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The has become a major public health crisis in the United States, with North Carolina being one of the states hit hardest by this epidemic. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), North Carolina had 1,884 drug overdose deaths involving opioids in 2019, which is a rate of 19.8 deaths per 100,000 population.

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) has emerged as an effective approach for treating individuals with opioid use disorders (OUDs). MAT combines medication such as methadone or buprenorphine with behavioral therapy and counseling to address OUDs. The goal of MAT is to provide patients with relief from withdrawal symptoms and cravings while also reducing their risk of relapse.

In North Carolina, there are several programs that offer MAT services including state-funded clinics and private practices. Despite its proven effectiveness, access to MAT remains limited due to various barriers such as stigma surrounding addiction treatment and lack of resources in rural areas.

This article will explore these challenges and potential solutions to increase access to MAT for those struggling with OUDs in North Carolina.

If you or a loved one is strugling with substance abuse, please call us. We can help. (855) 410-4488.

Mat: An Overview

Medication assisted treatment (MAT) is a form of addiction treatment that combines medication with therapy and counseling. It is primarily used to treat opioid addiction, but can also be effective for other substance use disorders.

MAT has been shown to reduce the high risk of of relapse, overdose, and other negative outcomes associated with addiction.

There are several medications approved by the FDA for use in MAT programs, including methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone. These medications work by reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms while blocking the effects of opioids on the brain.

Combined with behavioral therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy or motivational interviewing, MAT provides a comprehensive approach to treating substance use disorders.

Despite its effectiveness, there are still barriers to accessing MAT programs in some areas. Stigma surrounding addiction and misconceptions about medication-assisted treatment can prevent individuals from seeking help.

Additionally, lack of access to healthcare services or insurance coverage may make it difficult for some people to access these treatments. However, efforts are being made at both the state and national levels to increase access to evidence-based treatments like MAT for those struggling with addiction.

Benefits Of Mat In Treating Substance Use Disorders

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is a highly effective treatment for individuals suffering from Substance Use Disorders, particularly Opioid Use Disorders. MAT medication assisted treatment program utilizes FDA-approved medications such as Methadone, Buprenorphine, and Naltrexone in combination with behavioral therapy to help patients overcome their addiction. Research has shown that combining medication and therapy can be more effective than either approach alone.

The benefits of MAT in treating Substance Use Disorder are numerous. Here are four key advantages:

  1. Reduces the high risk of of overdose: Patients on MAT have fewer instances of overdose compared to those not receiving medication.
  2. Improves retention rates: Those who receive medication-assisted treatment stay longer in substance use disorder treatment programs in North Carolina and other states across the US.
  3. Better outcomes: Studies show that when used correctly, MAT reduces illicit drug and alcohol use disorder using, criminal activity, and infectious disease transmission while improving social function.
  4. Cost-effective: The cost-effectiveness of using MAT varies depending on the type of medication prescribed but overall it saves money by reducing healthcare costs associated with drug-related complications like HIV or Hepatitis C infections.

While there may be some controversy surrounding Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), research shows that it is an essential component of comprehensive Substance Use Disorder treatment programs in North Carolina and beyond. By providing users with safe alternatives to manage withdrawal symptoms and cravings while addressing underlying mental health issues through counseling and support services, we can significantly improve patient outcomes and reduce societal harm caused by opioid addiction.

Mat In North Carolina: A Brief History

The opioid epidemic has been a major public health crisis in North Carolina, leading to increased rates of overdose deaths and hospitalizations. In response to the growing need for effective treatment options, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) has become an increasingly popular approach to addressing opioid use disorder.

This section provides a brief history of MAT in North Carolina. In 2005, the first buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) treatment program was established in North Carolina as part of the Drug Addiction Treatment Act (DATA) of 2000. The DATA allowed qualified physicians to prescribe buprenorphine products for the treatment of opioid dependence outside traditional methadone clinics. Since then, there has been a steady increase in the number of providers offering MAT services across the state.

North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) launched its Opioid Action Plan in 2017 with the goal of reducing opioid-related overdoses by 20% over five years. The plan includes expanding access to evidence-based treatments such as MAT and increasing education about these treatments among healthcare professionals and patients alike.

As efforts continue to combat this ongoing crisis, MAT is likely to remain a cornerstone of addiction treatment programs throughout North Carolina.

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Types Of Medication Used In Mat

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a widely recognized approach for managing opioid addiction. This method combines the use of medication with counseling and behavioral therapies to help individuals overcome their substance abuse disorders. MAT has been found effective in reducing the risk of relapse, improving social functioning, and enhancing overall quality of life.

Buprenorphine is one of the most commonly used medications to treat opioid using in MAT. It works by binding to the same receptors as opioids, thereby reducing withdrawal symptoms and cravings without producing euphoria or sedation. Buprenorphine can be administered through tablets, films, or injections depending on individual needs. The drug's efficacy in treating opioid dependency has been well-established in numerous clinical trials.

Another medication used in MAT is Methadone which acts similarly to buprenorphine but requires daily clinic visits for administration.

Naltrexone is also an option that blocks the effects of opioids on the brain entirely; however, it may not be suitable for everyone due to its potential adverse side-effects.

Experts recommend tailoring MAT based on individual patient needs since different people respond differently to various medications.

In conclusion, Medication-assisted treatment offers a promising solution for those struggling with opioid addiction. While there are several types of medication available such as Buprenorphine and Methadone among others, choosing the right medication should be informed decision and depend upon individual factors like medical history, personal preferences and severity of addiction along with guidance from health professionals specialized in this field.

Combining appropriate medication with counseling sessions enhances recovery outcomes effectively enabling patients transition towards healthier lives free from a substance use disorder treatment and abuse disorder. Additionally, support from family and friends, as well as participation in support groups, can provide further encouragement and motivation for individuals in their recovery journey.

The Role Of Therapy And Counseling In Mat

In the previous section, we discussed the types of medication used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Now let us delve into the role of therapy and counseling in MAT.

It is well-known that addiction is a complex disease that requires comprehensive care to address its physical, psychological, and social aspects. Therefore, it is imperative for any good MAT program to incorporate behavioral health services such as therapy and counseling.

Therapy and counseling play an essential role in helping individuals with substance use disorders achieve sustained recovery. In fact, research has shown that combining medications with behavioral therapies can significantly improve treatment outcomes.

Counseling helps patients understand their triggers, develop coping mechanisms, make positive lifestyle changes, and rebuild relationships damaged by addiction. Additionally, therapy can help identify underlying mental health conditions or dual diagnosis issues that may contribute to their substance use disorder treatment or abuse.

Outpatient addiction treatment centers are increasingly incorporating various evidence-based approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing (MI), contingency management (CM) among others into their programs. Moreover, group therapy sessions provide peer support where participants share experiences and encourage each other along the path to recovery.

Family therapy also plays a crucial role in healing families affected by addiction; this type of therapy aims to improve communication skills between family members while addressing negative behaviors often associated with addiction.

The benefits of incorporating therapy and counseling into MAT include:

- Improved patient engagement

- Increased retention rates

- Better overall treatment outcomes

In conclusion, effective medication assisted treatment programs should offer a range of behavioral health services including individualized counseling tailored to meet specific needs based on co-occurring mental illnesses or trauma histories. Therapy provides opportunities for personal growth and development necessary for long-term recovery from addiction. While medications have critical roles in managing withdrawal symptoms and cravings during early stages of addiction recovery, journey they do not replace psychotherapy when it comes to treating chronic problems related to substance abuse and disorder treatment.

Atrium Addiction Care offers free and confidential guidance to those suffering from addiction many of the therapies listed above are available at our treatment centers located across the United States.

Call us today to discuss your options for treatment (855) 410-4488 for information on various treatment options..

Challenges In Implementing Mat In North Carolina

Despite the growing need for effective opioid addiction treatment, implementing medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in North Carolina has been challenging.

One major challenge is the lack of opioid treatment programs and resources available to those seeking help. While MAT has proven to be an effective method for treating opioid addiction, it requires specialized training and certification for providers. Unfortunately, many healthcare professionals in North Carolina are not certified to provide this type of opioid treatment programs.

Additionally, access to intensive outpatient programs (IOPs), which often incorporate MAT into their approach receive treatment, can be limited due to financial barriers or geographic location. This leaves individuals struggling with addiction without adequate support and care.

Moreover, there remains a stigma surrounding MAT as some view it as simply replacing one drug with another rather than viewing it as a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses both physical and psychological aspects of addiction.

Despite these challenges, there have been efforts made by policymakers and healthcare organizations in North Carolina to increase access to MAT.

For instance, Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act has allowed more individuals to receive coverage for substance abuse and disorder treatment and treatments like MAT.

Furthermore, initiatives such as Project Lazarus have focused on increasing provider education about MAT and addressing misconceptions about its effectiveness.

Despite these positive steps forward, continued effort is needed to ensure that all individuals struggling with opioid addiction have access to evidence-based treatments like MAT.

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Success Stories From Mat Patients

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) has been shown to help individuals with a substance use disorder or disorders achieve positive changes in their lives. The use of MAT can lead to improved outcomes, such as long-term recovery, when it is used in conjunction with psychosocial interventions.

MAT has been found to be effective in helping individuals with substance use disorders reduce relapse rates, reduce cravings, and prevent overdoses. Additionally, MAT can help individuals feel empowered and gain more control over their lives. Studies have found that individuals using MAT feel more supported and are better able to manage their substance use disorder.

MAT is a promising treatment option for individuals with substance use disorders, and can help to create positive outcomes for those in North Carolina.

Positive Changes

The implementation of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs has led to positive changes in the lives of patients with opioid use disorder (OUD). In North Carolina, the MAT program is considered a standard approach for addiction recovery. Patients with opioid use disorders who have undergone this type of treatment program exhibit significant improvements in their overall health and quality of life.

One key benefit of MAT is that it reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms associated with OUD. This allows patients to focus on their recovery without being distracted by uncomfortable physical sensations or thoughts about drug use. Additionally, MAT can help reduce the risk of relapse as well as overdose-related deaths. When combined with counseling and therapy, MAT improves the likelihood of achieving long-term sobriety.

Another positive change that results from MAT is an improvement in social functioning. Many patients report feeling more connected to family members, friends, and community after completing the program. They also tend to experience fewer legal problems related to substance abuse.

Overall, these positive changes not only benefit individual patients but also contribute to building healthier communities throughout North Carolina.

In conclusion, medication-assisted treatment programs offer hope for individuals struggling with opioid use disorder in North Carolina. By reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms while improving social functioning, this approach promotes lasting recovery outcomes among those affected by addiction. As such, continued investment in implementing evidence-based approaches like MAT is essential for addressing the ongoing challenges posed by the opioid epidemic across the state.

Long-Term Recovery

Transitioning to the next subtopic, it is essential to note that medication-assisted treatment programs have been successful in promoting long-term recovery among patients with opioid dependency.

The availability of North Carolina rehab centers offering MAT has provided hope for individuals struggling with drug abuse and addiction.

Long-term recovery from opioid use disorder requires more than just managing withdrawal symptoms and cravings.

Patients need continuous support and guidance to stay sober and avoid relapses.

Studies show that medication-assisted treatment programs provide an effective approach towards achieving this goal.

By combining medication with counseling and behavioral therapies, MAT helps address both physical and psychological aspects associated with addiction.

Success stories from patients who have undergone MAT highlight the effectiveness of this approach in promoting long-term recovery outcomes.

These stories demonstrate how a combination of evidence-based treatments human services can transform lives affected by substance abuse.

As such, continued investment in expanding access to high-quality MAT programs across North Carolina is vital for addressing the ongoing challenges posed by the opioid epidemic.


Another key factor in the success stories of patients who have undergone medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is empowerment. Empowerment refers to the process of providing individuals with the tools, resources, and knowledge they need to take control of their lives and make positive changes.

In the context of drug addiction treatment, this means equipping patients with recovery resources that enable them to maintain sobriety long-term. One way MAT programs promote empowerment is through outpatient treatment options. Outpatient programs allow patients greater flexibility in managing their recovery while still receiving medical support and counseling.

This approach helps patients develop skills for coping with triggers and stressors outside of a clinical setting, empowering them to manage their addiction more independently over time. Ultimately, by combining evidence-based medications with counseling and behavioral therapies alongside an emphasis on patient empowerment, MAT programs provide a comprehensive framework for overcoming opioid dependency.

As such, continued investment in expanding access to high-quality MAT services across North Carolina can be a critical step towards addressing the ongoing challenges posed by the opioid epidemic.

Looking Ahead: The Future Of Mat In North Carolina

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  1. Accessibility to MAT (medication assisted treatment) in North Carolina can be improved by increasing the availability of resources, such as MAT-certified providers and MAT-specific educational materials.
  2. Quality of MAT in North Carolina can be improved by creating guidelines to ensure consistent, high quality care across providers.
  3. Stigma around MAT in North Carolina can be reduced by providing education to the public about the evidence-based benefits of MAT and by creating a supportive environment for MAT patients.
  4. Financial barriers to MAT in North Carolina can be mitigated by providing insurance coverage for MAT services and by expanding access to financial aid programs.
  5. Cultural barriers to MAT in North Carolina can be addressed by providing MAT-specific training to providers that is tailored to the needs of the population they serve.
  6. Accessibility to MAT in rural areas of North Carolina can be improved by increasing the number of MAT-certified providers in these areas and by providing telemedicine services for MAT patients.

Improving Accessibility

Accessibility to medication-assisted treatment programs is a crucial factor in ensuring that individuals receive the necessary care. To improve accessibility, North Carolina has implemented several initiatives aimed at increasing access to addiction treatment programs.

One of these initiatives includes expanding outpatient addiction treatment services across the state. Outpatient addiction treatment allows individuals to attend sessions while still being able to maintain their daily lives. This type of program is especially beneficial for those who cannot commit to inpatient treatment due to work or family obligations.

Additionally, North Carolina has created an assistance program to help cover the cost of medication-assisted treatment for uninsured and underinsured patients. Another initiative focused on improving accessibility involves training healthcare providers in medication-assisted treatment practices. By providing education and resources, more primary care providers can incorporate this evidence-based practice into their clinics, ultimately leading to increased availability and access for patients seeking MAT services.

In conclusion, improving accessibility is critical when it comes to medication-assisted treatment programs in North Carolina. Outpatient addiction treatments and assistance programs are some of the ways that have been implemented by the state government as well as increasing awareness among healthcare providers through training sessions. These measures will ensure that more people struggling with substance use disorders can now receive treatment and the support they need to achieve long-term recovery.

Enhancing Quality

Along with improving accessibility, enhancing the quality of medication-assisted treatment programs is a critical factor in ensuring better outcomes for patients. One approach to achieving this goal is through the implementation of dual diagnosis treatment programs.

Dual diagnosis refers to the co-occurrence of addiction and mental health disorders. By addressing both issues simultaneously, individuals can receive more comprehensive care that addresses all aspects of their condition.

Another way North Carolina could enhance the quality of its medication-assisted treatment program is by incorporating intensive outpatient residential programs. These types of residential programs can provide more structured and frequent support than traditional outpatient services while still allowing individuals to maintain their daily routines.

Intensive outpatient programs often involve group therapy sessions, which can be particularly helpful in building social support networks among people in recovery.

Overall, it is crucial for North Carolina to continuously evaluate and improve its medication-assisted treatment program's quality. Incorporating dual diagnosis treatment options and expanding access to intensive outpatient programs are just two ways that can achieve this aim effectively.

With contnued attention towards increasing accessibility and enhancing quality, North Carolina will undoubtedly progress toward a brighter future for those struggling with substance and alcohol use disorder and disorders.

Reducing Stigma

In addition to improving accessibility and enhancing the quality of medication-assisted treatment programs, reducing stigma towards addiction medicine is also crucial for the future of MAT in North Carolina. Stigma surrounding substance use disorders can prevent individuals from seeking help and receiving appropriate care. This issue is particularly relevant in addiction medicine and for those with co-occurring mental health conditions, often referred to as dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorders.

Reducing stigma involves challenging negative attitudes and beliefs about addiction and promoting a more compassionate view of people struggling with substance use disorders. One approach to achieving this goal is through education and awareness campaigns that highlight the complex nature of addiction and emphasize the effectiveness of evidence-based treatments such as medication-assisted treatment. By increasing public knowledge about these topics, it may be possible to reduce harmful stereotypes and misconceptions associated with addiction.

Furthermore, medication-assisted treatment has been shown to reduce cravings and improve overall outcomes for individuals in recovery. Incorporating MAT into mainstream healthcare practices can help further destigmatize addiction by treating it like any other chronic medical condition. Additionally, when combined with behavioral therapy or counseling services, MAT can provide a holistic approach to treating substance use disorders that addresses both physical and psychological aspects of addiction.

Ultimately, reducing stigma towards addiction will require ongoing efforts at multiple levels – including individual, community, institutional, and policy-level interventions – but doing so will be critical in ensuring better outcomes for all North Carolinians affected by substance use disorders.


Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) has emerged as a promising approach to treating substance use disorders. It involves the use of medications in combination with therapy and counseling to help individuals overcome addiction.

In North Carolina, MAT has been gaining momentum over the years, but there are still challenges that need to be addressed. Despite these challenges, many success stories have emerged from patients who received MAT in North Carolina.

The future of MAT in the state is bright, as more healthcare providers become trained and certified to offer this evidence-based treatment option. With continued support for research and education on MAT, North Carolina can further advance its efforts towards addressing the ongoing opioid epidemic and helping those struggling with addiction achieve long-term recovery.