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Medication-Assisted Treatment

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the use of medications, in combination with counseling and other therapeutic techniques, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. Medications relieve the withdrawal systems and psychological cravings that cause chemical imbalances in the body. Research has shown that when provided at the proper dose, medications used in MAT have no adverse effects on a person’s intelligence, mental capability, or physical functioning.

Effectively addressing the opioid epidemic requires a multi-systems collaborative approach by child welfare, law enforcement, court systems, substance use disorder treatment and mental health treatment, and healthcare providers. It is essential for these professionals to have an understanding of MAT as a viable option for parents/caregivers that have substance use disorders, especially opioid dependency disorders. The following resources assist communities, organizations, and agencies to better understand and implement evidence-based approaches to support safety, well-being, and recovery of children and families.

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Contact Us

The National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare offers free technical assistance to a various of systems on making policy and practice changes to improve outcomes for families affected by substance use disorders and involvement with child welfare services. To learn more about technical assistance services or if you have a question please email NCSACW at or call toll-free at 1–866–493–2758.

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