Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Elizabeth Drew, MD
Last Updated: June 28, 2022

Drug and alcohol addiction is a nationwide problem that affects every subsection of the population. Anyone can struggle with drug or alcohol addiction, from adolescents to adults, high-level corporate executives to housewives, straight-A students to struggling drifters.

An estimated 14.8 million people ages 12 and older in the United States had an alcohol use disorder in 2018. 8.1 million people in the same population lived with a substance use disorder. With more than 5 percent of the population struggling with their alcohol or substance use, there is a clear need for solutions.

Thankfully, treatment facilities throughout the country provide help to people trying to stop using drugs and alcohol. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a common component used in treatment programs at these facilities. It combines the use of medication with behavioral therapy and counseling to treat all aspects of addiction.

How does medication-assisted treatment help those trying to stay alcohol and drug-free? Who benefits from MAT and how does a person know whether MAT is right for them? Continue reading to learn more.

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What is Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)?

Addiction and alcoholism are complex conditions with a wide range of causes that affect every aspect of an individual. They are relapsing diseases with both physical and psychological impacts that make them difficult to treat with a single method. Effective drug and alcohol treatment incorporates a variety of approaches specific to each individual.