Medications to treat opioid disorder

Addiction to opioids, also known as opioid use disorder (OUD), like heroin, fentanyl and oxycodone, is one of the most challenging forms of substance use disorder to overcome.

Medications that treat opioid addiction are sometimes referred to as opioid agonist treatment (OAT), opioid substitution treatment (OST), or opioid replacement therapy (ORT). These include buprenorphine/naloxone (brand name Suboxone), methadone, sustained-release oral morphine (brand name Kadian), and injectable OAT (iOAT) using hydromorphone (brand name Dilaudid) and diacetylmorphine (heroin). 

iOAT is prescribed to people who have tried oral OAT but found that it didn’t work for them. iOAT requires daily supervised injections with hydromorphone or diacetylmorphine (heroin), like at a pharmacy or medical clinic. 

All of these medications have been scientifically proven to decrease cravings and withdrawal symptoms, reduce the use of illicit opioids, prevent overdoses and death, and improve overall health and wellness. 

Supervising patients taking medication ensures the safety of patients and people in the community and allows patients to receive other types of health care they may need. 


    • Information on buprenorphine and methadone

      This handbook is the result of the dedicated work of patients who have experience with medication-assisted treatments for opioid dependence.

    • Information about Methadone/Methadose maintenance

      Methadone information sheet.

    • Buprenorphine/Naloxone (Suboxone) maintenance

      Buprenorphine/Naloxone (Suboxone) information sheet.

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