Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the practice of using FDA-approved medication combined with counseling and behavioral therapies to treat some Substance Use Disorders. This type of treatment can be used for several different substances, including nicotine, alcohol, and opioids. Opioids are a class of drugs that include prescription pain relievers such as Oxycodone, heroin, and fentanyl (a synthetic opioid).

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Three prescription medications have been approved by the FDA specifically for the treatment of Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), including:


a clinic-based, opioid agonist that combines with certain receptors in the brain to reduce opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms as well as block the effect of opioids. It is dispensed daily in liquid form and only in specialty regulated clinics


an office-based, non-addictive opioid antagonist which means that it blocks the effects of opioids such as prescription opioids and heroin and is taken as a daily pill or monthly injection


an office-based opioid agonist/antagonist that reduces the effects of physical dependency to opioids, such as withdrawal symptoms and craving. The medication can be in the form of a daily dissolving tablet, cheek film, or 6-month implant under the skin

When used in combination with counseling, all three of these treatments have been proven to be safe and effective. As with any chronic disease, the paths of treatment and recovery are unique to everyone. Because of this, some individuals may use MAT temporarily, and some may continue indefinitely.

Pros and cons for MAT

Who Can Provide MAT?

Qualified practitioners include Physicians, Nurse Practitioners (NPs), Physician Assistants (PAs), Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNSs), Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNAs), and Certified Nurse-Midwifes (CNMs). But, depending on what type of provider you are, there are various waivers you can (must?) apply for to provide your patients with MAT.

AskPETRA can help guide you.

We work with a partner organization that can break down the process, provide necessary training, and help with obstacles in incorporating MAT into your practice. AskPETRA can also help your patients, making recovery more attainable. We offer free recovery coaches to those seeking – or in – recovery. And our website and hotline can help anyone find needed support, including resources for food, housing, daycare, transportation, health insurance, support groups, and more.

Where to Find a MAT Provider: