Home » Blog » The Benefits of MAT for Opioid Addiction

The Benefits of MAT for Opioid Addiction

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) or opioids has revolutionized the approach to treating opioid addiction. It works by combining medication with therapy and support services. This comprehensive approach has been proven effective in helping individuals overcome opioid abuse and achieve long-term recovery.

Exploring the benefits of MAT for opioid addiction can be beneficial for people seeking treatment.

An Overview of MAT for Addition

MAT for opioids is a comprehensive approach to treating addiction that combines the use of medication with counseling and behavioral therapies. MAT is highly effective in helping individuals recover from substance abuse disorders, particularly opioid addiction. The main goal of MAT is to address the physical and psychological aspects of addiction, reduce cravings, prevent relapse, and support long-term recovery.

In addition to medication management, MAT also includes individual and group therapy sessions, behavioral interventions, support services, and medical monitoring. This holistic approach addresses the physical dependence on opioids and also helps individuals develop coping skills and build resilience against triggers.

How Does It Work?

The FDA approves several medications for use in MAT for opioid addiction, including methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. These medications work by targeting the same receptors in the brain as opioids but without producing euphoria or dangerous side effects.

They help individuals manage withdrawal symptoms, reduce cravings, and stabilize their brain chemistry.

MAT Procedures

MAT procedures typically involve the following steps:

  • Assessment: Individuals seeking MAT undergo a comprehensive evaluation to determine the severity of their addiction, medical history, and specific needs. This assessment helps develop an individualized treatment plan.
  • Medication induction: Individuals have prescribed medications such as methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone under close medical supervision to manage withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings.
  • Medication maintenance: After the induction phase, individuals continue taking the prescribed medication at monitored doses to maintain stability and prevent relapse.
  • Counseling and therapy: Individuals participate in counseling sessions to address underlying issues contributing to addiction and develop coping skills for long-term recovery.
  • Medical monitoring: Throughout MAT treatment, clients receive ongoing medical monitoring. This ensures medication effectiveness, monitors progress toward recovery goals, adjusts medications as needed, and addresses any potential side effects or concerns.
  • Continuous support: MAT programs provide ongoing support services, referrals to community resources, and follow-up care to help individuals sustain long-term recovery.

Benefits of MAT for Opioid Addiction

MAT for opioid addiction offers several benefits. MAT medications help stabilize brain chemistry and reduce intense cravings, making it easier for individuals to resist the urge to relapse. Studies have shown that combining medication with counseling and behavioral therapies increases the likelihood of successful recovery.

Additionally, medications used in MAT help reduce the risk of overdose by blocking the effects of other opioids and stabilizing tolerance levels. MAT programs also include counseling and therapy sessions. These help address underlying mental health issues, trauma, or other co-occurring disorders for long-term abstinence. 

What Medications Are Used?

Several medications are used in MAT for opioid addiction. The 3 main FDA-approved medications for treating opioid use disorder are methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. Methadone is a long-acting opioid agonist. It reduces withdrawal symptoms and cravings without producing the euphoric effects of other opioids.

Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist that activates the same receptors as opioids. But it has a ceiling effect, meaning it produces limited euphoria and suppresses withdrawal symptoms. It can be taken as a sublingual tablet daily or through an extended-release injection called Sublocade.

Naltrexone is another opioid antagonist that blocks the effects of other opioids. It binds to their receptors in the brain, thereby reducing the desire to use drugs and preventing relapse. It comes in oral pill form or as a monthly injectable called Vivitrol.

Short and Long-Term Effects of Opioid Addiction

The short-term effects of opioid addiction may include:

  • Euphoria
  • Relaxation
  • Pain relief
  • Drowsiness
  • Sedation
  • Nausea, vomiting, and constipation
  • Confusion
  • Cognitive impairment

The long-term effects of opioid addiction may include the following:

  • Tolerance and dependence require increased doses to achieve the same effects
  • Physical health issues such as respiratory depression, heart problems, and liver damage 
  • Mental health disorders like anxiety, depression, or psychosis 
  • Destructive behaviors such as self-harming or aggression and violence toward others 
  • Difficulties maintaining responsibilities at work, school, and home 

Opioid addiction can also lead to social isolation, breakdowns in personal relationships, loss of employment, economic hardship, and increased risk-taking and risky behaviors. 


Detox is the process of safely managing withdrawal symptoms that occur when a person stops using drugs or alcohol. When it comes to opioid addiction, detox involves helping individuals address their dependence on opioids in a safe and controlled manner.

The goals of medically monitored detox are to minimize discomfort during withdrawal and manage potentially severe symptoms such as cravings or anxiety. It also prepares individuals for ongoing treatment through MAT and other forms of addiction treatment.

Start MAT for Opioid Addiction in Nashville, TN Today

When you are ready to take the first steps toward an opioid-free life, Detox Nashville is here to help. We offer medically supervised detox that includes MAT for opioid addiction. Our experienced team creates individual treatment plans and provides the support you need to begin your recovery journey.

Contact us today to discover a brighter future free from opioids.

24/7 Help Is Standing By, Call Us Now.

24/7 Help Is Standing By, Call Us Now.