What is Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)?
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What Is Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)?

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is when prescription medicines are combined with counseling and behavioral therapies to treat substance use disorders (SUDs).1,2 MAT is an evidence-based treatment approach that is effective for treating both alcohol and opioid use disorders.2,4 MAT helps people stay in treatment, maintain recovery, and reduce cravings and opioid overdose risk.1

Who Is Medication-Assisted Treatment For?

MAT involves the use of FDA-approved medicines to treat alcohol use disorder (AUD) and opioid use disorder (OUD).1,2,4 The various prescription medicines used as part of an MAT regimen can help ease withdrawal symptoms, manage cravings, prevent the rewarding effects of alcohol or opioids, and increase your safety in the event of an opioid overdose.1 As part of a combined treatment approach, the incorporation of behavioral therapy helps address the underlying issues that led to your substance use.

Though it is a helpful treatment option for many and is the standard of care for many treatment programs, there are several considerations that clinicians might weigh prior to starting a person on MAT..5,6 Before you commit to or start any type of treatment plan, it is a good idea to speak honestly about your substance use with your doctor. They can assess your treatment needs and help you make the right decision for recovery. Factors they’ll consider include:5

  • The most appropriate treatment setting for your recovery needs.
  • Your willingness to stop using substances and attend treatment.
  • Whether you have any co-occurring physical or mental health disorders.
  • How you tend to react to medicine.
  • Your support system.

MAT Medicines

MAT medicines by themselves don’t cure addiction, but they can help ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings.2

Medicines for Alcohol Use Disorder

There are 3 FDA-approved medicines for treating AUD.1

Medicines for Opioid Use Disorder

Certain MAT medicines for opioid treatment may be started in detox, but they are also an important part of ongoing recovery for many people.6 These FDA-approved medicines can be used for weeks, months, or even years, depending on your treatment needs.2

MAT Therapies

While helpful, medicines aren’t a cure-all. Going beyond simply prescribing medicines, medication-assisted treatment entails a more comprehensive approach that incorporates professional counseling and behavioral therapy.6 Some common therapy approaches used in MAT include:12

Will Insurance Pay for Medication-Assisted Treatment in Las Vegas?

Most health insurance plans offer some coverage for substance use disorder treatment.8 The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) is a federal law that requires most health insurance plans to cover behavioral health issues, including SUDs, at the same level as physical health issues.8 This and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have expanded insurance benefits for effective, evidence-based treatments for substance use disorders, including MAT.5,8 The ACA also prevents insurance companies from denying coverage due to a pre-existing condition, including substance use disorders.9

How to Start Medication-Assisted Treatment in Las Vegas

American Addiction Centers is a leading provider of MAT in Nevada and across the nation. We offer evidence-based treatment plans that are tailored to meet your unique recovery needs. Our licensed clinicians offer a full range of clinical care, from medical detox to outpatient treatment. Call our free, confidential helpline 24/7 at to learn more about how we can help you leave behind the pain of addiction.