There are a few prominent differences to consider when comparing telehealth and in-person care for MAT, also called Medication-Assisted Treatment. These differences lie in the delivery of medication-assisted treatment for addiction treatment and recovery. With MAT telehealth, patients receive their MAT treatment remotely via video conferencing sessions or other forms of telecommunication, while in-person care involves physically visiting a healthcare facility for treatment. This distinction has significant implications for the accessibility, convenience, and cost-effectiveness of addiction treatment for many seeking treatments for addiction through MAT care.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), most MAT clinics treating addiction employ medications to treat substance use disorders (SUD) and, in some cases, alongside traditional behavioral therapies or counseling. Fortunately, MAT proves to be an innovative, medicinal approach to treating addiction, effective in reducing drug use, drug-seeking behavior, and criminal activity while improving overall health outcomes for individuals struggling with addictive cycles.
However, you may still find yourself comparing telehealth and in-person care for medication-assisted treatment, wondering which is the best approach. Fortunately, understanding the differences when comparing telehealth and in-person care for MAT can make all the difference in finding the most effective long-term recovery solution for you.
In this blog post by MAT Care Clinics, we will discuss everything you need to consider when comparing telehealth and in-person care for MAT. You should have an objective mindset with the necessary information you need to make informed decisions about your next steps forward. So, keep reading to learn more about the different approaches to medication-assisted treatment for substance use disorders and long-term recovery.
The Toll of Addiction
The massive toll of addiction and substance abuse is apparent, not just for the individual struggling but also for their families and communities. According to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), over 100,000 Americans died from drug-related overdoses in 2021 involving prescription opioids and illicit drugs.
Today, many recognize that mental health issues are more prevalent and are commonly discussed and accepted. However, substance use disorders are still highly stigmatized, at times hindering access to addiction treatment for some, making more unconventional approaches common and more attractive.
MAT, or Medication-Assisted Treatment, employs prescription medications that support those battling these conditions to recover by managing the physical discomforts common for withdrawal from chemical dependency.
Telehealth And MAT
Telehealth is a vague term that encompasses various forms of virtual healthcare, including video conferencing, online therapy platforms, and remote monitoring. With telehealth MAT services, individuals can receive treatment from the comfort of their own homes through a computer or even an iPhone.
Telehealth has become a popular option for providing MAT, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when in-person care was limited. Telehealth offers many benefits, such as increased accessibility and ease, eliminating transportation barriers, minimizing cancellations, and maintaining privacy. In some cases, utilizing MAT via telehealth increases insurance coverage accessibility and expenses overall.
In-Person Care And MAT
In-person care is the traditional form of receiving treatment for addiction. It involves physically going to a treatment facility or clinic to receive medication and therapy. In-person care has been the primary mode of administering MAT for years, and it continues to be a widely used option for those battling addiction. Some advantages of in-person care include face-to-face interaction with healthcare professionals, access to support groups, and other resources at the facility.
MAT medications that are highly regulated, like methadone, are primarily administered through in-person care as they require close monitoring due to their potential for abuse. These medications can only be obtained from approved treatment facilities, making in-person care necessary for those who need them.
Telehealth with MAT Care Clinics
At MAT Care Clinics, we prioritize the well-being and comfort of our patients by utilizing a combination of telehealth and in-person care when employing our medication-assisted treatment services and medications. MAT Care Clinic follows strict guidelines to ensure the highest level of care to each person receiving treatment for addiction with us but never keeping medication onsite.
Through our MAT telehealth services, we can quickly connect clients to a medical provider who can prescribe the appropriate MAT medication for them, whether it be suboxone, vivitrol, or naltrexone. However, we do not prescribe methadone as it requires daily in-person visits to an approved clinic.
MAT Care Clinics utilizes telehealth for convenience and accessibility. However, we prioritize in-person appointments as it will enable us to assess the patient’s progress properly and collect urine drug screens. It is also considered best practice to see the patient in person during follow-up appointments for comprehensive MAT treatment.
Considering Telehealth and In-Person Care for MAT to Determine Which Is Better
Both telehealth and in-person care have their unique advantages when it comes to medication-assisted treatment for addiction. However, there is yet to be a clear answer as to which option is better. When comparing telehealth and in-person care for MAT, ultimately, making the appropriate recovery choice depends on the person’s specific needs, preferences, goals, and lifestyle.
Telehealth may be a more suitable option for a person who has trouble with transportation or lives in remote areas without access to treatment facilities. On the other hand, some prefer face-to-face interaction and additional support provided by in-person MAT sessions.
Furthermore, telehealth is a significant asset for the recovery community, especially during the pandemic, in providing MAT to those struggling with addiction. However, it should not be a replacement for in-person care entirely concerning addiction treatment. Both options have their strengths and limitations, and an individual’s unique circumstances should dictate which one they choose.
Ultimately, when comparing telehealth and in-person care for MAT, the most vital factor to consider is finding the most effective MAT treatment for you that’s sustainable, lends itself to your long-term sobriety goals, and aligns with your needs.
Telehealth and In-Person Care for MAT Are Steps Forward
Whether it’s through telehealth, in-person care, or a comprehensive combination of both MAT options, seeking help for addiction is a courageous step forward toward a healthier and safer life. We encourage you to do your research and consult with the MAT healthcare providers of your choice to determine the best option for you or your loved ones living with a substance use disorder.
Remember, recovery from addiction, regardless of your circumstances, chaos, or despair, is possible.
More About MAT Care Clinics
At MAT Care Clinics, located in Nashua, NH, we utilize both telehealth and in-person care to ensure that our clients receive the necessary support, resources, and individualized MAT treatment plans to help them feel confident and assured on their recovery path. Whether it be through virtual sessions or physical appointments, our goal is to provide effective medication-assisted treatment for those struggling with addiction so they can experience the best futures they can.
If you or a loved one is seeking treatment for addiction, consider consulting with our MAT team to determine the best course of action toward long-term recovery goals and abstinence from substance misuse and active addiction.
Remember, you are not alone in this journey, and there is always help available. So, do not hesitate to reach us via this online form or at (833) 622-0628.
With the proper support and resources, recovery from addiction is possible.