Optimal Utilization of Psychosocial Supports in Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder Issue Brief


As the opioid epidemic has evolved into a national crisis, the need for treatment has increased greatly. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of opioid use disorder (OUD) that combines the use of medications and psychosocial supports, such as therapy, counseling, self-help groups, and case management. MAT effectively treats OUD by decreasing opioid use and opioid-related overdose deaths.

This study aimed to describe different models of psychosocial supports in MAT for OUD. Specifically, the study examined current practices of psychosocial support and factors that facilitate or hinder these models in clinical practice. An environmental scan was conducted that included three components: a literature review, analysis of unpublished survey data, and key informant interviews. In addition, one-day site visits were held at five different treatment programs to learn how organizations implement psychosocial supports in their MAT programs.

This brief was prepared under contract #HHSP233201600025I between HHS’s ASPE/DALTCP and Westat. For additional information about this subject, you can visit the DALTCP home page at http://aspe.hhs.gov/office-disability-aging-and-long-term-care-policy-daltcp or contact the ASPE Project Officer, Joel Dubenitz, at HHS/ASPE/DALTCP, Room 424E, H.H. Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201. His e-mail address is: Joel.Dubenitz@hhs.gov

DISCLAIMER: The opinions and views expressed in this report are those of the authors. They do not reflect the views of the Department of Health and Human Services, the contractor or any other funding organization. This report was completed and submitted in December 2018.


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