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Dr. Allison Robertson Discusses Medication-Assisted Treatment Research Successes, Challenges

Tuesday, September 29, 2020
By Wilson Center for Science and Justice at Duke Law
Headshot of Allison Robertson

Allison Robertson, MPH, PhD, an associate professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences, spoke recently about medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with justice-involved people and her ongoing research in this area as part of an Health Resources and Services Administration Center for Excellence Behavioral Health Technical Assistance program.

Dr. Robertson notes there's strong evidence of effectiveness of MAT—the use of FDA-approved medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a “whole-patient” approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. 

It’s an effective treatment approach for many individuals with substance use disorders, and it’s a cost-effective alternative to incarceration. In her presentation, Robertson said a month of incarceration is about $22,000 whereas a month of methadone treatment is about $4,000. However, there are a number of barriers to implementing it.

Read the full article on the Center for Science and Justice website