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Medication Assisted Treatment


Opioid addiction is a chronic disease, such as heart disease or diabetes, that cannot be cured, but it can be managed in a way that helps an addict return to a healthy and productive life. People can’t just quit addiction – they need help.

Kentucky Mental Health Care professionals can help you in overcoming your substance abuse or opioid addiction. They will work with you to classify your previous treatment experiences, medical conditions, and other aspects that can relate to your care.

What is medication-assisted treatment?

Designed to meet the needs of each person, Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of medication combined with counseling for treating opioid addiction such as prescription pain relievers and heroin. 

The prescribed drug works to normalize brain chemistry, block the euphoric effects of alcohol and opioids, alleviate physiological cravings, and normalize bodily functions without the adverse effects of the abused drug.

Research shows that a combination of drugs and therapies can effectively treat these disorders and that for some people with addiction, Medication Assisted Therapy may help maintain healing and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

This therapeutic approach has been shown to:

  • Improve patient survival
  • Increase treatment retention
  • Reduce the use of illicit opiates and other criminal activity among people with substance use disorders
  • Increase the ability of patients to obtain and retain employment
  • Improve birth outcomes for women with substance use disorders and are pregnant

Types of Medication.

The most common drugs used in the Medication Treatment of opioid dependence are buprenorphine and methadone. Sometimes another medicine called naltrexone is used.


Buprenorphine reduces cravings and helps the brain think it continues to have the problem as an opioid. It overpowers and reduces cravings for the abused drug. The person taking medicine feels normal, not high, and withdrawal does not occur. It can be a pill or a sublingual tablet placed under the tongue. Kentucky Mental Health Care doctors have special authorization to prescribe buprenorphine.


Methadone induces the brain into believing that it is continuing to take the drug it has abused. The person does not lift and feels normal, so withdrawal does not take place.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women should tell their treatment provider before taking methadone. It is the only drug used in Medication-Assisted Treatment approved for pregnant or breastfeeding women. 


Naltrexone works differently from methadone and buprenorphine in treating opioid dependence. If a person who uses naltrexone relapses and uses the drug they have abused, naltrexone blocks the euphoric and sedative effects of the drug being used and prevents feelings of euphoria

How does the MAT work?

Medication-Assisted Recovery consists of administering very specific drugs at very specific doses, tailored to the patient receiving them. The drug does not mimic the effects of the addictive drug, as is generally believed. Instead, the drug treats the withdrawal symptoms that occur due to the discontinuation of the addictive drug. 

The psychological dependency that develops as a result of addiction is also reduced by taking medication. It creates a situation where the body can slowly repair itself and normalize its systems to a pre-addictive stage. 

MAT efficiency?

MAT has been widely proven to reduce the need for drug addiction services significantly. Supplemented with behavioral and cognitive therapy, MAT can lead to a full recovery from addiction and eliminate addiction. Patient survival rates and resistance to relapse are greatly improved by MAT. 

Kentucky Mental Health Care Medication Assisted Treatment Program.

The Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) program is available at Kentucky Mental Health Care. It is specifically dedicated to helping people recover from Opioid Use Disorder with the use of intensive counseling and medication.

Contact us today if you or any of your loved ones need assistance in dealing with drug addiction. We’ll help you find the treatment that is right for you.

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