Who is eligible for treatment at an opioid treatment program (OTP)?

In order to be admitted to an OTP that utilizes both methadone and buprenorphine, a person must meet the Diagnostics and Statistics Manual version 5 (DSM5) criteria for opioid use disorder (OUD).  In order to receive methadone, a person must also meet the following criteria: a minimum of one year of addiction to opioids, [...]


What is medication assisted treatment (MAT)?

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. This combination of services assists a person in achieving long-term and stable recovery.  Medications used in MAT are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and [...]


How do medications to treat opioid use disorder work?

Opioid Agonists and Partial Agonists (Maintenance Medications) Studies show that people with opioid use disorder who follow detoxification with complete abstinence are very likely to relapse, or return to using the drug. While relapse is a normal step on the path to recovery, it can also be life threatening, raising the risk for a [...]


How effective are medications to treat opioid use disorder?

Abundant evidence shows that methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone all reduce opioid use and opioid use disorder-related symptoms, and they reduce the risk of infectious disease transmission as well as criminal behavior associated with illicit substance use. These medications also increase the likelihood that a person will remain in treatment, which itself is associated with [...]


What are misconceptions about maintenance treatment?

Because maintenance medications (methadone and buprenorphine) are themselves opioids and are able to produce euphoria in people who are not dependent on opioids, many people have assumed that this form of treatment just substitutes a new substance use disorder for an old one. This belief has unfortunately hindered the adoption of these effective treatments. [...]

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