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What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three medications for use in the treatment of opioid and heroin addiction in conjunction with behavioral therapy. The approved medications are Methadone, Buprenorphine and Naltrexone. Both Methadone and Buprenorphine can only be prescribed by physicians certified to use these drugs as part of a comprehensive addiction treatment program. Naltrexone, on the other hand, can be prescribed by any health care provider who is licensed to prescribe medications.

Methadone is a medication used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to help people reduce or quit their use of heroin or other opiates. Methadone has been used for decades to treat people who are addicted to heroin and narcotic pain medicines. Learn more about methadone.

Buprenorphine is used in medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to help people reduce or quit the use of heroin or other opiates. Medications such as buprenorphine, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, provide a whole-patient approach to the treatment of opioid dependency. Learn more about buprenorphine.

Naltrexone is used to treat opioid use disorders and alcohol use disorders. It comes in a pill form or as an injectable medication. Naltrexone acts by directly counteracting the euphoric effects of alcohol and opioids on the brain. Like Methadone and Buprenorphine, Naltrexone can be effective in treating opioid addiction when coupled with behavioral therapy. Learn more about naltrexone.

SAMHSA RX Pain Medications. Know the Options. Get the Facts
“The Rx Pain Medications. Know the Options. Get the Facts.” is a series of 13 fact sheets designed to increase awareness of the risks associated with prescription opioid use and misuse, as well as to educate patients who are prescribed opioids for pain about the risks and to provide resources on methods for alternative pain management.

Resources on Medication-Assisted Treatment