One treatment, in use since 1964, is medication-assisted therapy with the use of methadone. Used at CCC, it carries with it a series of misunderstandings and stigma, according to Lambert.
"I've heard methadone being referred to as government-subsidized heroin. There is a profound difference between methadone and heroin," Lambert said. "Methadone is an opiate agonist which attaches to the receptor sites in the brain. It doesn't produce the same high. What it does is normalize brain chemistry."
An effective treatment for opioid dependence and addiction includes medication-assisted therapy with the opioid medications methadone or buprenorphine, the only two opioids federally approved for the treatment of these conditions, according to a SAMSHSA National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services April, 2013 report. "Methadone relieves cravings, blocks the euphoric effects associated with heroin and other opioids and prevents withdrawal."
"People need awareness to destigmatize addiction. I think the average person would be shocked to know that we treat folks from all walks of life," Lambert said. "Some of our patients are nurses, school teachers, athletes, successful stockbrokers who work on Wall Street every day. We have multi-generations in treatment here."