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Benefits of Medication Assisted Treatment

Medication Assisted Treatment

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Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of medications with counseling and behavioral therapies to treat substance use disorders and prevent opioid overdose. 

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Families Together of Orange County

661 W. 1st Street, Tustin, CA 92780

(714)665-9850

Hurtt Family Health Clinic

1 Hope Drive, Tustin, CA 92780

(714)247-0300

Korean Community Services

7212 Orangethorpe Ave, Suite 8, Buena Park, CA 90621

(714)503-6550

Serve the People

1206 E. 17th St, Suite 101, Santa Ana, CA 92701

(714)352-2911

Southland Integrated Services

9862 Chapman Ave. Garden Grove, CA 92841

(714)620-7084

UCI Health

800 N. Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92701

(657)282-6355

Learning About Substance Use Disorder: Where Do I Start?

Ask An Expert: Substance Use Disorder Series

Our Ask an Expert trainings cover a wide variety of topics related to addiction. Download our episode guide to share with your networks, post on social media, or share on your website.

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What is MAT Connect?

For patients looking to break their addiction to heroin or prescription painkillers, there’s a drug out there that works. SUBOXONE® (buprenorphine and naloxone) is a prescription medicine used to treat adults who are addicted to (dependent on) opioid drugs (either prescription or illegal) as part of a complete treatment program that also includes counseling and behavioral therapy.  Opioids bind to and activate opioid receptors in cells located in many areas of the brain, spinal cord, and other organs in the body, especially those involved in feelings of pain and pleasure. When opioids attach to these receptors, they block pain signals sent from the brain to the body and release large amounts of dopamine throughout the body. This release can strongly reinforce the act of taking the drug, making the user want to repeat the experience. Once a person develops a dependency, it creates a medical illness that requires continue use of the substance to avoid withdrawal and impacts brain function. MATCONNECT, a program of the Coalition of Orange County Community Clinics, provides assistance to individuals to find access to treatment for Opioid Use Disorder. Outpatient services are provided throughout Orange County by community clinics with expertise in Medication Assisted Treatment. Patients are seen by a specially trained doctor or medical provider to start treatment. Patients are supported by a Case Manager through their treatment journey with access to mental health care. Treatment is covered by MediCal and uninsured patients are seen on a sliding fee scale.  Patients needing transportation to an appointment or services in a language other than English can be assisted with those needs.

The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement. Demand for substance use disorder services in Orange County has increased dramatically over the past decade. The rate of drug overdose deaths increased 88% from 2000 to 2015 (6.5 vs 12.3 per 100,000, respectively). Accidental overdoses were the most common cause of death regardless of the substance used, comprising 75% of all poisoning overdose deaths, with 22% being intentional. Of all coroner-investigated overdose deaths, 66.8% were related to opioid use. Over half of all opioid-related overdoses were due to prescription opioids (56.0%). Orange County has higher hospitalization rates due to alcohol or substance use compared to 75% of California counties. (OC Community Indicators, 2020).

MATCONNECT has established a “one call” number for individuals seeking referral to MAT treatment. (714)352-5990, ext. 3