Medicated Assisted Treatment Standards

In 2020 the Scottish Government introduced the Medicated Assisted Treatment (MAT) Standards in response to the level of drug related deaths in Scotland.

This initiative aims to reduce deaths for those who use illicit opiates, with the objective of “enshrining a right’s based approach to immediate, person centred treatment for problem drug use, linked to primary care, mental health and other support services”.

These standards now define what is required for consistent delivery of safe and accessible drug treatment and support in Scotland and aim to improve services and systems for all drug related problems.

The standards aim to:

  • Improve access and retention in MAT
  • Enable people to make an informed choice about treatment, care and support.
  • Include families or nominated person(s) wherever appropriate
  • Strengthen accountability and leadership so that the necessary governance and resource is in place to implement them effectively.


East Lothian progress on delivering MAT Standards

ELHSCP completed delivery of the 1-5 (MAT) Standards Implementation Plan in April 2023.  

The team is now actively working on achieving standards 6-10 in line with Scottish Government deadlines.

A key component of these standards is the provision of same-day appointment, assessment and treatment, with the offer to commence Opioid Replacement Therapy on the day.  This has been established and is running weekdays from the Esk Centre, Musselburgh.


Summary of the MAT standards 

Links direct you to Scottish Government website.

1. All people accessing services have the option to start MAT from the same day of presentation.

2. All people are supported to make an informed choice on what medication to use for MAT, and the appropriate dose.

3. All people at high risk of drug-related harm are proactively identified and offered support to commence or continue MAT.

4. All people are offered evidence based harm reduction at the point of MAT delivery.

5. All people will receive support to remain in treatment for as long as requested.

6. The system that provides MAT is psychologically informed (tier 1); routinely delivers evidence-based low intensity psychosocial interventions (tier 2); and supports individuals to grow social networks.

7. All people have the option of MAT shared with Primary Care.

8. All people have access to independent advocacy and support for housing, welfare and income needs.

9. All people with co-occurring drug use and mental health difficulties can receive mental health care at the point of MAT delivery.

10. All people receive trauma informed care.


Further information 

Scottish Government Website: 
Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) standards: access, choice, support 

National Bench Marking Report on Implementation of MAT Standards 2022