Medications for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) is a safe and proven approach to treating opioid use disorder (OUD) and helping people take back their lives. If 12-step programs and talk therapy alone aren’t working for you, MOUD can help.

It’s a treatment that uses FDA-approved medications, in combination with counseling, to treat opioid use disorder. Buprenorphine, methadone, suboxone, and naltrexone—all commonly used medications in MOUD—have proven to be extremely effective in:

  • Lowering mortality rates among those with OUD.
  • Reducing cravings and physical withdrawal symptoms.
  • Sustaining recovery more successfully than abstinence-based approaches.

Opioid use disorder is a chronic medical condition. More specifically, it has been identified by the U.S. Surgeon General as a chronic brain disease. Like other chronic diseases, medication can be used to successfully treat them. And when combined with behavioral treatment and recovery support, MOUD provides treatment that is far more effective any other form today.

I instantly felt better…the treatment gives you stability and time to get yourself together. It lets you take back power over how you feel.
-Patty S.

myth vs. fact

“MOUD trades one addiction for another.”

Research shows that a combination of MOUD and behavioral therapies can successfully treat OUD and sustain recovery—and reduce opioid-related deaths by up to 50%.

“MOUD increases overdose risks for participants.”

MOUD prevents overdoses by eliminating illicit opioid use that leads to overdoses. It prevents life-threatening overdoses by being highly regulated, resulting in decreased relapse.

“MOUD disrupts true recovery.”

MOUD has assisted patients in recovery by improving basic daily functioning without drug or alcohol use—leading to increased ability to handle stress and better overall quality of life.

“MOUD is too expensive.”

The cost of medication for MOUD is much lower than the cost of ongoing opioid misuse. Furthermore, various forms of MOUD are covered through Medicaid and many private insurance providers.

“There’s no proof MOUD is better than abstinence.”

Untrue—MOUD success is evidence based and is growing in popularity as a recommended course of treatment for OUD.

“My condition isn’t severe enough for MOUD.”

MOUD uses a multitude of medication options that are tailored to fit an individual’s unique needs.

“MOUD only works for the short term.”

Research shows that patients in MOUD programs for at least one or two years show the greatest rates of success. Medications can be taken indefinitely, depending on individual needs, without adverse effects.

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MOUD patients have lower healthcare costs than those on drug-free treatment programs.


MOUD succeeds in 50 to 80% of patients with OUD—abstinence-based programs succeed in only 10 to 15% of patients.


MOUD has drastically lowered overdose deaths from California to Rhode Island—it can do the same in Calvert County, Maryland.