Pros and Cons of Methadone for Heroin Addiction

Heroin addiction is one of the most powerful drug addictions in today’s modern world.  The National Institute on Drug abuse states there are a handful of treatment methods that have been proven to work with heroin addiction; however, the most popular and well known is methadone.  Methadone treatments come in several forms and the correct amount and method is usually designated by a doctor or medical professional.  Although methadone treatment is usually the first possibility people think of, there are many pros and cons of using methadone to treat heroin addiction.

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Methadone can help you overcome heroin addiction, but there are some considerations to make.

Pro

When methadone is taken on a daily basis during a long term recovery program, it has the highest success rate for breaking heroin addiction.  Methadone works by blocking the body’s receptors, preventing the body from feeling withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings.  According to Harvard Health Publication from Harvard Medical School, people who use methadone to fight their addiction are less depressed and are able to maintain a family life.

Con

Methadone treatment comes with its own price:  it can become a maintenance treatment.  This basically means that a person will need to stay on methadone for an extensive period of time or perhaps the rest of their lives.  This maintenance period varies by person so it is hard to say how long a person will need or want to stay on methadone.

Pro

Methadone is one of the safer treatment methods due to the fact when it is administered properly, it has almost no side effects and does not provide any “highs” or extremely body changes.  This means that once the dosage is taken, the patient can leave and continue about their normal day.  For those who are trying to maintain a job or other daily life stressors, this is a huge benefit.

Con

A person can become addicted to methadone, which has its own group of withdrawal symptoms that can last from two weeks to several months.  Withdrawal symptoms include paranoia, elevated blood pressure, diarrhea, anxiety, tremors, aches and pains, and many others.  Usually a person will only become addicted to methadone if they have more than their prescribed dosage or if they fail to follow other procedures in their addiction treatment program.

Pro

Methadone is administered by medical professionals and is not available over the counter.  For those with addictive behavior, this can be a huge benefit.  Medical professions will meet with the patient to determine the proper amount, frequency of dosage, and other appropriate treatment methods like group therapy or individual therapy.  Since many heroin addicts alienate themselves and have lost their self control, methadone treatment provides a way to overcome these issues.

Making A Decision

Choosing methadone for heroin addiction treatment is a fairly common and well known method.  Because of this, there are many resources available to those who are trying to decide if methadone is the right treatment for them.  Before deciding on any treatment, it is highly recommended that the patient seek council from doctors or medical professions who specialize in heroin addiction.