Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion and Population Health
Population Health Research Brief Series
Andrew Sullivan and Changwe Park
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) is an evidence-based intervention that, combined with counseling and behavioral therapies, can effectively treat opioid use disorders. However, MAT is underused due to multiple barriers. To increase access to MAT, the U.S. government awarded grants to local governments and nonprofit organizations to increase and retain the number of people receiving MAT. This brief examined differences in homelessness and employment outcomes between places that received a MAT grant and those that did not. They found that these grants did not reduce homelessness or unemployment rates in the places that received funding and concluded that their effectiveness might have been hampered by the relatively small scale of the program. The authors encourage increased government investment in MAT expansion, employment assistance, and housing programs.