Addiction is a disease of the brain and it is undertreated. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is gaining support and momentum at the national and state levels as a critical tool in the fight against opioid use disorder. MAT involves the use of specific prescription medications to ease withdrawal symptoms and reduce psychological cravings in patients with opioid use disorder. When combined with counseling and other behavioral health services, MAT has been shown to reduce illicit drug use and overdose deaths.
There are now two pathways to begin prescribing. Practitioners may either complete extensive training (8-24 hours), obtain a waiver from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and treat up to 100 patients. Or, per rule changes approved in April 2021, a prescriber may obtain a waiver without completing training and limit treatment to no more than 30 patients. These changes were implemented to encourage more clinicians to offer MAT to patients.
The resources on this page can help you learn more about getting started.
Note: if you are looking for controlled substance CME classes, click here.
General MAT Resources
- UNC Project ECHO - education, training and peer support
- Provider's Clinical Support Network - education, training, clinical resources
- SAMHSA's main MAT page
- SAMHSA's Pocket Guide to MAT of OUD
- Governor’s Institute Opioid Treatment Program Medical Provider Essentials Video Series (19 video series)
- Governor’s Institute Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) (4 video series)
- NCMS Foundation's Project OBOT (increasing availability of office-based opioid addiction treatment)
- NCDHHS Buprenorphine Guidance
- Qualify for a physician buprenorphine waiver (SAMHSA)
- Apply for a buprenorphine waiver (SAMHSA)
- Qualify for a PA or NP buprenorphine waiver (SAMHSA)
- Find an experienced supervisor/mentor
Online and In-Person MAT training opportunities
- MAHEC Project ECHO® for Medication for Opioid Use Disorder (Jan 12–Mar 9, 2023) Video teleconferencing event (up to 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ per completed module) Free, but must register to attend.
- Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder: Waiver Qualifying - 8 Hours Online - UNC AHRQ
- Providers Clinical Support System - Online MAT waiver training (8 hours) (Expiration date: 11/30/2024)
Low Cost (<$100)
- Opioid Use and Opioid Use Disorder 2022-2024: New Strategies to Reduce Barriers to Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) Treatment - Northwest AHEC (September 01, 2022 - September 01, 2024) ((1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™) Cost: $10.00
- Introduction to Medication-Assisted Treatment / Medication for Opioid Use Disorder - MAHEC (March 7, 2023) (up to 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™) Cost: $25.00
- Caring for Individuals with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) - MAHEC (March 23, 2023) (up to 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™) Cost: $25.00-$40.00
- MAT Waiver Training: The Half & Half Course - MAHEC (March 28, 2023)(up to 4.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™) Cost: $35.00-$50.00
- An Introduction to Opioid Use Disorder for Healthcare Providers (Online Self-Paced Learning) SEAHEC (Up to 3.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits) Cost: $60.00 (Expiration date: 11/06/2023)