Methadone is an opioid agonist medication that has been used to treat opioid use disorder (OUD) for 50 years. Methadone reduces opioid craving and withdrawal and blunts or blocks the effects of opioids. As with all medications used in medications for addiction treatment (MAT), methadone is prescribed as part of a comprehensive treatment plan.
Methadone, which is also used to treat pain, can cause adverse effects, including overdose, if not taken as prescribed. By law, patients taking methadone to treat OUD must receive the medication under the supervision of a physician, and methadone is only dispensed through a SAMHSA-certified opioid treatment program (OTP).