Who is the Best Candidate for Methadone Maintenance?

No one treatment can help every individual in need of recovery from opioid addiction, but methadone maintenance is one of the most popular programs for this cause ever since the late 1970s when it “gained considerable acceptance and already had more than 75,000 participants,” according to the Center for Substance Abuse Research. Now, there are around 100,000 Americans on methadone maintenance, but if you are new to the program, it can be difficult to determine which individuals are right for it.

Every Program is Different


MMT is ideal for patients who require long-term addiction treatment.

There is no one type of person who is definitely right for methadone maintenance every time. This is because we are all complex and have many different needs that influence our recovery, our treatment, and the ways in which a program can best benefit us. In addition, every methadone maintenance program is different and provides different levels of care as well as distinct treatment options for patients. Still, almost all programs that utilize this treatment have many important regulations that unify them:

  • They provide methadone daily to patients who need to minimize their withdrawal symptoms and reduce their cravings.
  • They are one of the most regulated treatment options in the country, as methadone is a drug with a high abuse potential.
  • They determine dosage based on several factors, such as “opioid tolerance level, history of opioid use, age, and current medical status” (National Institute of Justice).
  • They provide patients with the option of attending and receiving medication for as long as they like, even indefinitely if necessary.
  • They use methadone to “bring about a biochemical balance in the body in order to reduce the illicit use of opioids.”
  • They are well-rounded programs that always offer more than just the medication itself, although the treatments offered vary greatly from facility to facility.

Who is the Best Candidate for Methadone Maintenance?

All methadone maintenance programs have these principles in common, and based on these, a certain type of candidate for the program can be considered. However, this does not mean, if you are not someone who falls into this category, that you cannot still attend the treatment.

  • Usually, individuals with higher dependencies on opioids are better candidates for methadone. This is because buprenorphine is not as strong as optimal-dose methadone, and naltrexone cannot treat those who are still dependent on drugs.
  • Those in need of long-term treatment often fare better in methadone maintenance, especially because, as stated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “12 months is considered the minimum and some opioid-addicted individuals continue to benefit from methadone maintenance for many years.”
  • Individuals who want to stop abusing opioids but who need help regulating the after-effects of this decision are often good candidates for methadone maintenance. The program is very hands-on and well rounded, allowing patients to receive the kind of support and help they need.

Again, if you do not fall into these specific categories, it does not mean that you cannot attend methadone maintenance. However, those who do would likely be wonderful candidates for the treatment. If you have more questions about methadone maintenance or would like to find a clinic in your area, call 800-678-5931(Paid Advertiser) .

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