Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) of Substance Use Disorders involves a combination of a medications that targets the brain, and psychosocial interventions (e.g., counseling, skills development) aimed at improving treatment outcomes. Research shows that medications and therapy together may be more successful than either treatment method alone.
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While PCSS provides trainings on a broad range of substance use disorder treatments, its primary focus is on treatment of opioid use disorders (OUD). Opioids include a class of drugs often prescribed for pain—morphine, fentanyl, oxycodone, and hydrocodone—as well as illicit drugs, such as heroin. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three medications for the treatment of OUD: methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone.
The introductory module below is a case-based discussion of the general approach to evaluation and treatment of patients presenting with problematic opioid use. Benefits and limitations of available medications and differences between them are described. An approach to choosing first and second line treatments is also presented.