Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Opioid Addiction: Introduction to the Special Issue

Subst Use Misuse. 2018 Jan 28;53(2):177-180. doi: 10.1080/10826084.2017.1404106. Epub 2017 Dec 8.


Several countries are experiencing public health crises as a result of opioid addiction. Fatal overdoses have reached record highs in many regions and Hepatitis C virus is the norm among people who inject drugs in several countries. Thus, providing for the global availability of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid addiction is more important than ever. In this article, we introduce readers to the collection of papers that appear in this special issue on MAT for opioid addiction. We describe the articles and commentaries thematically to include topics that address 1) the contemporary history of methadone maintenance, 2) the provision of and access and barriers to MAT, 3) compliance and outcomes of MAT, 4) health issues among MAT patients, 5) race, ethnicity, and social class backgrounds of MAT patients, 6) criminalization and stigma, and 7) challenges associated with the expansion of MAT.

Keywords: Medication-assisted treatment; buprenorphine; methadone; opioid addiction.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Introductory Journal Article

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use
  • Buprenorphine / therapeutic use
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Methadone / therapeutic use*
  • Opiate Substitution Treatment / history*
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Social Stigma


  • Analgesics, Opioid
  • Buprenorphine
  • Methadone