Short Video Stories By People About Their Treatment:

Kurt: The only recovery path that worked for me was medication assisted recovery.
Mitchell: It can get you get back on track.
Walter: Why do you have so much shame?
Catherine: Recovery can start on methadone
Chelle: Bupe has been the only thing that has worked for me.
Walter: It’s not you, it’s a brain disease
Pat Williams: All of my heroin using peers are dead but methadone saved my life.

We must start offering the most effective treatment for opioid addiction to those who need it .

We must stop withholding our only life-saving treatment – the only treatment that reduces opioid overdose deaths:  medication treatment.

­We must – finally – start ensuring access to effective treatment for opioid addiction and overdose prevention.

Tragically, ineffective treatment is the norm; it is all that most U.S. residential treatment programs offer for opioid use disorder (OUD): that is, psychosocial treatment only, without maintenance OUD medication   (Beetham 2020) (Huhn 2020).  Also, discrimination by recovery services against people in need of maintenance OUD medication is a problem (LAC 2022).

Methadone and buprenorphine are the most effective treatments for most people with moderate to severe OUD, combined wherever possible with psychosocial treatment and recovery support.  Injectable naltrexone also has an important role.

Isolated psychosocial treatments (counseling, groups and/or related services by licensed professionals), when provided without medication, have not been shown to be effective – on their own – for OUD; they do not reduce overdose deaths.  (Although they may be appropriate on their own for those with mild or recent onset OUD, or for those who are informed of and offered medication treatment but decline).


A partial listing of organizations and agencies supporting medication assisted treatment for Opioid addiction



United States Goverment


  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  • US Surgeon General
  • National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network
  • National Institute of Health
  • Federal Drug Administration (FDA)

International Organizations


  • World Health Organization
  • United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
  • International Doctors for Healthy Drug Policies (IDHDP)
  • global Commission on Drug Policy
  • Open Society Institute
  • European Opiate Addiction Treatment Association
  • International Harm Reduction Coalition
  • Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse
  • European Association for the Treatment of Addiction
  • International AIDS Society
  • International Society of Addiction Medicine
  • Society for the Study of Addictions