatment, commonly referred to as ‘MAT’, is a type of evidence-based treatment that is used to help those who are struggling with substance abuse and addiction. The combination of therapy, behavioral counseling, and MAT is said to be one of the most effective types of addiction treatment for patients and can help lead them to a successful and long-term recovery.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, call WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab today at 877.969.1993 to learn how we can help.

The efficacy of this type of treatment has proven to be very effective in reaching sustained sobriety and long-lasting recovery, especially in those who struggle with a history of chronic drug and alcohol abuse. An individual may go through treatment but still be at risk for relapse; the goal of MAT is to sustain that sobriety by lessening cravings and the desire to use so that the individual can maintain their recovery.

What Medications are Used in MAT?

Some of the most common types of medications that are used in MAT as well as medication-assisted medication assisted detox are:


This drug is a synthetic analgesic used to help in lessening opioid dependency and reduce cravings. It aids in mitigating the withdrawal symptoms that are associated with the detox and recovery process. This drug is available in the form of a tablet, pill, and liquid. Methadone may be taken for up to one-year post-treatment.


Similar to Methadone, Naltrexone is an opioid antagonist used to help manage opioid dependency and abuse. It works by blocking the brain’s response to opioids and therefore stops the pleasurable effects that are created when the drug is taken.


Suboxone®, a Schedule III prescription drug, is the MAT drug of choice at WhiteSands Treatment as it is less habit-forming and more effective than its drug counterparts such as methadone. It is a hybrid drug with the two main ingredients being Buprenorphine and Naloxone. Suboxone® works by decreasing withdrawal symptoms in patients who are struggling with opioid use disorder and is available in four different A WhiteSands specialist will inform the patient of which dosage is right for them.

Does MAT Just Substitute One Drug for Another?

A common misconception is that MAT simply replaces one drug for another since it is a drug itself. While MAT does use drugs such as Suboxone®, it is also known as a ‘combination treatment’ which means it incorporates therapy and counseling into the treatment program in conjunction with the opioid agonist. Together, this hybrid approach provides a ‘whole patient approach’, working to help the individual overcome their addiction.

MAT works to mentally and physically stabilize the individual so that they can sustain their recovery. The drug is effective because it helps create balance and stability on a psychological and physical level without having the adverse effects of an illicit drug. In other words, it does not create the same euphoric effect as other drugs may as it blocks the receptors in the brain that are responsible for releasing pleasure-inducing chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin.

How Long Does MAT Last?

MAT is designed to be a sort of ‘bridge’, transitioning the individual into sustained sobriety, therefore it is designed to last anywhere from several months and up to two years in length. This will vary from patient to patient as each individual responds to treatment and therapy differently.

It is a short-term treatment plan that helps to reduce cravings, prevent overdoses, improve quality of life, and help to level out the often trying mental and physical barriers that come with overcoming opioid addiction.

How to Get Help With Medically Assisted Treatment

WhiteSands Treatment offers medically assisted treatment to help individuals sustain their sobriety. With the increased demands for substance abuse prevention, MAT has one of the greatest success rates for long-term sobriety.

The time to seek sobriety is now as addiction is a progressive and chronic disease that will continue to worsen over time. Speak to a WhiteSands Treatment specialist today and learn how MAT, in conjunction with customized therapy and one-on-one counseling, can help you make a full recovery. As soon as you make the decision to get help, you are already in the mindset of ‘recovery’. This is often the stage of recovery that most people struggle with. Speak to an intake specialist today at (877) 855-3470 and learn how WhiteSands can help you make a full recovery from your drug or alcohol addiction.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.