Treatment and Recovery Support
What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?
Medication-Assisted treatment (MAT) is an evidence-based practice that uses medication to supplement behavioral therapy in the treatment of substance use disorder. Medication-assisted treatment is commonly used for opioid use disorder, but several medications are used to help treat other substance use disorders (such as alcohol use disorder and tobacco use disorder) as well. There are three medications commonly used to treat opioid addiction:
- Methadone – clinic-based opioid agonist that does not block other narcotics while preventing withdrawal while taking it; daily liquid dispensed only in specialty regulated clinics
- Naltrexone – office-based non-addictive opioid antagonist that blocks the effects of other narcotics; daily pill or monthly injection
- Buprenorphine – office-based opioid agonist/ antagonist that blocks other narcotics while reducing withdrawal risk; daily dissolving tablet, cheek film, or 6-month implant under the skin
MAT can produce a range of benefits including:
- Minimize withdrawal symptoms and cravings, which are associated with higher relapse rates. As a result, MAT can lead to a smoother transition to a drug-free lifestyle in the early stages of recovery.
- Focus on developing long-term recovery skills while still working to manage withdrawal and detox symptoms.
- Individuals in MAT have a lower potential for relapse-related illnesses, legal issues, relationship issues, and other social issues.
- Solid empirical evidence that supports the use of MAT. It has been shown, particularly with opioid agonist medications, to:
- Reduce morbidity and mortality (including deaths from overdose)
- Reduce infectious disease transmissions
- Reduce criminal activity
- Help keep people in treatment
While MAT has been shown to be a helpful treatment for substance use disorders, there are still some important factors to consider before beginning medication-assisted treatment:
- The medications used in MAT can produce unpleasant side effects
- Some of the medications used in MAT are potentially addictive themselves. Eventually, the user will have to taper down the dosage of these medications to become totally drug-free.
- If a person in MAT relapses, his/her tolerance level to the original abused drug is often lowered. If the person uses the original drug, his/her risk of overdose is greatly increased.
- MAT is not a stand-alone treatment approach. In order to ensure complete recovery, the individual recovering must address the root causes of the substance use disorder. This can only be accomplished by engaging in a comprehensive substance use disorder recovery program that includes counseling/therapy, social support, and long-term aftercare treatment planning.
For more information on MAT contact:
For information on buprenorphine treatment contact:
SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) at
For information about other medication-assisted treatment (MAT) or the certification of opioid treatment programs (OTPs) contact:
SAMHSA Division of Pharmacologic Therapies
MAT Providers/Residential Treatment Programs
Detroit Recovery Project
1145 West Grand Blvd.
Detroit, MI 48208
Detroit Recovery Project
SHAR (Self-Help Addiction Rehabilitation) House Inc.
1852 W Grand Blvd
Detroit, MI 48208
Dwight C. Vaughter
SHAR House Inc.
The Salvation Army Family Adult Rehabilitation Center
(24-hour drop off)
1627 W Fort Street
Detroit, MI 48216
3737 Lawton Street
Detroit, MI 48208
Naloxone is an emergency medication called an opioid antagonist used to counter the effects of opioid overdose, for example morphine, oxycodone and heroin overdose. Specifically, naloxone is used in opioid overdoses to counteract life-threatening depression of the central nervous system and respiratory system, allowing an overdose victim to breathe normally. Naloxone is a nonscheduled (i.e., non-addictive), prescription medication. Naloxone only works if a person has opioids in their system; the medication has no effect if opioids are absent. Although traditionally administered by emergency response personnel, naloxone can be administered by minimally trained laypeople, which makes it ideal for treating overdose in people who have been prescribed opioid pain medication and in people who use heroin and other opioids. Naloxone has no potential for abuse. Naloxone may be injected in the muscle, vein or under the skin or sprayed into the nose. It is a temporary medication that wears off in 20-90 minutes.
About Naloxone Nasal Spray
Naloxone nasal spray is used for emergency treatment of an opioid overdose or a possible overdose. It will temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid medicine. Some signs and symptoms of an opioid emergency are breathing problems (which can range from slow or shallow breathing to no breathing), extreme sleepiness, slow heartbeat, or not being able to respond, a very small (pinpoint) pupil in a person who is difficult to awaken.
NARCAN® (naloxone HCl) Nasal Spray is the first and only FDA-approved nasal form of naloxone for the emergency treatment of a known or suspected opioid overdose. NARCAN® Nasal Spray counteracts the life-threatening effects of an opioid overdose. Since most accidental overdoses occur in a home setting, it was developed for first responders, as well as family, friends, and caregivers with no medical training required. NARCAN® is designed to be easy to use without medical training; available from pharmacists without a prescription from a physician; and is covered by most major insurance plans. The medicine in NARCAN® Nasal Spray has no effect in people who are not taking opioid medicines.
Benefits of NARCAN®
- NARCAN® is provides the first and only FDA-approved nasal form of naloxone for the emergency treatment of a known or suspected opioid overdose
- NARCAN® is approved by SAMHSA (the funding agency) for opioid overdose response
- NARCAN® is developed for first responders and lay persons with no medical training
- NARCAN® has no effect on people who are not taking opioid medicines
- NARCAN® is easy to use and anyone is capable of administering it
- NARCAN® is available without a prescription and is covered by most major insurance plans
For training on how to administer naloxone contact:
Grenae Dudley, Ph.D.
President & CEO
The Youth Connection, Inc.
4777 East Outer Drive, Ste 1340
Detroit, Michigan, 48234