Getting Started with Medication-assisted Treatment: With lessons from Advancing Recovery

Posted 5/17/2021 (updated 4/10/2024)

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of medications, combined with counseling, to treat substance use disorders. Research has proven the effectiveness of MAT and addiction treatment experts endorse it, but a variety of barriers have prevented the widespread use of MAT. These include a lack of financing for medication, insufficient organizational infrastructure to deliver medication, state and county funding and regulatory obstacles, physician training and certification, staff and client resistance, and community attitudes.

Advancing Recovery: State/Provider Partnerships for Quality Addiction Care (AR) was a national initiative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The five- year (2005–2010) project was co-directed by the Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment (NIATx) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the Treatment Research Institute (TRI) in Philadelphia.

The goal of the grant was to promote the use of evidence-based practices such as MAT through innovative partnerships between state agencies and treatment organizations. This toolkit shares lessons that emerged from the efforts of several of the grantees to establish MAT programs in their organizations.