Medication Assisted Treatment



 At the Family MD, we believe there are multiple roads that lead from addiction to recovery

 What is Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)?


Before we begin talking about treatment for opioid addiction, it is important to know what is defined as opioid addiction.  Opioid addiction is characterized by a strong, compulsive urge to consume opioid drugs, even when they are no longer medically required.  Opioid addiction remains at epidemic levels in the U.S and the numbers are only expected to rise.  Here are some quick facts:


-More than 263,000 people died from opioid overdose from 1999 to 2020 (21 years)

-More than 75,000 people died from opioid overdose in just this past year ending in April 2021

-10.1 million people misused prescription opioids this past year

-Overdose deaths involving opioid have increased at least 6 times since 1999


It’s clear that opioids have a high potential for causing addiction in people, even when they are taken as prescribed.  Although there are multiple roads to recovery, only one is described as the most effective by the CDC and approved by multiple federal agencies (FDA, SAMHSA, and other agencies), and that is Medication- assisted treatment.  Medication- assisted treatment (MAT) involves the use of medication, in conjunction with cognitive or behavioral therapy, to provide a holistic approach to treating opioid addiction


Here at The Family MD, we combine cutting edge technology with MAT therapy

Although MAT has saved millions of patients from opioid related complications and death, less than 20% of those suffering from opioid addiction have access to itIn addition to geographic constraints, there is a shortage of physicians that are trained in its application.  According to SAMHSA, less than 7 percent of physicians are successfully waivered to treat opioid addiction.  Tele- MAT services, like we offer at The Family MD, is one way to improve access to care for those who may not otherwise be able to do so due to cost, lack of access to or lack of availability of prescribing doctors. 


The M in MAT stands for specific FDA approved medication that is used to decrease cravings and physiologic dependence on opioids.  While there are multiple formulations and manufacturers, all of them can be summed up in three medications:

1)   Buprenorphine

2)   Methadone

3)   Naltrexone

The first two, buprenorphine and methadone, are both partial and full opioid agonists respectively, whereas naltrexone is an opioid antagonist.  While all three are approved for treatment of opioid addiction, perhaps the best one for most patients is buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) due to its favorable profile.  Since it is only a partial agonist, it prevents the feelings of euphoria when taken, reduces cravings at the same time, and discourages IV injection.  For this reason, buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) is the only FDA approved treatment that is prescribed at The Family MD.  With higher than 95% of patients withdrawal free at 5 days, our results are a testament to our expertise when dealing with opioid addiction.  Schedule an appointment now to discuss further how we can best help you achieve lasting sobriety.