What is MATTERS?
MATTERS (Medication for Addiction Treatment and Electronic Referrals) is a collection of resources that connects patients to long-term treatment for opioid use disorder. We prioritize rapid access to medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD).
Who completes the referral?
It depends on the situation. Possibilities include doctors, counselors, peers, teachers, officers, etc. Referrals should be completed collaboratively with the patient.
How many times can an individual be referred through MATTERS?
Individuals can be referred multiple times. MATTERS monitors repeat referrals to ensure individuals are being connected to long-term, outpatient treatment.
How is this going to affect our workflow?
The referral process should not impose any burden. The entirety of the referral takes less than 5 minutes to complete and ZERO phone calls need to be made.
I can’t get in to see my preferred provider for a few weeks. How do I receive a prescription ASAP?
Connect with a telemedicine provider who will evaluate and prescribe medication if necessary by visiting the MATTERS telemedicine page.
Harm Reduction FAQ
What is harm reduction?
Harm reduction strategies are practical approaches to reduce the negative social and physical consequences any health behavior, including of drug use. Visit MATTERS’ harm reduction page to learn more.
Does harm reduction enable drug use?
Research shows that harm reduction strategies do not enable substance use or high-risk behaviors¹. Harm reduction embraces abstinence as a viable option for addressing drug use. Harm reduction also values the autonomy of the individual to make their own decisions.
Why not abstinence?
Abstinence-only interventions are not effective for everyone. Harm reduction is an evidence-based strategy that reduces the negative consequences that are associated with risky behaviors.
What does it mean to meet someone where they are at?
This means recognizing where a person is in their life, at the intersections of all their identities, and approaching without expectation or hope for change.
What is naloxone (Narcan)?
Naloxone is an opioid overdose-reversal medication, commonly referred to as the brand name Narcan. If you encounter an individual who is unconscious, it is possible that they are experiencing an overdose. It is important to have naloxone available to respond to medical emergencies.
What if kids get into naloxone?
Narcan has no effect on an individual that is not experiencing an overdose. If a child or infant has gotten into an opioid by any means, Narcan is safe to use at any age.
My test strips say they are for urine testing. Can I use these to test substances?
Yes. These test strips were originally designed to test urine and are currently used off-label to test substances. These have been tested for use and are an effective harm reduction strategy.
What are the limitations of test strips?
Test strips are only able to detect the presence of the substance, not the potency or the amount of substance that is present.
How much of my drug should I test?
It is important to test your supply every time you use. You only need to test a small amount of drug (5-10mg) before use. For reference, 10mg is enough to cover Abraham Lincoln’s hair on a penny.
What if my substance tests positive for fentanyl or xylazine?
We recommend not using any substance that contains fentanyl or xylazine. Should you choose to proceed with using a drug known to have fentanyl/xylazine contamination, you should take extra precautions. Use a small amount, use slow, use with a friend, and carry Narcan.
What is the chocolate chip cookie effect?
When fentanyl is mixed into powder or pressed pills, it clumps together instead of being distributed equally (like chocolate chips in a cookie). This means that a portion of a pressed pill or a scoop of powder may not test positive for fentanyl even though other parts of the sample contain fentanyl.
Do fentanyl test strips test for all fentanyl analogs?
Fentanyl test strips cannot detect all fentanyl analogs but do detect many of them. Just because a fentanyl test strip comes back negative does not guarantee that there is no fentanyl in the product.
I tested my substance twice and got 1 positive and 1 negative result – what do I do?
False positives/negatives happen when the substance is not diluted correctly. It is always better to err on the side of caution – if your substance tests positive for fentanyl or xylazine, do not use it.
How long will it take to get results?
Results are ready in 1-2 minutes after testing.
Is the medication voucher the same as a prescription?
No, the medication voucher is not a prescription. If an individual receives a prescription from a healthcare provider, the voucher simply covers the cost of up-to 14 days of buprenorphine.
How do I redeem my medication voucher?
Pharmacists and pharmacy staff can redeem medication vouchers. Instructions on how to redeem the voucher are included in the voucher print-out and email communication sent to patients.
How do I get transportation for my appointment?
MATTERS offers referred individuals a free ride to and from their first appointment. Tell your provider completing the referral that you need transportation assistance. Transportation vouchers are automatically sent (printed and emailed) to individuals once the referral is submitted.
How do I redeem my transportation voucher?
Contact the MATTERS team by calling 765-MATTERS (628-8377).
Ti L. & Kerr T (2014). The impact of harm reduction on HIV and illicit drug use. Harm Reduction Journal. 11:7. doi: 10.1186/1477-7517-11-7. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3936850/
BTNX Inc. (n.d.) Harm reduction. Retrieved from: https://www.btnx.com/HarmReduction