What is Methadone Used For?

methadone therapy

Methadone is used to treat moderate pain as well as to treat opiate addiction.

Methadone is a man-made narcotic that is used legally to treat an addiction to narcotics or a person who is in severe pain. It has been legally available since 1947 although over the last twenty to thirty years it has emerged as s drug that is abused and is obtained illegally. As referenced in the National Drug Intelligence Center methadone tablets are designed to be swallowed whole and shouldn’t be broken down, while others are intended to be dissolved first in liquid. The other form that methadone takes is a ready-to-drink solution or as a concentrate, which must be mixed with either water or fruit juice. Methadone also is available as a liquid that is administered via injection however this should only be done legally.

When used to treat a narcotic addiction, methadone has the ability to suppress withdrawal symptoms for the next 24 to 36 hours. For a user that is being treated professionally with methadone, once administered the craving to feel the euphoria that taking the narcotic illegally creates, will diminish.

The Benefits of Medication Assisted Treatment:

  • A maintenance or prescribed dose of methadone will not make you feel either “high” or drowsy. You are able to lead a perfectly normal life.
  • The patient specific dosage of methadone will assist in eliminating opioid withdrawals and cravings.
  • Constant drug seeking to “feed a habit” is no longer necessary as the cravings have been eliminated.
  • Reaching a stable dose does not mean developing tolerance to methadone’s effects. You will not need to take higher doses of methadone to continue to eliminate drug craving.

When used legally in a person to relieve pain, it would be somebody who may have a form of cancer or a person who has a terminal illness. Some of the reason this has become so abused is that the availability of the opioid is much greater now and the fact that it is also being used to treat a person with a narcotic addiction.

What is an MAT and what role does Methadone play in it?

Methadone is the key component of a comprehensive program, called medication-assisted treatment (MAT), for treating the opioid addict. This program coupled with the methadone has had a very high success rate over the last 45 years. It has helped millions of people regain control of their lives and regain their ties with family and friends.

Over the last 45 years methadone has successfully treated people with an opioid addiction. Bear in mind, while methadone is an opioid medication, being given the methadone daily in a clinical, regulated setting, in a different way from heroin and other opioids, its success rate is great. A daily dose stays in a person’s body longer than other opioids and with the correct individualized dosage; a person does not crave the opioids.