Methadone Vs Suboxone: Choosing a Maintenance Medication to Overcome Heroin Addiction
Methadone and Suboxone are two treatments to help people overcoming heroin addiction. While methadone has been around for longer, Suboxone has proven just as effective since its discovery as a method of managing addiction.
So which one should you choose for long-term maintenance therapy? The choice isn’t always so easy, and while your doctor can help you decide, you still might not be sure which route to go.
We can also help you. By calling our hotline at 800-891-9360(Who Answers?), you can speak with a knowledgeable representative that can discuss with you in-depth which medication might be right for you.
Understanding How Maintenance Medications Work
Because simply managing behavior has poor results (over 80 percent of patients eventually end up returning to drug use), scientists recommend that patients also utilize medication maintenance to curb their addictions.
Because maintenance treatment works by slowly introducing your body to a new drug of choice, either methadone or Suboxone. You will be weaned onto this medication in order to give your body time to adjust and to make sure you aren’t suffering any harmful side effects.
After gradually increasing your dose each day, you will eventually reach the set dose your doctor has prescribed for you. This is the dose you will stay on long-term until you decide to get off the medication altogether.
Some people stay on a maintenance medication for many years, while others simply use it for a few months until they can get their lives together. Whatever option you choose is perfectly alright, as both Suboxone and methadone are relatively safe.
Should I Choose Methadone?
Methadone has been in used since the late 60s as a treatment for opioid addiction.
It works by attaching to the opioid receptors in the brain. This satisfies your body’s desire for opioid stimulation, thereby reducing the amount of heroin withdrawal symptoms you’ll feel. It also blocks the effects of heroin, meaning that if you try to get high while on methadone, it won’t work.
While methadone is safe in most people, there are a number of small side effects you might experience, such as sweating, constipation, sexual dysfunction, or changes in mood. Some more serious side effects from long-term use include liver problems, hypoventilation, or edema.
Should I Choose Suboxone?
Suboxone is a relatively newer drug, but still just as effective as methadone. It is comprised of buprenorphine and naloxone and works the same way as methadone – by attaching to opioid receptors.
However, because of the naloxone, there is one important difference from methadone. Naloxone prevents you from trying to abuse Suboxone by bringing on severe withdrawal effects if you inject the medication.
Because Suboxone works in the same way, it produces many of the same side effects as methadone, including body aches, upset stomach, and problems sleeping. As for long-term effects, one study found that patients on Suboxone for an extended time had less self-awareness of happiness, sadness, and anxiety.
Methdone vs. Suboxone: The Final Choice
In the end, both methadone and Suboxone can help you on your recovery journey. Both have been proven effective in numerous studies, so it’s really all about your personal preference.