Until buprenorphine was developed, people with opioid addiction had only one option to treat their problem which was to take methadone prescribed at drug treatment clinics. Methadone has several disadvantages. First, it fully activates the mu receptors, even though for various reasons people don't usually experience the same level of euphoria that they do with heroin or fentanyl. For that reason, it is a dangerous drug; very commonly it is a drug involved in fatal overdose. Even though it does not make you very high, it has powerful suppressive effects on respiration, so people overdose in attempting to get the euphoric effects. Buprenorphine has much less tendency to suppress respiration, because it only partially activates the mu receptors. Another advantage is that buprenorphine can be presecribed to patient in a regular medical office, so daily trips to the addiction treatment center are not required. This makes a huge difference in the impact it has on people's lives. A third, very significant advantage, is that you can function normally while taking buprenorphine. People taking methadone are often not able to function normally for hours a day, because of the strong sedative effects of methadone, especially in the high doses commonly used for treatment of opioid addiction. Buprenorphine causes very little, if any, sedation, and does not fog your thinking.