Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)

A modern, innovative, and successful way to treat substance use disorder.

The DOC's Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program is an evidence-based treatment used to help incarcerated individuals with substance use disorder (SUD). It began in 2014 at SCI Muncy, and it was so successful that it quickly expanded across the system.

Substance Use Disorders has been generally treated as if it were an acute illness, rather than a chronic disease. Research results suggest that long-term care strategies of medication management and continued monitoring produce lasting benefits. The use of MAT for those suffering from addiction should be insured, treated and evaluated like other chronic illnesses.

Opioid Therapeutic Community Programs

In January 2017, the DOC made changes to the general population Therapeutic Community Curriculum and the Co-Occurring Disorders Therapeutic Community Curriculum to provide evidence based treatment.  On March 12, 2018, the department converted six therapeutic communities (TCs) to opiate specific therapeutic communities.

Institutions with Opiate Specific TCs:

  • Camp Hill
  • Laurel Highlands
  • Chester
  • Albion (Co-Occurring TC)
  • Quehanna Boot Camp (State Intermediate Punishment [SIP])
  • Cambridge Springs (SIP and Female)

While these are the first institutions to implement this program, the goal will be to continue to increase the program based on successes and need.

Inmates received into institutions (PV or new intakes) who are enrolled in a verified MAT Program (community or county jail) will continue on MAT. Suboxone and oral naltrexone will be available immediately and will also be offered to those on methadone until it can be added at a later date. Any instances of an inmate entering our system on an MAT that is not available, or who does not meet criteria for continuing MAT, will be forwarded to the Bureau of Health Care Services (BHCS) for review on a case-by-case basis.

The DOC uses the following FDA-approved medications for its MAT program: Methadone; Buprenorphine; and Naltrexone.