Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT), including opioid treatment programs (OTPs), combines behavioral therapy and medications to treat substance use disorders.

The Substance Use Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities (SUPPORT) Act affords practitioners greater flexibility in the provision of medication-assisted treatment (MAT)

The SUPPORT Act extends the privilege of prescribing buprenorphine in office-based settings to Clinical Nurse Specialists, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, and Certified Nurse Midwives (CNSs, CRNAs, and CNMs)* until October 1, 2023.

* NPs, PAs, CNSs, CRNAs, and CNMs are also referred to as “qualifying other practitioners.”

The SUPPORT Act expands the ability of certain physicians and qualifying other practitioners to treat up to 100 patients in the first year of waiver receipt if they satisfy one of the following two conditions:

  1. The physician holds a board certification in addiction medicine or addiction psychiatry by the American Board of Preventive Medicine or the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology; or
  2. The practitioner provides medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in a "qualified practice setting." A qualified practice setting is a practice setting that:
    1. provides professional coverage for patient medical emergencies during hours when the practitioner's practice is closed;
    2. provides access to case-management services for patients including referral and follow-up services for programs that provide, or financially support, the provision of services such as medical, behavioral, social, housing, employment, educational, or other related services;
    3. uses health information technology systems such as electronic health records;
    4. is registered for their State prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) where operational and in accordance with Federal and State law; and
    5. accepts third-party payment for costs in providing health services, including written billing, credit, and collection policies and procedures, or Federal health benefits.

After one year at the 100-patient limit, physicians and qualifying other practitioners who meet the above criteria can apply to increase their patient limit to 275.

To apply for a 30-, 100-, or 275-patient waiver, go to https://www.samhsa.gov/medication-assisted-treatment/buprenorphine-waiver-management/apply-for-practitioner-waiver.

Medicated-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of FDA-approved medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a "whole-patient" approach to the treatment of substance use disorders.

Find information on physical ailments often diagnosed in MAT patients. Also known as common comorbidities, these include viral hepatitis, HIV, and AIDS.

There are three medications commonly used to treat opioid addiction:

  • Methadone – clinic-based opioid agonist that does not block other narcotics while preventing withdrawal while taking it; daily liquid dispensed only in specialty regulated clinics
  • Naltrexone – office-based non-addictive opioid antagonist that blocks the effects of other narcotics; daily pill or monthly injection
  • Buprenorphine – office-based opioid agonist/ antagonist that blocks other narcotics while reducing withdrawal risk; daily dissolving tablet, cheek film, or 6-month implant under the skin

Check with your doctor on the right one for you.

MAT for opioid addiction is subject to federal legislation, regulations, and guidelines, including DATA 2000 and federal regulation 42 CFR 8.

Access Model Guidelines for State Medical Boards.

Learn more about special circumstances for providing buprenorphine.

Last Updated: 09/09/2019