Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Summit Addresses Growing Opioid Concerns

MAT Summit 2017

MAT Summit 2017

More than 180 professionals attended a Nebraska Summit on “Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Substance Use Disorders” held in Omaha this month.

The summit addressed the role of medication-assisted treatment as a tool for recovery. Participants leaned about the neurobiology of substance use disorders, various medications used in substance use treatments and received updates on Nebraska grant activities. There were also two panels, one including persons in recovery and another including state leaders and court personnel.

“Our goal is to promote and expand the use of MAT as a scientifically proven, effective treatment option accessible to Nebraskans,” said Sheri Dawson, RN, director of the Division of Behavioral Health at DHHS. “People can and do recover, and treatment outcomes have been shown to be improved through the use of MAT.”

Presenters included Edwin A. Salsitz, M.D., specialist in addiction medicine and pulmonary disease, Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital, New York City; Ned Presnall, LCSW, executive director, Clayton Behavioral, St. Louis; and Rachel Winograd, Ph.D., assistant research professor, Missouri Institute of Mental Health, University of Missouri-St. Louis, St. Louis.

 “The full capacity room today provides tangible evidence of the growing understanding of medical treatment for opioid addiction and the commitment to expanding its reach in our state,” Said Suzanne Gage, the Office of Nebraska Attorney General’s director of communication.

Attendees included healthcare professionals, substance use and mental health treatment center providers, probation/parole officers, court judges and policymakers.

"Continuing to increase access to treatment, including medication-assisted treatment and reducing prescription drug overdoses is critically important to address the growing opioid concerns in Nebraska,” said attendee Senator Merve Riepe. “Director Sheri Dawson continues to provide leadership by focusing on prevention. Nebraska is not currently experiencing the opioid crisis as other states are, but we must remain vigilant."