Medication-Assisted Treatment in Ohio

Medication assisted treatment (MAT) is a type of treatment that uses FDA-approved medication to help people recover from addiction. It can be used to treat both alcohol and drug addiction, and it is often considered to be a more effective treatment than traditional methods like detoxification or therapy alone. There are several different types of medication that are used during MAT.

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What is Medication-Assisted Treatment?

Medication assisted treatment, also known as MAT, is a type of treatment specifically for substance abuse. It involves the use of medication in combination with counseling and behavioral therapy to help people overcome addiction.

MAT can be used for various types of drug addictions, including alcohol, opioids, and other substances. It can help by reducing cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and the risk of relapse.

MAT is not a cure for addiction, but it can be an effective tool to help people recover. It is important to note that MAT is only one part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Other elements such as counseling, behavioral therapy, and support groups are also important in helping people recover from addiction.

What MAT Can Help With

Cravings & Urges

One of the biggest issues associated with addiction, and one of the biggest causes of relapse, is the urges and cravings feel to use not only during the treatment process but after discharge. It will impede a person’s ability to focus and remain attentive during their treatment. 

Luckily, medication-assisted treatment has been shown to be an effective hedge against these urges and allow clients to focus their attention solely on their recovery.

Improve Patient Survival

While many people believe that medication-assisted treatment is harmful and perhaps replacing one addiction with another, the evidence doesn’t lie. 

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, MAT programs have been proven to improve patient survival, and in turn, improved overall treatment retention.

Improved Treatment

Medication-assisted treatment is considered an evidence-based treatment option as it has been proven through various trials and studies to improve overall treatment retention. At the end of the day, the goal is to help a client overcome their substance abuse problem. While MAT may seem a bit strange at first, it is aiding in that overall goal by allowing clients to taper off their current addiction problem.


If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, it’s important to get help as soon as possible. Substance abuse can lead to serious health problems, and even death. There are many resources available to help people who are struggling with addiction, including intensive outpatient programs.

If you or someone you know is ready to get help, call our team at Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers today.

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How Do Medications Work During Medication-Assisted Treatment Programs for Addiction Ohio?

The medications used in MAT work in one of the two following ways: 

  1. Some FDA-approved medications bind to opioid receptors found in your brain, activating them in the process. The mechanism works in a broadly similar way to the mechanism of opioids, but the opioid receptors are less intensely activated.
  2. Other FDA-approved medications will block the opioid receptors and negate the rewarding effects of the substance.

If you become dependent on opioids, whether in the form of heroin or prescription painkillers like Oxycodone and Vicodin, you’ll feel sick without opioids in your system. The sickness you feel is classified as withdrawal. Opioid use disorder is characterized by withdrawal alongside intense cravings for opioids. 

The medications used to soothe withdrawal symptoms and minimize cravings in medication-assisted treatment centers Ohio can be broadly divided into the following categories: 

  • Partial opioid agonists: Partial agonists mildly activate the opioid receptors in your brain.
  • Opioid agonists: These medications fully activate the opioid receptors in your brain.
  • Opioid Antagonists: Opioid antagonists will block the opioid receptors in your brain while simultaneously countering the euphoric effects of opioids. 

Medication-assisted treatment Cincinnati Ohio should be highly personalized, and may include the following medications, all FDA-approved: 

  • Naltrexone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Methadone


This medication is an opioid antagonist that disrupts the action of opioids. Naltrexone is neither sedative nor addictive. An injectable form of naltrexone is also approved by the FDA and marketed as Vivitrol. Naltrexone is delivered in a controlled setting, usually a clinic or an addiction treatment center.


Methadone is an extremely slow-acting opioid agonist. Doctors have used the medication to treat heroin addiction for the past fifty years. As a prescription opioid, methadone has the potential for misuse and abuse. It can also lead to dependence forming. Methadone is available in the following forms: Tablet Oral solution Intravenous injectable Oral-soluble tablet When applied to the treatment of opioid use disorder, methadone is delivered instead of the opioid you’re not using any longer. This helps to eliminate most of the adverse effects of opioid withdrawal as you will still have opioids in your system. Methadone is delivered in a controlled setting due to the risk of misuse. The medication must be acquired from a certified treatment program.


Buprenorphine serves to minimize the cravings typically associated with withdrawing from opioids, but without the same rewarding euphoric effects that opioids deliver. This medication is a weak partial opioid agonist, so while euphoric effects can still manifest at low doses, this does not occur to the same extent as with full opioid agonists like methadone or heroin. Before using buprenorphine, you’ll need to abstain from using opioids for at least 12 hours, ideally 24 hours. Taking the medication with opioids already in your bloodstream could trigger the symptoms of acute withdrawal. The medication is safe to be administered on an ongoing basis if required. A combination medication of naloxone and buprenorphine is marketed as Suboxone. This is available as a sublingual film.

These medications are used to treat alcohol use disorder, and they are all approved by the FDA: 

  • Naltrexone
  • Acamprosate
  • Disulfiram

By blocking the pleasurable effects experienced after alcohol, naltrexone is an opioid antagonist that’s proven effective for treating alcohol use disorder as well as opioid use disorder.

If you have already stopped drinking, acamprosate is a medication that can reduce your chances of relapse. 

Acamprosate does nothing to alleviate the withdrawal symptoms associated with alcohol abuse, though.

Disulfiram works by interfering with the metabolic pathway normally taken by alcohol. 

If you consume alcohol while taking this medication, it will provoke the following adverse outcomes: 

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Headache 

This occurs because of the way disulfiram reacts with acetaldehyde, one of the chemicals in alcohol.

Medication-assisted treatment programs in Ohio should always be supplemented with behavioral therapy and counseling for optimum results. When addiction treatment is integrated, outcomes are typically superior. Additionally, medication-assisted treatment relapse prevention in Cincinnati can enhance the likelihood of sustained sobriety from alcohol addiction or opioid addiction.

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Is MAT Effective?

There is a great deal of research to suggest that MAT is an effective treatment for substance abuse.

For example, a large-scale review of studies found that methadone maintenance treatment can reduce the risk of death from overdose by up to 50%.

Other research has also shown that people who receive medication-assisted treatment are more likely to stay in treatment and less likely to relapse than those who do not receive this type of care.

Is MAT Dangerous?

MAT is a safe and effective treatment for substance abuse, but it is not without its risks.

For example, people who take methadone or buprenorphine may be at risk for overdose if they stop taking their medication suddenly.

That said, MAT is a proven and effective form of treatment that can assist clients in overcoming the early stages of sobriety and help them avoid relapse by mitigating cravings and urges to use.

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medication-assisted treatment | ohio community health recovery centers

Seek MAT Today

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, medication-assisted treatment may be the key to success.

There are many different types of MAT programs available, so it’s important to find one that best fits your needs.

If you’re ready to take the first step towards recovery, contact our team today and learn how we can help you with medication-assisted treatment.

Discover Our Other Services

Intensive Outpatient

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Christopher Glover CDCA

My name is Christopher Glover, and I am from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am currently in school and working to grow in competence to better support our community. As a recovering individual I know the struggles that you or a loved one can go through and that there is help for anything you may be struggling with.

The hardest part is asking for help and we are here as a team to best support you and your decision to start your journey towards a better future. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn

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Amanda Kuchenberg PRS CDCA

I recently joined Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers as a Clinical Case Manager. I am originally from Wisconsin but settled in the Cincinnati area in my early 20s.  My career started in the fashion industry but quickly changed as I searched to find my drive and passion through helping others who struggle with addiction. 

As someone who is also in recovery, I wanted to provide hope, share lived experience, and support others on their journey.  I currently have my Peer Recovery Support Supervision Certification along with my CDCA and plan to continue my education with University of Cincinnati so I can continue to aid in the battle against substance addiction. Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.

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Patrick McCamley LCDC III

 Patrick McCamley (Clinical Therapist) is a Cincinnati native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2019. Patrick received his bachelors degree in psychology from University of Cincinnati in 2021 and received his LCDC III (Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2022. Patrick has worked in Clinical Operations, Clinical Case Management, and Clinical Therapy throughout his career.

Patrick has tremendous empathy and compassion for the recovery community, being in recovery himself since 2018. Patrick is uniquely qualified to be helpful because of the specific combination of his academic background and his own experience in recovery.

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Bill Zimmerman CDCA

Bill Zimmerman is a Greater Cincinnati Area native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2018. Bill received his (Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2020.

Bill has worked in Clinical Operations in both support and supervision, and Program facilitating and 12 step recovery support during his career. Bill has a passion for the recovery community, having been in recovery himself since 1982. Connect with Bill on LinkedIn

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Taylor Lilley CDCA, PRS

Growing up in Louisiana with addiction running rampant on both sides of my family. A life away from drugs and alcohol seemed impossible for someone like me. I remember what it was like sitting across from someone thinking there is no way they could ever understand what I was going through.

Sharing my experience offers a credibility and a certain type of trust with clients that only someone who has walked down this road can illustrate. To immerse myself further into the field of addiction, I am currently studying at Cincinnati State for Human and Social Services.  I hope I never forget where I came from, if I can do it, so can you!

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Thomas Hunter LSW

Hello my name is Thomas Hunter. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am a licensed social worker.In my scope of practice I have worked in the areas of mental health and recovery for thirty years. The clients I have worked with in my career have ranged in age from seven to seventy.

I strive each day to serve my purpose of helping those in need and I believe I do so by utilizing all of my experiences to accomplish my goal of supporting those who desire to establish their sobriety and maintain it in their recovery. Connect with Thomas on LinkedIn.

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Mary D.Porter,LICDC

 My name is Mary D. Porter. I received my Masters of Social Work in 2008 from The University of Cincinnati. I received My Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor Licensure in 2001. I retired from The Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center on April 14, 2014. Currently, I am the Associate Clinical Director for The Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers in Cincinnati.. Due to the fourth wave of the Opioid Epidemic in 2019,  I decided to enter back into the workforce to assist the addicted population.

The overdoses were astounding and I wanted to help.  I consider myself  to be an advocate for the addicted population. My compassion, resilience, empathy, wisdom, knowledge, experience and  love I have for this forgotten population goes beyond words. I consider what I do for the addicted population as a calling versus a “career,” because I too was once an “addict and alcoholic.” Today I am 45.5 years alcohol and substance free.

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Ben Lemmon LCDC III

Hello, my name is Ben Lemmon, and I’m the Vice President and Clinical Director at Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers. I’ve been working in the addiction and mental health field since 2013 and decided to enter the field after overcoming my own challenges with addiction.

When I first meet a client, I always explain to them that the reason we are meeting is because they are not capable of obtaining or maintaining sobriety, and my goal is to create a person that can maintain sobriety. I believe a person’s personality is made up of their thoughts, feelings and actions and my job is to help clients identify the thoughts, feelings and actions that have them disconnected from recovery and provide them with the tools to live a healthy and happy life. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn