By John Miles

Substance use disorders are complex conditions that can have a significant impact on an individual’s physical and mental health, relationships, and overall quality of life. While there are various treatment options available, one approach that has proven to be effective is medication-assisted therapy (MAT).

In this blog post, we will discuss what MAT is and how it can help individuals struggling with substance use disorders.

What is Medication-Assisted Therapy?

Medication-assisted therapy (MAT) is a treatment approach that combines the use of medications with behavioral therapies to treat substance use disorders. The medications used in MAT work by reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with substance use, allowing individuals to focus on their recovery without being distracted by physical discomfort.

The types of medications used in MAT depend on the substance being abused. For example, methadone or buprenorphine may be prescribed for opioid addiction, while naltrexone may be used for alcohol dependence.

Alongside medication, behavioral therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing (MI), and contingency management (CM) are used to address the psychological aspects of addiction and teach individuals coping strategies to prevent relapse.

How Does MAT Work?

MAT works by addressing both the physical and psychological aspects of addiction. The medication component helps reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms while also blocking the effects of drugs or alcohol if they are used during treatment.

Behavioral therapies help individuals learn new coping strategies, build social support networks, and develop healthy habits that promote long-term recovery. By combining these two approaches, MAT provides a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses all aspects of addiction.

Is MAT Effective?

Research has shown that medication-assisted therapy can be highly effective in treating substance use disorders. Studies have found that individuals who receive MAT have higher rates of retention in treatment programs than those who do not receive medication.

Additionally, individuals who receive MAT have been found to have better outcomes in terms of reducing drug use or achieving abstinence compared to those who only receive behavioral therapy or no treatment at all.


Medication-assisted therapy is a valuable tool in treating substance use disorders. It offers a comprehensive approach that addresses both the physical and psychological aspects of addiction. If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance use disorder, consider talking to your healthcare provider about whether MAT may be an appropriate option for you. Remember: seeking help early can improve your chances of achieving long-term recovery from addiction.


John Myles
PR Coordinator
Advaita Integrated Medicine.

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