Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) helps people who are addicted to opioids - this includes prescription opioids and heroin.
MAT uses both medicine and counseling (therapy) to help you recover from an opioid addiction. Medicine eases withdrawal symptoms that happen when you stop using opioids. Medicine and counseling are more helpful together than either type of treatment on its own.
Medicines Used in MAT
Methadone is prescribed by a doctor at an opioid treatment program. Usually, you get methadone while at the program for other treatment, like group and individual counseling. You do not have to stop using other opioids before starting methadone.
Suboxone is prescribed almost as often as methadone. Doctors who treat opioid dependence can prescribe Suboxone. It is also prescribed in some substance use disorder treatment centers. You do not have to stop using other opioids before starting Suboxone.
Vivitrol is a long-lasting injectable medicine (shot) that you get once a month, in treatment centers or doctors’ offices. Vivitrol prevents you from getting a “high” if you were to use an opioid while being treated with Vivitrol. But you have to stop using opioids before you can get Vivitrol.
The Right Medicine for You
The right medicine for you depends on the intensity of your addiction and how long you have been addicted. A medical professional can help decide which medicine is right for you. When used properly, medicine is safe to take and will not lead to a new addiction.