Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Waiver Training and Resources

What is Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)?


Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is 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.

There are three medications commonly used to treat opioid addiction:

  • Methadone – clinic-based opioid agonist that does not block other narcotics while preventing withdrawal while taking it; daily liquid dispensed only in specialty regulated clinics
  • Naltrexone – office-based non-addictive opioid antagonist that blocks the effects of other narcotics; daily pill or monthly injection
  • Buprenorphine – office-based opioid agonist/ antagonist that blocks other narcotics while reducing withdrawal risk; daily dissolving tablet, cheek film, or 6-month implant under the skin

Who is MAT Waiver Training For?

  • Physicians
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Physician Assistants

What is the Primary Purpose of MAT Waivers?

MAT Waivers’ primary purpose is the treatment of opioid use disorders (OUD). Opioids include a class of drugs often prescribed for pain—morphine, fentanyl, oxycodone, and hydrocodone—as well as illicit drugs, such as heroin. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three medications for the treatment of OUD: methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone.

MAT Waiver training will introduce to physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants a general approach to evaluation and treatment of patients presenting with problematic opioid use. Benefits and limitations of available medications and differences between them are described. An approach to choosing first and second line treatments is also presented.

MAT Waiver Process and Required Training

In order to prescribe or dispense buprenorphine, physicians must qualify for a physician waiver, which includes completing eight hours of required training, and applying for a physician waiver. Physicians can complete the Online Request for Patient Limit Increase.

Physicians are also required to complete buprenorphine training and provide their training certificate after completing the Waiver Notification Form.

These waiver applications are forwarded to the DEA, which assigns the physician a special identification number. DEA regulations require this number to be included on all buprenorphine prescriptions for opioid dependency treatment, along with the physician’s regular DEA registration number.

SAMHSA reviews waiver applications within 45 days of receipt. If approved, physicians receive a letter via email that confirms their waiver and includes their prescribing identification number.

For more information, contact the SAMHSA Center for Substance Abuse Treatment’s (CSAT’s) Buprenorphine Information Center at 866-BUP-CSAT (866-287-2728) or send an email to infobuprenorphine@samhsa.hhs.gov

Medication Assisted Treatment Trainings in Colorado, Illinois and Iowa


  • View MAT Trainings in the state of Colorado
  • View MAT Trainings in the state of Illinois
  • View MAT Trainings in the state of Iowa

Online MAT Waiver Training Opportunities


Cant make the dates? Consider these online Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Training Opportunities:

For Physicians:

  • SAMHSA Training Find information about the eight-hour buprenorphine waiver training courses that are required for physicians to prescribe and dispense buprenorphine here.
  • Providers Clinical Support System (PCSS) online waiver training can be found here.

For Nurse Practitioners:

  • Nurse Practioners and Physician Assistant MAT Training Resources can be found here.
  • Providers Clinical Support System (PCSS) online waiver training can be found here.

For Physician Assistants:

  • Nurse Practioners and Physician Assistant MAT Training Resources can be found here.
  • Providers Clinical Support System (PCSS) online waiver training can be found here.