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MAT Advocate

Half of the Medication-Assisted Treatment equation is the use of medications which interact with the brains opiate receptors to diminish the effects of physical dependency to opioids, such as withdrawal symptoms and cravings.  Surprisingly, this method of treatment has been around since the early 1970’s!  The Opioid Overdose Crisis being declared a nationwide Public Health Emergency on October 26, 2017 created the awareness and call to action required to fund and propel research of MAT which had been taking place for nearly the 50 years.  The recent advances in MAT have allowed for greater recognition, research, and availability.  

Medication-assisted Treatment (MAT) is the combination behavioral therapy and medications to treat substance use disorders and is considered the gold standard in treatment of opiate use disorders.  The use of medications reduces risk of relapse and improves daily function, therefore increasing continuation of treatment/therapy to learn skills for long-term recovery.

It’s not hard to understand why ShareHouse is an advocate for the use of MAT!  ShareHouse supports patient’s in their use of MAT by accepting all present forms of evidence-based MAT medication options for the use of opiate and alcohol use disorders, partnering with providers, and providing transportation options to patients in residential treatment. https://www.nd.gov/dhs/info/pubs/docs/mhsa/nd-licensed-addiction-treatment-programs.pdf provides a list of all Opioid Treatment Providers (OTPs) where individuals can access MAT options.  OTP providers offering Level 1 Services do so by providing individual sessions to assess effectiveness of medications, however patients in early recovery may require increased structure and support.  

ShareHouse provides levels of care from High-intensity Residential Care (7-day per week access to a licensed professional with daily structure and 24-hour monitoring) down to Aftercare/Continuing Care (one hour per week check-in group) and everylevel of care in between.  ShareHouse also provides supportive housing through our Recovery Living Program.  Recovery Living provides ongoing monitoring and support for up to 6 months as a patient transitions into the community.  ShareHouse is unique in the range of levels of care and services provided as well as our methods. 

We do not have set program durations.  We work with the individual on their specific treatment needs to promote success through transition.  Individuals doing well will transition out of programming at their own pace.  If an individual is struggling with ongoing use, our team will work to keep them engaged in treatment by offering more structure and support through a more intense level of care.  

As the research on MAT continues to grow, we are learning of the additional benefits; reduced criminal activity, reduced risk of infectious disease transmission such as HIV and hepatitis C, improved treatment retention, cost effectiveness, and improved social function.  We at ShareHouse gladly accept the use of MAT as one of the many pathways to assisting individuals in attaining their goals for long-term recovery.

Author Info

Kristi Kilen