MAT in Maine

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MAT in Maine
MAT in Maine
MAT in Maine
MAT in Maine

Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) is slowly but surely becoming more accepted and respected as the most viable method for treating OUD.  MAT has historically been shrouded in the haze of post-Vietnam War heroin addicts who then spent a good portion of the rest of their lives using methadone as what was deemed an imperfect solution – merely replacing one drug with a slightly less problematic one.  However, over the past decade, buprenorphine and naloxone have progressively proven their worth, and more recently even began changing opinions in the medical community.  York Hospital, located in one small county of Maine provides just such a key example.  “To say buprenorphine is a game-changer for people with addictions is a bit of an understatement,” notes the hospital’s medical director Argilla George.  “It quiets the addiction within 45 minutes of taking it…reducing opioid overdose potential by half.”  Combined with traditional treatment it is having a big impact.  The problem is, only 7.5% of the facilities in Maine actually offer MAT, with similar percentages applicable nationwide.  Much of the issue stems from special doctor training and approval required for prescribing buprenorphine.  The landscape, however, is shifting in a positive direction as concepts catch up with reality, in the grand ultimate goal of guiding people toward long term recovery.

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