Medication-Assisted Treatment

MAT programs help make lasting sobriety more accessible for many clients with opioid use disorders.

At Niznik Behavioral Health, our dedication to providing the best possible addiction treatment and recovery support is at the core of everything we do. This includes providing options for care that meet our clients where they are and help guide them through the recovery process, such as Medication Assisted Treatment.

What is Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)?

Medication-Assisted Treatment uses FDA-approved medications along with trauma-informed counseling and behavioral therapies to provide comprehensive substance use disorder treatment. These treatment programs use an extended taper period of greater than six months in order to achieve a higher success rate in recovery. MAT programs are clinically supervised and closely monitored to prevent risk of overmedication or new physical dependency.

Medication-assisted treatment may begin at any level of care as recommended by a medical professional. To be considered for MAT programs, clients receive a comprehensive evaluation including both a physical and psychiatric exam. The typical criteria for medication-assisted treatment are:

Your clinical team may make other considerations to determine if a medication-assisted treatment program is right for you.

The Advantages of MAT Care

Most addiction treatment programs begin by addressing the body’s physical dependence symptoms through detox. During this stage of care harmful substances are cleared from the body’s system, allowing you to move forward with a clear mind. While most detox programs last about a week, short-term detox may not be ideal for everyone. Long-term taper options like Medication-Assisted Treatment can increase success rates in recovery. 

Niznik Behavioral Health Medically-Assisted Treatment programs reduce cravings, urges, and withdrawal symptoms to help support sobriety. Because these are the primary triggers of relapse, managing these symptoms allows you to devote more attention and energy to the internal work of addiction recovery.

Medication-Assisted Treatment may also help reduce risks of developing or worsening health issues associated with substance use. Using a clinically supervised long-term taper program allows your body to slowly adjust to being independent of drugs and alcohol. 

Does MAT Undermine Recovery?

There’s some argument that people on long-term tapers are not actually sober. The belief is that the use of medications to maintain sobriety is a form of reliance. This is false. Medications used in MAT programs are taken only under medical supervision and do not produce any mind-altering side effects. They are not used to produce a high and clients do not have direct access to the medications prescribed. In fact, the most commonly used MAT medications nullify the effect of other substances, deterring abuse by removing the reward. 

Opioid antagonists like the medication used in MAT programs work by blocking the neurotransmitters in the brain responsible for creating the sensation of being drunk or high. By binding to these receptors they prevent opioids and other illicit substances from interacting with the central nervous system. Because they produce no high themselves, these medications are non-habit forming and safe to use over an extended period of time as part of a taper program.

Medication Assisted Treatment Programs with Niznik Behavioral Health

Our personalized approach to Medication Assisted Treatment is tailored to the needs of each client and used to enrich the recovery experience. Our MAT programs include continuous monitoring and evaluation to ensure maximum effectiveness and suitability. Here’s how it works:

Intake and Assessment:

During the intake process you will receive a comprehensive assessment to gather data that will inform your treatment plan. At this time our medical and behavioral health team will assess your specific needs and create a care plan. 24 hours before stepping down from the detox level of care, you will receive a follow-up evaluation to determine if you meet the criteria for MAT. If you do, our team will conduct weekly follow up sessions to monitor your progress while receiving treatment.


The stabilization phase of MAT focuses on creating a hormonal balance within the body. Because long-term substance abuse can cause artificially elevated levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, your body may reduce its natural production of these hormones. Medication tapers administered under clinical supervision help encourage the body to return to more balanced levels of these hormones and renew your body’s natural production. 

Niznik Behavioral Health primarily utilizes Suboxone, Subutex, and Vivitrol as part of our Medication-Assisted Treatment programs. These non-psychoactive medications bind with the same neuroreceptors in the brain as opioids, preventing the biochemical response responsible for producing a ‘high’ while also negating the symptoms of withdrawal.

The average duration of this phase is 12 weeks with one to two sessions every week for two months. During this time clients will also participate in counseling and behavioral therapies as part of our two-pronged approach to lasting success in recovery.

Long Term Phase:

The final phase of our MAT program introduces medical maintenance for clients who benefit from long-term medical intervention for their recovery. This includes education regarding the proper use of medication for pre-existing chronic disorders and health conditions as well as the use of Vivitrol, the extended-release Naloxone medication, if need is clinically indicated. This treatment regimen combats urges which may lead to relapse, a preventive measure which can be life-saving.

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