Southeast Missouri Behavioral Health has agreements with several certified 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 extensive telehealth services. We have the most extensive telehealth MAT system in the Midwest. With our telehealth service 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 addiction recover their lives. There are three, equally important parts to this form of treatment:
• Medication
• Counseling
• Support from family and friends.

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

Medication-assisted treatment is treatment for addiction that 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.

If a person is addicted, medication allows him or her 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 can reduce problems of withdrawal and craving. These changes can give the person the chance to focus on the lifestyle changes that lead back to healthy living.

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

The most common medications used in treatment of substance use disorders are methadone and buprenorphine, naltrexone, and Vivitrol (injectable slow release naltrexone). All of these medications have the same positive effect: they 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 taking the drug?
• Are you taking any other drugs?
• Do you drink alcohol?
• What are your drug-taking 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. This is usually a check of urine or saliva.

After the assessment, the doctor or substance abuse treatment provider discusses treatment choices with the person, who may choose to include family or friends in the discussion.

The person agrees to a treatment plan. This covers:
• 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 steps to take, such as attending a support group
• How success toward goals will be measured.

The plan describes what happens if it is not followed. The person will be asked to sign a form showing that he or she agrees to follow the plan.