Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder
The Pew Charitable Trusts published a video overview on medication-assisted therapy for opioid use disorder. The clip is less than 2 minutes (shown below), and offers a quick summary of the medications often used in treating opioid addiction.
Opioid use disorder is highlighted as a complex brain disease. Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) combines medication + behavioral therapies. Medication addresses the patient’s debilitating opioid withdrawal symptoms while behavioral therapy focuses on the underlying psycho-social factors that contribute to and perpetuate the addictive cycle.
This combined approach to treatment is designed to help patients cope with the powerful physiological aspects of their disease as well as developing new skills for enhancing coping and preventing drug relapses. Managing the disease includes reducing one’s risk of overdose and striving for improved health.
Opioid use disorder is estimated to be affecting more than 2 million Americans, and it is has risen sharply in recent years. More education and access to effective drug treatments are needed to turn this multi-faceted problem around. Let’s get the word out and keep the conversation going!