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Methadone has for many years been a maintenance drug for people addicted to opiates. Because methadone itself is addictive and can cause fatal overdoses, patients usually receive it weekly or more often at a clinic, which may also provide support services such as therapy and self-help groups to help addicts stay grounded in their recovery.
A new drug, buprenorphine, has some of the same effects as methadone but can be administered by prescription. This allows people in recovery to avoid the stigma of visiting the clinic on a regular basis.