Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD)

Opioid use disorder is not a choice. It’s a disease that can be treated.

Many Americans incorrectly view opioid use disorder as a moral weakness or character flaw. In fact, it is a brain disease that can be treated.

Overcoming addiction takes more than willpower. Medicine can be a very effective part of the solution.

Stigma leads some people to believe that taking medicine for opioid use disorder is “replacing one drug for another” and “not real recovery.” In fact, people who take FDA-approved medicines like buprenorphine (Suboxone®), naltrexone (Vivitrol®), and methadone are more likely to stay in recovery and enjoy healthy, productive lives.

Medications for Opioid Use Disorder save lives.

Each person has their own path to recovery from opioid use disorder, but research shows that medications for opioid use disorder offer the most effective treatment.

Overcoming addiction takes more than willpower
  1. What is Opioid Use Disorder?
  2. Why Use Medications for Opioid Use Disorder?
  3. What are the Medications for Opioid Use Disorder?

If people continue to misuse opioids despite negative consequences, they likely have an opioid use disorder. Here are some of the signs:

  • Strong urges (cravings) to use opioids
  • Trouble cutting down or quitting
  • Needing more opioids to get the same effect
  • Feeling sick (withdrawal) if trying to stop
  • Not taking care of work, school, home or other responsibilities
  • Problems with family and friends; spending more time with others who use opioids
  • Spending lots of time getting or using opioids, or using in dangerous situations
  • Not taking care of sleep, exercise, hygiene or diet; having physical problems
  1. What is stigma?
  2. Why does stigma matter?
  3. How can I end stigma?

Stigma is the disapproval of, or discrimination against, a person based on a negative stereotype. Stigma often affects how people with opioid use disorder are treated, making it difficult for them to find jobs, places to live, and medical care. Even if unintentional, the hurtful words and actions of others can keep people who are struggling with addiction from getting help and staying in treatment for as long as they need it.