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MAT at Tully Hill: Our Use and Perspective

Gregory Serfer
Gregory Serfer
April 8, 2019

Overcoming substance use disorder is difficult and requires ongoing commitment.

Wanting patients to be ‘clean’ is our goal for everyone we evaluate, admit and treat. We work every day to help patients recover to that ‘clean’ state, as safely and as quickly as possible.

To that end, Tully Hill supports the use of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) but strictly as it is intended, i.e., as an adjunct to the Substance Use Disorder (SUD) treatment process.

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is

the use of FDA-approved medications, in combination with behavioral therapy and counseling to provide a comprehensive approach to the treatment of Substance Use Disorders (SUDs). As stated, MAT is thus meant to be adjunctive to the overall treatment process, and not as a process in and of itself.

Our goal using MAT is to increase the success of SUDs therapy by preventing the true physical dangers of withdrawal, mitigating withdrawal symptoms, accelerating the normalization of neurophysiology and aiding emotional stability.

Our goal using MAT is NOT to replace one substance of abuse with another. MAT should be used, as the name states, as a treatment; not as a therapy. At Tully Hill MAT is used as a temporary intervention, more akin to use of an antibiotic rather than a long-term intervention such as an antihypertensive. It is equally important to know that we customize MAT to the individual patient.

Factors to be considered include, but are not limited to:

❖ Specific substances of abuse
❖ Amounts of such substances abused
❖ Length of time of abuse
❖ Route of administration (IV, ingestion, etc.)
❖ Withdrawal history
❖ Relapse history
❖ Comorbidities
❖ Social supports

With MAT at Tully Hill, we avoid a “cookie cutter,” one treatment fits all approach. Furthermore, our application of MAT for each individual includes ongoing assessments and flexibility which are necessary components of effective MAT. And we base alterations in a MAT plan on individual patient response that in turn is based heavily on objective findings, as opposed to subjective complaints.

Thank you for recognizing and understanding our use and perspective of MAT. We look forward to continuing to work with you, mutually treating and caring for patients and their families.

Gregory Serfer

Medical Director

Dr. Gregory Serfer became the Medical Director of Tully Hill Chemical Dependency Treatment Center in July 2018. Dr. Serfer obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Psychobiology from the University of Miami and his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Serfer was previously employed at Auburn Community Hospital as Director of Substance Use Disorder Services. Dr. Serfer also serves as Medical Officer for the National Disaster Medical System for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.