Skip to main content

Oregon State Flag An official website of the State of Oregon » Homepage

Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder


The Oregon Health Authority, operating under OAR 415.020, is in charge of helping and regulating addiction prevention and treatment services in Oregon. Opioid Treatment Programs dispense and administer medications for the treatment of opioid addiction. This includes delivery of counseling, supportive services and medical services to program participants.

Frequently Asked Questions

Opioid addiction is one of Oregon’s most pressing public health issues.

  • Lost productivity, overdose, and reduced quality of life are just some of the impacts to individuals, families, and society.
  • Even when the individual has a strong desire to stop their usage, stopping opiate use after a long period can cause unpleasant physical and psychological withdrawal systems; many long time users find it difficult to not use opiates when faced with these symptoms, thus continuing the cycle of addiction.

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), including the use of methadone, is a medically monitored therapeutic intervention designed to assist opiate dependent individuals improve their overall quality of life and begin the recovery process, that involves case management, counseling and medication management.​

Currently, in the United States:

  • Methadone can only be dispensed at an approved and regulated opiate treatment program.
  • Naltrexone and buprenorphine can be prescribed by a physician for use by the patient in a non-office setting.

As with any medication-based intervention, engagement in treatment and a psychosocial support system can contribute greatly to the patient's success.​

​Methadone is a full antagonist (fully blocking the opioid receptors in the brain). Research shows several positive benefits to methadone treatment, including:

  • Reduced intravenous drug use 
  • Decreased risk of overdose 
  • Reduced exposure to infectious diseases (including Hepatitis C, B as well as HIV) 
  • Up to 30% reduced mortality 
  • Reduced criminal behavior Improved pregnancy outcomes 
  • Greatly reduced withdrawal symptoms and cravings 
  • Ability to stay in a structured treatment environment for longer periods of time than individuals undergoing other types of treatment​

Buprenorphine and naltrexone are also available for medication-assisted treatment of opioid dependence.

  • Buprenorphine: Unlike methadone, which is a “full” agonist, buprenorphine is a partial agonist (partially binding to opioid receptors in the brain).
  • Naltrexone is a full antagonist (fully blocking the opioid receptors in the brain).

Methadone, buprenorphine and naltrexone are all highly effective medications for the treatment of opioid dependence. They may or may not be appropriate for the patient based on several other factors.​​


Program Contact

Dr. John W. McIlveen

Program and Policy Development Specialist
State Opioid Treatment Authority

For Consumers

Know your rights:

For Providers

Medicare reimbursement for opioid use disorder treatment services: 

Billing Oregon Medicaid for Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

MAT program/provider certification, requirements and resources on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website