Methadone vs. Suboxone Treatment

Opiate addiction is a complicated and dangerous disease affecting thousands of Americans every year. This disease requires specific treatment protocols in order to combat its dangerous side effects and to ensure long term abstention from drug use.

Currently, there are two popular medications used in opiate addiction treatment. These are methadone and Suboxone. In order to understand which of these medications is best for you, there are a few things to know.

Why Is Medication Needed in Treatment?

The first thing to know is why medication is needed in treatment. The dangerously addictive nature of opiates makes stopping them difficult, even with substantial counseling.

Many addiction experts agree that the best treatment programs for opiate addiction combine the use of medications, such as methadone and Suboxone, with counseling and behavioral therapies.

What Is Methadone?

Suboxone Treatment

Suboxone treatment requires fewer doctor’s visits.

According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research at the University of Maryland, methadone is a synthetic narcotic that has a similar chemical structure to heroin or morphine, but does not produce feelings of sedation or euphoria, making it less likely to be abused or diverted. Methadone serves a number of functions, such as:

  • Relieving pain
  • Replacing opiates at chemical receptors in the brain
  • Preventing opiate withdrawal

These functions lend themselves to use in opiate addiction treatment. Call us at 800-891-9360 today to begin your own recovery.

How Methadone Is Used in Treatment

Methadone is used in addiction treatment one of two ways: short-term during the detox process or long term-as a maintenance medication. Methadone works well in both instances because of its benefits, including:

  • Reduced or eliminated opiate cravings
  • Reduced or eliminated withdrawal symptoms
  • Reduced risk of relapse
  • Ability to function normally while using it
  • Ability to better engage in counseling and therapy related to addiction treatment

These benefits make methadone very useful in the successful treatment of opiate addiction.

Alternatives to Methadone Treatment

What Makes Suboxone Different?

Suboxone is an altogether different medication from methadone, even though it is used in much the same way for the treatment of addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine, which is similar to methadone, and the anti-overdose drug naloxone. This gives Suboxone some additional benefits to methadone, including:

  • Low risk of abuse and diversion
  • Practically nonexistent risk of overdose
  • Treatment schedule that requires fewer visits for doses
  • Ability to receive the medication in a doctor’s office instead of a specialized clinic

These benefits may seem to make Suboxone the best choice, but it should also be noted that Suboxone is not as effective in clinical trials as methadone, making the decision between the two of them in your treatment more difficult.

How to Choose the Right Treatment for You

Choosing the right treatment option is one of the most important decisions you can make in regards to your treatment. As such, it is important that you weigh all of the benefits and drawbacks of every treatment you are considering. Fortunately, we can help. Call us at 800-891-9360 and let our staff assist you in getting the best treatment for your needs.