Medication Assisted Treatment

Southeast Missouri Behavioral Health has agreements with several certified Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) physicians and is recognized as the leader of Medication Assisted Therapies in Missouri. Southeast Missouri Behavioral Health connects persons with local physicians where available and for those individuals without a local physician or without transportation we are able to connect them to services through our telehealth services system which is the most extensive telehealth MAT system in the Midwest. Oue telehealth service means that we are able to connect a person with a MAT medical provider within a few hours, preventing the need for expensive inpatient detoxification.

The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has provided the following information on MAT. If you or a loved one are interested in MAT please contact us.

Has alcohol or opioid use turned someone you care about into “somebody else”? Is there something that can be done to help your friend or loved one overcome this addiction?
Medication-assisted treatment is one way to help those with opioid use disorder recover their lives. There are three, equally important parts to this model of treatment:
• Medication
• Counseling
• Support from family and friends.

The three parts work together to help people recover. Medication-assisted treatment may be helpful to your friend or loved one.

Medication-assisted treatment includes the use of medication along with counseling and other support. Treatment that includes medication is often the best choice for opioid or alcohol use disorders.

Medication allows a person with a substance use disorder to regain a normal state of mind, free of drug-induced highs and lows. It frees the person from thinking all the time about the drug. It reduces problems of withdrawal and craving. These changes give the person the chance to focus on healthy lifestyle changes.

Taking medication for a substance use disorder is similar to taking medication to control heart disease or diabetes. It is NOT substituting one addictive drug for another. Used properly, medication does NOT create a new addiction. It helps people manage addiction so that the benefits of recovery can be maintained.

The most common medications used in treatment of substance use disorders are methadone, buprenorphine, naltrexone, and Vivitrol (injectable slow release naltrexone). All of these medications have the same positive effect: they help reduce problem addiction behavior.

When a person decides to try medication-assisted treatment, the first step is to meet with a doctor or other medical staff member. This first meeting is called an assessment. The person is asked questions such as:

• How long have you been using the drug?
• Are you using any other drugs?
• Do you drink alcohol?
• What are your drug using and drinking habits and patterns?
• Have you been in treatment before?
• Do you have other health problems?
• Are you taking any medicines?
• Have you ever had reactions to medicines?
• Are you pregnant?
• Do you have any special needs?
• What are your goals for recovery?
• Do you have family or friends to support you through treatment?

During this meeting, the person learns about treatment choices, rules that must be followed to stay in treatment, and what to expect next.

A physical exam also is part of the assessment. This exam finds out about the person’s general health. It also checks for diseases that are common to people who have been abusing drugs. The exam often includes a drug test.

After the assessment, the doctor or substance use treatment provider discusses treatment choices and can include family or friends in the discussion.

An Individualized Treatment Plan is developed that includes:
• The goals for treatment
• The decision on which medication to use and the dose level to start
• The schedule for visits to the treatment center
• The plan for counseling
• Other options, such as attending a support group
• How success toward goals will be measured.

The plan is a collaboration between the client and treatment staff.