According to the World Health Organization, Centres for Disease Control, and many other leaders in health that we rely on for expert guidance, medications are the most effective treatment for opiate addiction (based on many studies involving thousands of opiate-dependent individuals), yet they are highly stigmatized. Knowing that stigma comes from a lack of understanding, I have compiled a few good resources about medications for those who are interested in learning more.
Methadone Maintenance Treatment Client Handbook from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). This handbook is full of good evidence-based information about methadone and what to expect.
Video: HBO USA: Understanding opioid replacement therapy: This is an informal (but very informative) lecture by Scott Farnum, Administrator, Acadia Hospital in Bangor, Maine. He discusses the different types of opioids and their effects on the brain and explains why replacement therapy is an effective way to recover from opioid addiction. Please watch both Chapters 1 and 2.
Video: Methadone Destigmatization: Answers questions like what is methadone maintenance treatment (MMT)? Is it a safe treatment? Who are MMT clients and how do they access this treatment? Take the time to watch, and see.... You'll probably be surprised. 7:45 minutes in length.
Video: How Suboxone Works: A short, easy to understand video. 1:36 in length.
Video: How Methadone Works: A simple and short presentation on how methadone works to help individuals addicted to opiates (prescription painkillers and heroin) recapture their lives, become productive citizens, good parents, and great employees. 1:30 in length.
CAMH: Methadone Myths and Realities: Dispels the myths associated with methadone.
Video: A Multi-Dimensional Look at Substance UseDisorders and/or Mental Health Issues, their Treatment & Recovery. This whole webcast is great. They they talk about addiction medications at the 12 minute mark. Michael Botticelli, who has just been named the director of National Drug Control Policy in the USA, has been in recovery for many years thanks to AA and is a big supporter of evidence-based treatments like medications.