Opioid Use Disorder is an illness.

Not a character flaw.

How you got here isn’t important, but where you go now is. It is possible to overcome your addiction. We’re here to help.

Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT): Compassionate, scientifically proven care.

No two people with Opioid Use Disorder are the same, and their treatments shouldn’t be either. FDA-approved medications are highly effective in stopping withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Hear from an expert on MAT. Patients are often surprised at how quickly they feel better.

A MAT program can also include a customized counseling plan to help you manage your life moving forward. Hear from a recovering patient.

Help is here.

If you or someone you know has Opioid Use Disorder, the first step to recovery is finding a provider that can help. Whether you’re looking to start MAT, get counseling or generally learn more about the illness, having an expert on your side is the best way to turn your life around.

It’s time to get better. This is how.

Using this map as a reference, contact a provider near you.

PLEASE NOTE: This is not a complete list of MAT and OUD clinics. There are many other certified treatment and prevention clinics throughout Iowa. Explore other options at yourlifeiowa.org/facility-locator. Please check this map periodically for updates and additions.

Service Area


Revised February 2023

Many clinics also offer other specialized services. Match the services below with the contractors in the chart above.

(1) Adult Residential Treatment

(2) Juvenile Residential Treatment

(3) Women and Children Treatment

(4) Methadone Treatment

One Patient’s Journey.

See Sam’s story. With the right treatment and support, you can return to a normal life.

Dr. Alison Lynch

Dr. Alison Lynch, MD, MS

Q&A with Dr. Lynch

A clinical professor of psychiatry and family medicine, Dr. Alison Lynch, MD, MS, is also director of the Medication Assisted Treatment clinic at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. Dr. Lynch is a leading expert in the treatment of Opioid Use Disorder. She and her team have helped patients across Iowa manage their addictions and regain their lives again.

Here, she answers the most frequently asked questions about opioid use disorder.

Dr. Lynch: Opioids are found in legal pain prescriptions and in illegal substances, such as heroin.

At first, patients may report a pleasurable sensation from the medication. But misused, or used for too long, and your body can develop a dependence on opioids. You can then have withdrawal symptoms that disrupt your life.

Withdrawal can include nausea, diarrhea, anxiety, chills, tremors or other uncomfortable symptoms. A lot of people will say early on, when they were taking opioids, they felt like they had control over it. They were making conscious decisions about using it.

But when somebody develops an Opioid Use Disorder, they may feel like they’ve lost control over their use. Instead, the need to keep using opioids is now controlling them.

Dr. Lynch: I think there are two things that people don’t understand about Opioid Use Disorder. One is the misperception that it’s not treatable, or that there are no effective treatments.

The other misperception is that Opioid Use Disorder is a character flaw. It’s not – it’s a physiologic process. Our brains are wired to respond to positive and negative stimuli this way.

For me, it makes sense to take a medical approach to understanding Opioid Use Disorder. With this approach, we can tap into medical treatments and resources to help people.

Dr. Lynch: I think there’s several reasons why we have this misconception that it’s not treatable. One is because of stigma. If we say, “people develop an addiction because they’re a bad person or they made bad choices,” then we’re not thinking about it. We’re just blaming people, and that’s the end of the story.

The other thing is that addiction—and treatment for addiction—has been isolated from the rest of health care. We treat people for substance use disorders in separate settings.

It’s the structure of how as a society we’ve dealt with addiction. We’ve all absorbed this idea that it’s not a medical problem. We’re still trying to dig out of that hole that we trapped ourselves in.

Dr. Lynch: I start by offering hope. I always tell people that I’m glad they came to see us. My job is to help them figure out what they want to get out of treatment and to work on their goals.

When I first start seeing them, there is often so much disarray and stress in their lives. Some of them have legal problems. Some of them have relationship issues. Some of them have unstable housing or don’t have a stable job.

I emphasize to them: Opioid Use Disorder can happen to anybody. People shouldn’t be punished for it.

They should just be given help.

Dr. Lynch: MAT stands for Medication Assisted Treatment, and that basically includes FDA-approved medications that treat various substance use disorders. The medication treats cravings. It works at the opioid receptors, which is where the disorder is. It prevents withdrawal symptoms.

We’ll start with a low dose. If they tolerate it, an hour later we’ll give them a bit more until we get the right therapeutic treatment.

They stay on the medicine for as long as they’re benefitting from it. For some people that’s their whole life, and for some it’s a few years. I’ve seen a lot of people who felt like they had lost control over their opioid use. It was controlling them, and then they start treatment, and they feel like they’ve gained control over their life again.

For some people, the counseling piece really augments the medication, helps them work on some of the behaviors and lifestyle changes that they’re going through.

Dr. Lynch: I would say many people do some form of counseling for six to 12 months.

Some people will do it longer, as maintenance. They often don’t need to keep doing intensive treatment. They may go to support groups or have a support system that they keep in touch with regularly.

For some people who’ve had an addiction, if they encounter some new or worse stressor, it can challenge their recovery.

There may be a time where they return to counseling. Or return to a support group to help navigate through their recovery.

Dr. Lynch: If they feel like they can bring it up in a way that doesn’t put them on the defense, talk about it.

Anybody who is dealing with Opioid Use Disorder or wonders whether they have it, I would encourage them to seek treatment. Talk with their doctor, talk with friends, and find out who they can go to for help.

Blaming people, making them feel ashamed, or guilty: all of those contribute to people not asking for help.

Dr. Lynch: People who need treatment absorb lots of negative messages about addiction and substance use.

Sadly, I’ve seen too many people feel like they don’t deserve treatment, or they don’t deserve to be successful in their recovery. They blame themselves. They think that if they just hadn’t made that mistake or done that certain thing that they wouldn’t be in the situation that they’re in.

Therefore, they feel like they deserve this. It breaks my heart, but I don’t feel that way. That’s why it’s helpful to think about this as a medical condition.

Dr. Lynch: I have so many patients with amazing inspirational stories. Every day when I’m in the clinic, I see people who have done so much work and come so far in their recovery.

I think back to when I met them several years ago and how much things have changed.

I’ve seen people get the care they need in a way that’s respectful and empowering. Getting one big piece of their life addressed and stabilized helps other things fall into place.

Instilling self-confidence, that sense of empowerment, makes them feel like they can be successful. And they are.