medication Assisted treatment

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Welcome to MAT

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) includes the use of pharmacologic interventions (buprenorphine) along with counseling and other supports. Medication allows for the person to regain a normal state of mind, allowing the opportunity to focus on necessary lifestyle changes that lead back to a healthy living.


MAT can help a patient restore their quality of life. It helps you manage your addiction so that the benefits of recovery can be maintained. The goal of medication-assisted treatment is to recover from addiction

What is an Opioid?

An opioid is a drug that affects the brain. Opioids are used to relieve pain and to address other health problems such as severe coughing. “Opioid is broad term that refers to both prescription pain medication (such oxycodone) and illegal substances (heroin and carfentanil).

Opioids can be Addictive

People may become dependent on or addicted to prescription opioids. This can happen when taking them long term, misusing or abusing them (taking a prescription improperly, buying prescription opioids illegally or snorting, injecting or smoking them), or by use of illegal opioids such a heroin. When a person become addicted, they begin to experience a craving for opioids, as well as a loss of control over their use. Misuse of legal opioids is often linked to use of illegal opioids.

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Opioid Addiction is Treatable

MAT treats dependence and addiction by using medication to ease withdrawal and ongoing cravings and must include counseling to address root causes of the dependence and to strategize recovery plans. Taking medication for opioid addiction is much like taking medication to control diabetes or heart disease: use of appropriate medications greatly improves treatment outcomes and quality of life for patients and decreases costs and medication may need to be taken for a period of years.

MAT has been shown to increase patient survival, reduce the risk of human immunodefiency virus (HIV) infection and viral hepatitis by reducing needle sharing, increase patient’s participation in treatment, decrease illegal opioid use, increase patient’s ability to get and keep employment, and improve birth outcomes or pregnant women with substance use disorders who are pregnant. Some people are eventually able to stop MAT and maintain long-term recovery.


Buprenorphine Treatment

SWLA will utilize Buprenorphine for an office based opioid treatment program (OBOT), which allows primary care or general health care prescribers with a DATA waiver to dispense or prescribe any Controlled Substances.

Buprenorphine is an opioid partial agonist. This means that, like opioids, it produces effects such as euphoria or respiratory depression at low to moderate doses. With buprenorphine, however, these effects are weaker than full opioid agonists such as heroin and methadone.

Buprenorphine has unique pharmacological properties that help:

  • Lower the potential for misuse

  • Diminish the effects of physical dependency to opioids, such as withdrawal symptoms and cravings

  • Increase safety in cases of overdose

Louisisana MAT Fact

In 2018 alone, we saw more than 450 opioid-involved deaths among Louisianans, an increase of 184% since 2012. Opioids affect all of us.

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2000 Opelousas Street, Lake Charles, LA 70601

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