Suboxone (buprenorphine) is a partial opioid agonist and methadone is a full opioid agonist.  What this means is that methadone acts exactly as any other opioid, such as heroin or oxycodone.  Suboxone (buprenorphine) acts as a partial opioid agonist.  This means that there is a “ceiling effect” that prevents the full action of an opioid (sedation, nodding off, feeling ‘high’) and yet provides control of cravings for opioids without those side effects. Both medications are provided as Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT).  Which medication a patient may use as their MAT will be determined by their individual needs.