While not everyone who is recovering from opiate addiction takes medication, those who do are much more likely to have a successful outcome. The two most effective medications are methadone and buprenorphine (Suboxone, Subutex); a third option, naltrexone, is also helpful for some patient.
Compared to no medication, patients who are treated with medication are much more likely to stop using illicit substances, are less likely to relapse, are more likely to be employed and are less likely to have run-ins with law enforcement.
There are risks and benefits to any medication; reviewing these in detail occurs on the first appointment. Ultimately, it is up to the patient to decide which approach feels best.