Methadone is a prescription drug used primarily as a pain reliever but also as an agent in helping reduce withdrawal symptoms for those that are addicted to heroin or other narcotic drugs. For instance, where heroin serves to release an excess of dopamine in the body creating an increased craving for opiates, methadone occupies this opioid receptor in the brain and acts as a stabilizing factor that permits addicts to change their behavior and to discontinue heroin use.
Using methadone will block the “high” feeling that most narcotic users experience when using drugs and reduces the cravings to achieve that “high.” Consequently, methadone patients do not experience the extreme highs and lows that result from the waxing and waning of heroin in blood levels. Ultimately, the patient remains physically dependent on the opioid but is freed from the uncontrolled, compulsive and disruptive behavior seen in heroin addicts.
Even though methadone is proven to be one of the most successful treatments for heroin addiction, the risk of addiction can be perpetuated if the drug is not used properly. Any other medications that the individual is taking may interfere with methadone and hence careful dosing is required.
Increasing evidence proves that long-term methadone use in patients who are dependent on opiates has substantial societal benefits. Benefits include:
- The freedom from addiction
- Ability to return to a normal routine of life
- Reduction of the transmission of HIV and hepatitis
- Decreased criminal activity
- Decreased healthcare costs in the population
Consequently, a number of obstacles to methadone treatment exist. These include:
- Restrictive governmental regulations
- The stigma of opiate addiction
- Lack of healthcare practitioners and clinics sanctioned by Food and Drug Administration that are capable of providing therapy to all patients who may benefit
Methadone Abuse Help
If you or someone you know is abusing methadone, please call our toll free number at (888) 838-8386. Someone is available 24 hours a day to help assist you in the proper methadone treatment plan.