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MAT Myth Busters

Friday, March 12, 2021
9:00 - 9:45am


The term opioid use disorder (OUD), is used for those suffering from the disease of addiction related to opioids (CDC, 2020b). Nearly 80% of Americans with OUD are not receiving appropriate care. While access to office-based addiction treatment has increased in recent years, distribution of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) has been slowing. (Saloner B, 2015) MAT is very effective and can save lives, however, physicians have misconceptions about the OUD patient population, MAT’s effectiveness, and how it works. Treatment for OUD usually centers on stabilizing the patient using MAT. A more recent understanding of addiction as a disease, using the medical model, has enabled us to apply evidence-based guidelines. Community physicians can prescribe buprenorphine, eliminating the need to visit a treatment center, and expanding access (National Institute for Drug Abuse, 2018). In order to achieve this, PCPs must be aware of the signs of opioid use disorder as well as intervention strategies when OUD is suspected. This includes recognizing their patients on chronic opioids for pain who may be developing a use disorder; this can be tricky and nuanced (Donroe, 2020). Barriers to OUD treatment in primary care include physician training and stigma (Korthuis, 2016) (Pew, 2020), which includes incorrect preconceived notions of how utilizing buprenorphine would affect a practice’s patient population. Managing MAT in primary care can be done with confidence and offer financial and personal.


At the end of this presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • List common myths about MAT and patients with OUD, and explain why these myths are not barriers to providing MAT in your practice
  • Recognize patients already within your practice who may have or be at risk for developing OUD
  • Apply simple, focused, evidence-based interventions when OUD is suspected, including delineating among MAT choices


Lee Radosh, MD, FAAFP
Medical Director, Reading Hospital Center of Excellence for Opioid Use Disorder

Addiction Medicine Physician, Tower Health Medical Group

Reading, PA


Dr. Radosh has disclosed that he has no financial conflict of interest relevant to this presentation.

During this presentation he will mention how buprenorphine can be used for chronic pain; some buprenorphine formulations are not FDA-approved for pain.

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The following planners and reviewers have stated that they have no conflict of interest relative to this activity:  Theresa J. Barrett, PhD, CMP, CAE; Mirela Feurdean, MD; Tamie Proscia-Lieto, MD; Jonathan Shammash, MD, FACP; Nayan Kothari, MD, Christine Bersani, Kathleen Cavallo; Herb Holland