Methadone maintenance therapy (MMT), a pharmacological treatment for opioid use disorder for the past 50 years, continues to remain controversial. Despite consistent and overwhelming evidence confirming the effectiveness and safety of MMT, misconceptions and myths persist regarding its legitimacy as a treatment for opioid addiction. This often results in the underutilization and limited availability of this treatment modality. Despite successful outcomes, the controversial nature of MMT, and the stigma experienced by the patients on methadone, has been a particularly difficult obstacle to overcome. We present the history of MMT, review the evidence for its efficacy in the treatment of opioid dependence, and explore the origins of the stigma and misconceptions related to MMT.
Keywords: Addiction; Drug dependence; Medication assisted treatment; Methadone; Opioid addiction.