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MAT can help you change lives for the better

Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S.

MAT Facts at a Glance

  • Utilizing medication-assisted treatment reduces overdose deaths, overall costs while helping retain patients in treatment.
  • Commercial members who received MAT had significantly lower average total paid behavioral health expenditures than Commercial members who did not receive MAT: $6,877 Opioid use disorder and $4,927 Alcohol-use disorder3
  • When people engage in MAT and a moderate level of psychosocial counseling, they have better outcomes than individuals who only receive MAT or MAT with minimal counseling4.
  • Learn how nurse practitioners (NPs) can train and apply to become DATA-waiver practitioners.
Our medication-assisted treatment provider network continues to grow
Our MAT provider network continues to grow

Studies have shown that individuals who receive MAT are 50% more likely to remain free of opioid misuse, compared to those who receive detoxification or psychosocial treatment alone1

Medication-assisted treatment is the most effective intervention to treat OUD and is more effective than either behavioral interventions or medication alone.2

Unlike traditional therapies like detox-to-abstinence treatment which does not address cravings, (a major cause of relapse) MAT takes a chronic approach by understanding the need for multiple streams of care to address multiple conditions. MAT plays a critical role in sustained recovery because it pairs therapies such as counseling or cognitive behavioral therapy, with an FDA-approved medication to treat substance use disorders and prevent opioid overdose.

Where traditional treatment comes up short

While the temptation to "stick wth what you know" can be hard to resist, the fact is traditional substance use treatment takes an acute, one-size-fits-all approach that fails to address the specific issues and comorbid conditions of the individual. Worse, traditional therapies can also place clients at greater risk of overdose due to lowered tolerences.  

4,486 providers specialize in MAT in 8,944 locations

90% of our members are within 20 miles of a MAT provider so members can access care locally5. Utilizing our Optum data, we work closely with providers to identify the neighborhoods and communities that would benefit most from having a nearby and easily accessible medication-assisted treatment facility. And while our MAT network continues to expand, be assured our proprietary quality requirements to become an Optum MAT provider are stringently observed and adhered to.

  1. Calculated by Optum, based on relative risk ratios from the meta-analysis in: Nielsen S, Larance B, Degenhardt L, Gowing L, Kehler C, Lintzeris N. Opioid agonist treatment for pharmaceutical opioid dependent people. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 5. Art. No.: CD011117. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD011117.pub2, pages 17 and 19..
  2. Optum’s opinion based on the effectiveness of MAT in helping patients recover and reducing the risk of overdose, noted by Nora D, Volkow ND, Frieden TR, Hyde PS, Cha SS. Medication-assisted therapies—tackling the opioid-overdose epidemic. N Engl J Med 2014;370(22):2063-2066.
  3. Population: Optum members diagnosed with substance use disorder who received medication assisted treatment between: January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2017, Ly, October 2018. 
  4. Potter JS, Dreifuss JA, Marino EN, et al. The multisite prescription opioid addiction treatment study: 18-month outcomes. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment (48)1:62-69, 2015. and Weiss RD, Potter JS, Griffin ML et al. Long-term outcomes from the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network Prescription Opioid Addiction Treatment Study. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 150:112-119, 2015.
  5. K. Cox. Data from Optum geo access reports for Commercial membership. April 2018.

Substance Use Disorder Helpline


A 24/7 helpline for providers and patients to:

  • Identify local MAT and behavioral health treatment providers and provide targeted referrals for evidence-based care
  • Educate members/families about substance use
  • Assist in finding community support services
  • Assign a care advocate to provide ongoing support for up to 6 months, when appropriate