Methadone is an synthetic opioid drug which was first used in World War II for the treatment of pain. Today, methadone is sometimes prescribed to treat chronic pain. During the last three decades, methadone has become a popular choice for treating those addicted to other opioid drugs such as heroin, oxycodone, morphine, and hydrocodone. Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) is a reliable way for those with an opioid addiction to stop and not restart the use of opioids. Methadone treatment services.
Available in the U.S. since 1947, methadone can be taken as a tablet, oral solution or injectable liquid. Methadone blocks the receptors in the brain that are affected by opiates such as heroin and prescription drugs, enabling users to gradually detox from opiates without experiencing painful withdrawal symptoms.
When individuals start using opiates, their brains require a constant supply of the drug to occupy the receptors in the brain. Methadone occupies these receptors, blocking the high opiates provide and making the user feel more stable.
When used as prescribed, methadone can safely be taken continuously over a period of weeks, months and even years without harsh side effects. According to the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, methadone is a rigorously well-tested medication that is safe and efficacious for the treatment of narcotic withdrawal and dependence.”
Methadone maintenance generally requires patients to visit the dispensing or dosing clinic daily, depending on state controlled substance laws. Most states allow methadone clinics to close on Sundays and provide take-home medication the day before. States may require or mandate drug testing in clinic drug abuse groups and/or outside Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
Methadone, when administered at constant daily milligram doses, will stabilize patients and relieve withdrawal symptoms. Patients will not feel the "high" associated with drug abuse.
Opioid treatment programs (OTPs) combine behavioral care services with the delivery of medications that help control cravings for opioids. OTPs are the only FDA recommended treatment for opioid dependence. They are historically equated with methadone treatment, but over the past 5-10 years these programs have evolved to include other methods of medication assisted treatment (MAT).
Suboxone and Methadone are both synthetic opioids and used to treat patients with opioid dependency or addiction; however, they are not necessarily used interchangeably, and there are differences in their effects. Methadone is a full opioid agonist, which means it binds to opioid receptors in the brain to take away the physiological cravings for opioid drugs and abuse, allowing the person to function well in their day-to-day lives without being intoxicated, hold down a job and reclaim their families. Methadone is typically given to persons with heavy opiate habits. Suboxone is a partial agonist that affords similar results, also allowing people to resume normal lives. Different people respond better to one versus the other of these effective medications.
If you are willing to seek help to break an addiction to opioids, consider a methadone maintenance program. These programs are proven to be an effective medication for the treatment of opiate addiction. Methadone isn't a quick fix, but it might allow you the peace and stability you need to get your life back on the right track.
Methadone is in a class of medications called opiate (narcotic) analgesics. Methadone works to treat opiate dependency by preventing withdrawal symptoms and lessening cravings in people who have stopped using these drugs. Some people question why you should even take methadone when trying to detox from drugs. Isn't is just trading one drug for another? Not at all.
Once you have been stabilized on methadone, you trade dependence to a dangerous opiate (heroin) for a dependence on a medically-supervised and safe drug (methadone). While you are in methadone maintenance treatment, you will need to take methadone at regular intervals to avoid withdrawal symptoms, just as a diabetic is dependent on insulin, but you do not experience the compulsive thoughts and behaviors that define addiction. When you were addicted to heroin, heroin defined your life and ended your ability to make good healthy choices — but once you enter methadone maintenance treatment, you are back in the driver's seat.