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Recovery Centers of America’s Medication Assisted Treatment

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Achieve and maintain recovery with Medication Assisted Treatment programs

The first step in addiction treatment is minimizing cravings and physical withdrawals.

Whether that means going through medically monitored detoxification or participating in Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), the choice is yours and yours alone. It’s important to know what your options are, so you can pick the right one for you.

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT), or what is now commonly referred to as Medications for Addiction Treatment, is an option many clients use to jumpstart and assist with their recovery. You decide how to reach recovery; RCA will provide you with the available treatment modalities. Much like the disease of addiction, there are myths and stigma surrounding the use of MAT.

Keep reading for a few things you’ll want to know about MAT before deciding if it’s right for you.

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) benefits

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), MAT has been clinically effective in helping people achieve and maintain recovery. Because MAT provides a comprehensive, individually tailored program of both medication and behavioral therapy, this formula is often the key our clients need to stay in long-term recovery. We also provide educational seminars and workshops, STD screening, physical exams, psychological assessments, and job readiness programs.

MAT has been shown to:

  • Improve patient survival
  • Increase retention in treatment
  • Decrease illicit opiate use and other criminal activity among people with substance use disorders
  • Increase clients’ ability to gain and maintain employment
  • Improve birth outcomes among women who have substance use disorders and are pregnant
  • Additional research shows that these medications and therapies can lower a person’s risk of contracting HIV or hepatitis C by reducing the potential for relapse
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Types of MAT medication

*Please note: MAT offerings vary by location

The FDA-approved medications RCA uses are prescribed and distributed by medical staff who understand the complexity of addiction.

Here’s how these particular medications work:


Methadone is perhaps the most well-known and highly regulated medication used during treatment for opioid addiction. Methadone is a full agonist, which means it combines with receptors in the brain and nervous system to produce the desired effect.

This combination lessens the painful symptoms of opioid withdrawal and blocks the euphoric effects of an opiate drug. When Methadone is administered properly during MAT, the patient feels normal, does not physically crave opiates, and does not become lethargic. Methadone is administered once per day via a liquid solution.

Methadone dosages need to be slowly built up over time to avoid the risk of overdosing. Methadone can be dangerous when abused.

Suboxone (Buprenorphine)

While Methadone is a full agonist, the FDA-approved Suboxone (Buprenorphine) is a partial agonist that is used during MAT. This means it does not bind fully to opioid receptors like Methadone.

Comprised of Buprenorphine and Naloxone, Suboxone is effective for treating opioid withdrawal as it alleviates the physical symptoms and decreases cravings. If an individual attempts to abuse opioids—such as heroin and prescription painkillers—while taking Suboxone, that person will experience adverse results because Naloxone counteracts the effects that opioids have on the brain.

RCA offers Suboxone in our MAT programming and Office-Based Opioid Treatment (OBOT).

Click for more information about Suboxone Treatment or to learn the difference between Methadone vs. Suboxone

VIVITROL® (Extended Release Injectable Naltrexone)

This FDA-approved injectable medication is an antagonist designed to avert cravings for an extended amount of time. Administered only once each month during an MAT program, this naltrexone-based medication wards off opioid cravings, alleviates physical symptoms of withdrawal, and prevents overdose from occurring. VIVITROL® requires the user to abstain from any opiate for 14 days before the first injection.


This monthly injection is an extended release of Buprenorphine. Similar to Suboxone, Buprenorphine is an opiate that activates receptors in the brain – but in a controlled fashion. This means there will be no euphoric feelings that cause cravings. Once injected by a medical professional, Sublocade begins to distribute throughout the body, working to minimize withdrawal symptoms while reducing cravings.

When used as a part of a complete treatment program – one that also includes counseling and medical supervision – Sublocade can help adults achieve and maintain recovery.

Subutex (Buprenorphine)

The active ingredient in Subutex is Buprenorphine, just like in Suboxone. The two medications are nearly identical in effect, route of administrational and duration. The main difference between the two is the additional ingredient Naloxone in Suboxone. Naloxone is added to the formulation of Suboxone to prevent misuse of the medication; however, some people don’t tolerate Naloxone, and it is also not recommended for pregnant women. Unlike Suboxone, Subutex does not contain Naloxone, which makes it the go-to partial agonist opioid addiction treatment option for those who can’t take Suboxone.

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