Can Inpatient Rehab Offer a Better Medical Assisted Treatment?

In the Wall Street Journal, a new article states that M.A.T., or medically assisted treatment, can potentially help a lot of people suffering from addiction and that “wider adoption of this method would save lives,” but that “most inpatient rehab facilities in the U.S. don’t offer it.”

*The Wall Street Journal also added that “most inpatient rehab facilities in the U.S. don’t offer this option,” which is one of the many hurtles people suffering from addiction and inpatient rehab facilities have to get over. With one patient suffering from addiction in Southern Colorado, she had a difficult time getting M.A.T., because there was only one doctor within six counties that could provide M.A.T.

*The patient who was being treated tried four rehab centers before getting medication that were able to reduce her cravings for opioids like Suboxone. This is of course only one part of the equation in getting sober, including counseling and regular drug testings.

*One reason why M.A.T. isn’t ready available is that medications that combat opioids are strongly regulated by the DEA. As Bellini explains, “Fewer than 40,000 US doctors are authorized to administer Suboxone, compare that to the more than 900,000 doctors who are able to write prescriptions for painkillers like OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin.”

*On the other hand, Bellini adds, “Another reason why medications aren’t offered at most inpatient rehabs is the idea they’re just replacing one drug with another. As the head of one inpatient rehab explained, “We don’t provide medically assisted treatment. We believe there’s therapeutic value in one person who’s further in the program coming to talk to the other person who might be experiencing withdrawal symptoms.” This rehab director also doesn’t believe that M.A.T. is wrong, “I think we have to have a multitude of pathways.”