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August 1, 2019

MAT for Opioid Use Disorder: Overcoming Objections

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) uses FDA-approved medicines such as buprenorphine (Suboxone), methadone, and naltrexone (Vivitrol), often supplemented by behavioral treatment and social supports. Harm-reduction services are employed to keep patients safe until they are ready to seek treatment—services such as dispensing naloxone, an opioid antidote that prevents death from overdose, and providing clean syringes to prevent HIV and hepatitis C. A medication-first approach allows patients to be stabilized first on medication and then be brought to the appropriate level of care to fit their needs—thereby decreasing the risk of overdose and relapse. Despite data showing the success of MAT in treating drug addiction, objections are still common. Following are some frequent objections and evidence-based responses.

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