MAT: What is it?
MAT is an acronym. Simply, it stands for Medication Assisted Treatment. Doctors use MAT in conversation when they are talking about medical treatment for opioid addiction.
Why do doctors call it MAT?
Sometimes, it is hard for us doctors to avoid using technical medical terms when explaining how addiction treatment works. We are used to using certain words and we sometimes forget that our patients are not in our line of business. So, we must remind ourselves to slow down and explain carefully what words mean and how treatment works.
MAT is Medication Assisted Treatment. What is that?
It might be easiest to just say that MAT is Suboxone therapy. Suboxone is a brand name drug used to treat opioid and opiate addiction. If you are addicted to heroin, oxycodone, dilaudid, morphine or one or more of the many opioid drugs, Suboxone can help you quit drugs and get clean very quickly. There are other brands of Suboxone. There is buprenorphine, Subutex, ZubSolv, Probuphine, Sublocade and others. Suboxone is the brand that most people are familiar with.
MAT is more than just Suboxone treatment.
The reason doctors like to use proper terminology is so we are not misunderstood. If I tell a patient that I am starting them on Suboxone therapy, they may believe that it means they are just going to get a prescription. MAT is more than just taking medication every day. It also involves ongoing therapy to address the underlaying issues of addiction.
The best part about MAT is that it really works. The success rate in treating opioid use disorder with MAT is far above that of therapy alone. If you or someone close to you has a problem with heroin or other opiates or opioids, consider seeing a doctor about MAT or find a treatment program or hospital that can initiate long-term MAT.