MAT: The Evolution of the Opioid Crisis and MAT Treatment in the US 

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction at Edge Recovery combines medication with behavioral health services for the optimal treatment available in South Florida. MAT has been shown to not only save lives but also increase recovery rates, and yet only 1 in 10 of those who need this treatment can access it.

As a society, there has been an evolution to the opioid crisis that advances slowly. we face the difficult challenge of preventing people with opioid use disorder or opioid addictions reentering the community from relapsing on opioids and overdosing on opioids. However, we now know that it is possible through the use of medication-assisted treatment because Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is an evidence-based treatment for opioid use disorder that uses FDA-approved pharmacotherapy in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies to treat substance use disorders. It’s clinically proven to be effective and is in the process of becoming more and more widely accepted.

The treatment of addiction is widely misunderstood in the United States, and the disease of addiction especially opioid addiction, remains clouded in stigma and shame. Addiction to opioids, which includes very easily obtainable prescription painkillers and even heroin, is at epidemic levels in the US, and yet only 10% of those who need help with treatment for opioid substance use can access it. At The Edge recovery we are trying to help that evolution curve along with Medication-assisted treatment (MAT), the treatment that combines medication with behavioral health services has been proven to save lives and increase recovery rates.

An unprecedented level of attention and funding is now being focused on the opioid epidemic, which has become the deadliest drug crisis in American history. Opioids kill 130 Americans every day. The opioid crisis may be one of the most urgent and complex among the many issues confronting new Florida state governors and their administrations. The current opioid crisis may leave the most devastating legacy for the next generation and for Florida state policy makers, the ripple effect of the opioids crisis can reach beyond the health care system, and impact public safety and corrections, child protective services, and other state agencies and functions.

NASHP officials met with policy makers from a dozen states to talk about their challenges and most promising policy strategies to tackle the opioid crisis. They discussed and evaluated a range of policy approaches involving Medicaid, behavioral and public health departments, and governors’ offices. The bottom line is that the states generally share the common goal to prevent addiction, stop people from dying, and get people into treatment. With those common goals in mind, NASHP identified a few key strategies from the field that are showing results. Here are some of the key points:

  • Tracking opioid prescribing
  • Invest in harm reduction
  • Build capacity for medically assisted treatment (MAT)
  • Engage corrections
  • Ensure access in rural areas
  • Expand Medicaid

These strategies represent just a few of the many state innovations happening across the country as health policy makers confront the opioid epidemic. NASHP is continuing to work closely with states to support their opioid epidemic responses and will share other lessons learned in the months ahead. 

Are you interested in finding out more about MAT for the treatment of opioid addictions? Addiction is a deadly disease and way too many addicts fall off “the edge,” descending to the depths of their deadly affliction. Fortunately, our team at Edge Recovery is here to pull addicts back from “the edge.’ Our clinical program consists of evidenced based treatment approaches provided by Certified Addiction Professionals as well as Master’s Level clinicians that have an extensive amount of addiction/recovery knowledge. At The Edge Recovery, were here to help!

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