Forty years and countless political firestorms after it was first introduced,
methadone maintenance for the treatment of opioid addiction remains a standard
therapy in the field of addiction treatment.
The publication on August 23, 1965, of positive results from a small
clinical trial of methadone as a treatment for heroin addiction in JAMA marked a sea change in the treatment of addiction (Dole and Nyswander. JAMA. 1965;193:646-650). The study, conducted at Rockefeller
University in New York City by Vincent P. Dole, MD, and the late Marie E.
Nyswander, MD, suggested that a medication could be used to control the cravings
and withdrawal that often lead to relapse in individuals with opioid addiction
who attempt to quit.
Kuehn BM. Methadone Treatment Marks 40 Years. JAMA. 2005;294(8):887-889. doi:10.1001/jama.294.8.887