Mobile RV Clinic Successfully Treats Opioid Use Disorder in Rural Areas

Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)

Mobile RV Clinic Successfully Treats Opioid Use Disorder in Rural Areas

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. Medications used in MAT are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and MAT programs are clinically driven and tailored to meet each patient’s needs.

Research shows that a combination of medication and therapy can successfully treat these disorders, and for some people struggling with addiction, MAT can help sustain recovery. MAT is also used to prevent or reduce opioid overdose.

Learn about many of the substance use disorders that MAT is designed to address.

MAT is primarily used for the treatment of addiction to opioids such as heroin and prescription pain relievers that contain opiates. The prescribed medication operates to normalize brain chemistry, block the euphoric effects of alcohol and opioids, relieve physiological cravings, and normalize body functions without the negative and euphoric effects of the substance used.

MAT Effectiveness

In 2018, an estimated 2 million people had an opioid use disorder which includes prescription pain medication containing opiates and heroin.

MAT has proved to be clinically effective and to significantly reduce the need for inpatient detoxification services for these individuals. MAT provides a more comprehensive, individually tailored program of medication and behavioral therapy that address the needs of most patients.

The ultimate goal of MAT is full recovery, including the ability to live a self-directed life. This treatment approach has been shown to:

  • Improve patient survival
  • Increase retention in treatment
  • Decrease illicit opiate use and other criminal activity among people with substance use disorders
  • Increase patients’ ability to gain and maintain employment
  • Improve birth outcomes among women who have substance use disorders and are pregnant

Research also shows that these medications and therapies can contribute to lowering a person’s risk of contracting HIV or hepatitis C by reducing the potential for relapse. Learn more about substance misuse and how it relates to HIV, AIDS, and Viral Hepatitis.

Learn more about co-occurring disorders and other health conditions.

MAT Medications

FDA has approved several different medications to treat alcohol and opioid use disorders MAT medications relieve the withdrawal symptoms and psychological cravings that cause chemical imbalances in the body. Medications used for MAT are evidence-based treatment options and do not just substitute one drug for another.

  • Acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone are the most common medications used to treat alcohol use disorder. They do not provide a cure for the disorder, but are most effective in people who participate in a MAT program. Learn more about the impact of alcohol misuse.

Learn more about MAT for alcohol use disorders and view Medication for the Treatment of Alcohol Use Disorder: A Brief Guide – 2015.

  • Buprenorphine, methadone, and naltrexone are used to treat opioid use disorders to short-acting opioids such as heroin, morphine, and codeine, as well as semi-synthetic opioids oxycodone and hydrocodone. These MAT medications are safe to use for months, years, or even a lifetime. As with any medication, consult your doctor before discontinuing use.

Learn more about MAT for opioid use disorders.

MAT Medications and Child Safety

It’s important to remember that if medications are allowed to be kept at home, they must be locked in a safe place away from children. Methadone in its liquid form is colored and is sometimes mistaken for a soft drink. Children who take medications used in MAT may overdose and die.

Find MAT Treatment

MAT Medications are administered, dispensed, and prescribed in various settings such as a SAMHSA-accredited and certified opioid treatment program (OTP) or certified practitioners depending on the medication.

MAT and Patient Rights

SAMHSA produced a brochure designed to assist MAT patients and to educate and inform others (PDF | 415 KB). Under the Confidentiality Regulation, 42 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 2, personally identifiable health information relating to substance use and alcohol treatment must be handled with a higher degree of confidentiality than other medical information.

Contact Us

For information on buprenorphine waiver processing, contact the SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) at 866-BUP-CSAT (866-287-2728) or

For information about other medication-assisted treatment (MAT) or the certification of opioid treatment programs (OTPs), contact the SAMHSA Division of Pharmacologic Therapies at 240-276-2700. DPT@SAMHSA.HHS.Gov.

For assistance with the Opioid Treatment Program Extranet, contact the OTP helpdesk at or 1-866-348-5741.

Contact SAMHSA’s regional OTP Compliance Officers to determine if an OTP is qualified to provide treatment for substance use disorders.


The Road to Recovery—Treating Substance Abuse in Rural America

Mobile RV Clinic Successfully Treats Opioid Use Disorder in Rural Areas

Originally designed for camping trips, recreational vehicles (RVs) are finding new purpose as mobile substance abuse clinics for hard-to-reach populations. Substance abuse and the opioid crisis is a major concern across the U.S.

, affecting all 50 states and Washington, DC. Almost 21 million Americans have at least one addiction, with only 10% receiving treatment. But it’s particularly difficult for those living in rural communities who have few nearby resources.

The Yale School of Medicine conducted a study that measured how far people had to drive to be seen at a methadone clinic in five states hit hard by the opioid epidemic: Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. On average, patients living in rural counties spend 37-49 minutes traveling to the nearest treatment center. In contrast , those living in more urban counties were only about 16 minutes away from a treatment program.

Reaching People Where They Are

The challenge is making substance abuse treatment more accessible to those in rural or outlying areas. Municipalities and healthcare providers have tackled this problem by taking treatment centers on the road.

Former Addicts Bring Resources to Their Community

A recent CNN article and video showcased the success of a mobile clinic in western Pennsylvania. Amanda Cope, a recovering alcoholic, now a registered nurse, started Positive Recovery Solutions-a mobile addiction recovery clinic. Positive Recovery Solutions combines behavioral counseling with monthly shots of Vivitrol (naltrexone) administered by Cope.

(Vivitrol blocks the effects of opioid medication, including pain relief, urges, or feelings of well-being.) The mobile clinic works on a referral basis and serves 200 and 400 patients a week. Logistics manager, driver, and receptionist, Stuart Masula, is himself a recovering addict.

In addition to Vivitrol injections, Cope and Masula provide real-life examples of recovery to the patients they serve.

Going Mobile with Grant Money

Other parts of the country are also using mobile clinics to reach patients in hard-to-reach areas. Funded by a $1.7 million grant, BestSelf Behavioral Health, based in Buffalo, NY has six RV-sized vehicles with exam rooms and telemedicine equipment. These clinics provide medication-assisted treatment and counseling for people needing substance abuse treatment in western New York.

Colorado is also using $30 million in grant funds to purchase six vans to treat patients with addictions. They are using the State Opioid Response grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to purchase the vans and equip them with materials needed to deliver medication-assisted therapy.

Overcoming Patient Resistance

Mobile substance abuse clinics offer more than convenience. They also help people overcome the stigma of seeking initial help at hospitals, doctor’s offices, or even drug-treatment facilities.  These units can reach those struggling with addictions, but who are reluctant or fearful to seek help.

When a county in Maryland introduced a mobile clinic last year, Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford praised the service for providing a link to patients who might not otherwise seek care.

“Today I am pleased to announce the launch of the Maryland Mobile Wellness Initiative, a mobile wellness vehicle that will link individuals to community service providers for help with substance use disorders,” said Lt. Governor Rutherford.

“As we know, the decision to voluntarily enter treatment requires a significant level of engagement and readiness, and this will offer another way for individuals and their families to seek help in a local, non-threatening environment.”

Why Targeting Rural Communities is Critical

The American Academy of Family Physicians reports that people in rural communities have an 87% higher chance of being prescribed an opioid than those in urban locales. So it’s no surprise that until 2019, the number of opioid-related deaths in rural areas rose faster than in metropolitan areas.

Health officials across the country are exploring different approaches for reaching those in need of substance abuse treatments-from telehealth to mobile apps. But mobile clinics provide the personal connection that many need to overcome their addiction.

Experts estimate that there are 2,000 mobile health clinics across the country. These clinics are achieving results, such as reducing emergency department visits and better health outcomes.

Mobile clinics are another effective weapon in the fight against opioid addiction by reaching people where they live.

RXNT supports all efforts to address addiction issues in the U.S. Our Electronic Prescribing solution is DEA-certified for federal and state Electronic Prescribing of Controlled Substances (EPCS) mandates.

  • LinkedIn
  • Email


Partnership to End Addiction in the News

Mobile RV Clinic Successfully Treats Opioid Use Disorder in Rural Areas

How to Access Care for Addicted Teens
Features an interview with Pat Aussem, L.P.C., M.A.C., Associate Vice President, Consumer Clinical Content Development at Partnership to End Addiction

Jane Wilkens Michael Podcast (August 14, 2021)

Courage to Change
Partnership to End Addiction board member Elizabeth Vargas spoke about hosting the organization’s “Heart of the Matter” podcast.

The New York Times (April 23, 2021)

How to Do Better Fighting Drug Addiction
Letter to the editor co-authored by Creighton Drury, Partnership to End Addiction’s CEO, and Linda Richter, Ph.D., Vice President of Prevention Research and Analysis at Partnership to End Addiction

The Lisa Show (April 16, 2021)

Teen Vaping
Quotes Linda Richter, Ph.D., Vice President of Prevention Research and Analysis at Partnership to End Addiction

CBS – The Talk (April 13, 2021)

Elizabeth Vargas on The Talk
Partnership to End Addiction board member Elizabeth Vargas spoke about hosting the organization’s “Heart of the Matter” podcast.

Shots (October 21, 2020)

The dangers of distancingQuotes Emily Moyer, Chief Marketing Officer at Partnership to End Addition

Covers Partnership to End Addiction’s “Start with Connection” campaign

National Journal (January 6, 2020)

Medicare Now Pays for Opioid Treatment Programs [requires National Journal subscription]Quotes Lindsey Vuolo, Vice President of Health Law and Policy at Partnership to End Addiction


Добавить комментарий

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: