Certified Recovery Coaches Can Help With MAT Adherence

According to the Center For Disease control, Opioid related deaths increased 137% from 2000-2014. Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is an efficacious treatment option to help treat individuals with Opioid Use Disorder.

Certified Addiction Peer Support Specialist are also increasingly being included in the patient’s treatment plans. When peer support is combined with MAT there are indications of improved outcomes. There is a high rate of non-completion in MAT and more broadly SUD treatment programs. However, studies show that when recovery coaches serve patients in treatment programming that there are significant increases in the treatment program adherence.

Here are 5 ways Peer Support helps make Medically Assisted Treatment more effective:

1. A Trusted Source: Peer Coaches can provide a lived experience and honest answers to someone in recovery. Unlike most medical professionals, peer coaches can discuss MAT candidly and give real life examples of different outcomes. While a medical professional’s opinion is necessary, a peer coach can help give reassurance that MAT works. Studies demonstrate improved relationships with providers and social supports, increased satisfaction with the treatment experience overall, reduced rates of relapse, and increased retention in treatment.

2. No solution is “one size fits all.” MAT is an effective solution, however each treatment method should be tailored to an individual. Some individuals may need more help staying accountable or get discouraged easily, while others may just have questions for someone who has been through MAT before. Peer coaches can be a constant support system for the individual.

3. Stigma Prevention If an individual is prescribed MAT without the proper support, the argument that they are “just replacing one drug for another” can be difficult to overcome. The stigma associated with MAT may deter individuals from seeking out additional help or continuing their treatment. However, a certified peer coach can help encourage an individual to seek treatment and continue treatment while giving reassurance that they are doing the right thing.

4. Filling the Gaps in Treatment Recovery Coaches fill the gap between an AA or NA sponsor and a medical professional. They can help create goals, plan, and help locate resources in the community. The coach can also follow up to help the individual over the course of treatment.

5. Increase the adherence to a recovery plan including the participation and completion of MAT programs.

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