NAMA is not an organization of apologists for what passes for methadone maintenance treatment in the United States today. Most MMT programs do not even come close to practicing the treatment modality created by Drs Dole and Nyswander three decades ago, and even the best programs are severely hampered by senseless regulation and by the presence of staff oriented towards non-medical modalities. NAMA believes that only through education can methadone maintenance treatment fulfill its promise and again become the most effective, progressive, and humane treatment for opioid dependence.
Since its beginning over thirty years ago, methadone maintenance has proven to be the most effective treatment for opiate addiction, resulting in the termination of both drug use and criminal behavior. In spite of this success, methadone maintenance is often disparaged as a “substitute drug” by those who ignore the positive benefits it has brought to society. The media tends to focus on the negatives of methadone and none of the success stories.
These negative attitudes impair the effectiveness of methadone maintenance programs. Patients are mistreated, misinformed and stigmatized. They are victims of discrimination in health care, the job market, education, insurance, and housing. Even treatment professionals feel ashamed to admit they work in this field.