(uskings.us) On March 31, 2020 QuickMD became the first national Tele-MAT service in the United States to provide Medication-assisted Treatment with Suboxone online—without the need of an in-person visit; with others announcing to follow soon.

The United States is in the midst of an opioid epidemic, with millions of people suffering from opioid addiction along with an unprecedented number of opioid overdoses and about 50,000 opioid-related deaths per year. What these numbers do not tell is the true impact it has on the individuals who are suffering from opioid addiction, their families, their communities and to the greater impact it has on society as a whole: withdrawal symptoms, depression, criminal justice involvement, lost wages and productivity, the cost of addiction treatment, just to name a few.

One of the most successful strategies to treat patients suffering from opioid use disorder (OUD) consists of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) in combination with cognitive behavioral therapy (counseling). One of the most effective and safest medications used for MAT is ‘buprenorphine’ and its combination products (usually combined with naloxone). It has been shown to treat withdrawal symptoms, cravings, while at the same time preventing overdoses and deaths related to opioid use. When prescribed correctly, it has been shown to not affect the job performance or the cognitive brain functions of an individual.

According to the Pew analysis, 88.6% of rural counties lack adequate access to medication-assisted treatment programs. And with no end in sight to the opioid crisis and now the overlap with the COVID-19 pandemic, this causes an even further limitation of access to MAT. The DEA recognizes this emergency and now allows addiction specialists to prescribe buprenorphine via phone or video, without the need for an initial in-person visit.

On March 31, 2020, QuickMD became the first Tele-MAT service in the United States to offer Medication Assisted Treatment and Suboxone online, with others that followed suit. Suboxone, a combination medication containing buprenorphine and naloxone, is one of the main medications used for medication-assisted therapy (MAT) for opiate addiction.

According to Dr. Ryner Lai (quick.md); en.wikipedia. Source of photos: internet