AzMAT Mentors Program
What is the AzMAT Mentors Program?
The Arizona Center for Rural Health (AzCRH) partnered with the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) to implement the AzMAT Mentors Program. This program provides guidance to new or inexperienced providers to increase their capacity for providing medication-assistance treatment (MAT) services in Arizona. The goal is to improve access to evidence-based treatment for individuals with substance use disorders (SUD) and specifically opioid use disorders (OUD).
To achieve this goal, we match experienced and new MAT providers to engage in collaborative consultations. Experienced MAT providers are practitioners who are Arizona licensed and DATA-waived or “x-waived” and have provided MAT services for at least one year and/or treated at least 20 patients. New MAT providers are practitioners who are Arizona licensed and DATA-waived or “x-waived” and self-identify an interest to collaborate with an experienced MAT provider.
What is MAT and x-waived?
Medication-Assisted Treatment, or MAT, is a whole-patient practice that combines Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medications and behavioral therapies to treat substance use disorders. Addiction and non-addiction specialists may provide MAT services. Non-specialists are encouraged to treat patients with OUD and may do so by obtaining a Drug Addiction Treatment Act (DATA)-waiver. If providers meet the DATA-waiver criteria and complete the training, they apply to the Drug Enforcement Agency for a waiver to prescribe controlled substance for SUD treatment. The waiver is issued with an “x” added to their license number; hence the name, “x-waiver.” DATA-waived providers are licensed to prescribe Schedule III substances, which includes buprenorphine to treat people with OUDs.
What barriers do MAT providers experience in Arizona?
The majority of DATA-waived providers are treating few or no patients with OUD. Commonly reported barriers include: lack of time, availability of behavioral health services, and concerns around diversion and patient misuse.
What are some reasons for optimism?
While barriers exist for implementing MAT, there are numerous reasons for optimism:
- MAT is effective for treating opioid use disorder.
- An estimated 22.35 million adults have resolved their alcohol and drug problems.
- Comprehensive Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is effective for delivering MAT outside of an Opioid Treatment Program.
- Receiving support from an experienced MAT provider is one strategy for overcoming barriers.
What does AzMAT Mentors Program participation include?
There are two ways to participate, as an experienced or as a new MAT provider.
Experienced MAT Providers participate in AzMAT Mentors Program training and collaborate with 1-2 new MAT providers via one-to-one consultations.
* Please note that the Pre-Training materials will automatically download to your device.
New MAT Providers receive one-to-one support from experienced MAT providers and Arizona Center for Rural Health faculty and staff. Through collaborative consultations, participants set tailored learning goals and receive guidance and support through ongoing communications.
Where can I find additional resources for prevention, treatment, and recovery?
- If you are interested in learning more about the DATA-waiver process, please visit the Provider Clinical Support System.
- If you are interested in continuing education on MAT, please visit the Arizona State University Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy.
- If you are interested in important resources for prevention, treatment, and recovery for people with substance use concerns/disorders, check out the AzMAT Mentor Program resource guide.
- If you would like to know more about the AzMAT Mentors Program, review definitions and frequently asked questions by experienced and new MAT providers.
Interested in learning more about MAT and DATA-waiver trainings?
- Provider Clinical Support System
- Arizona State University Medication-Assisted Treatment for Opioid Use Disorder
Contact: Bridget Murphy, firstname.lastname@example.org