Seizing on opioid crisis, a drugmaker lobbies hard for its product

Buprenorphine and methadone, on the other hand, are classified as “opioid agonists.” They bind to the brain’s opioid receptors just enough, with proper dosing, so that people taking them do not feel cravings or symptoms of withdrawal. There is a substantial body of research on both buprenorphine, a semisynthetic opioid, and methadone, a synthetic opioid, with studies generally finding that they reduce the risk of relapse and fatal overdose, especially when combined with counseling.