Using Methadone to Get Rid of Opiate Addiction
Methadone is the oldest remedy used for treating opiate addicts. Methadone is used for this purpose for over 30 years. Application of Methadone for treating heroin addicts is also common. The main advantages offered by replacement therapy using methadone include elimination of withdrawal symptoms and reduction of cravings.
In the year 2002, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in one of their publications reported that methadone can effectively block the euphoric and sedative reactions of opiates. The publication also stated that methadone helps in relieving one of the primary factors resulting in relapse of opiate addiction i.e. opiate craving. Another major benefit offered by methadone is its ability of eliminating the withdrawal symptoms associated with opiates. The publication informed that methadone when taken in stable doses never cause intoxication or euphoria, as a result of which individuals undergoing this replacement therapy for opiate addiction can lead a normal life both professionally and socially. Methadone gets excreted slowly; hence, a single dose of this drug per day is enough for treating opiate addiction.
Consumption of methadone as replacement therapy in opiate addicts usually continues for at least 12 months. However, some opiate addicts need to undergo this therapy continuously for a number of years. Taking stable dosage of methadone incessantly for ten years is considered to be safe.
Although extremely effective is treating opiate addicts, replacement therapy using methadone has suffered a lot of criticism from the time it was first used. According to some, this treatment procedure is substituting one form of addiction with another. Other than that, earlier many people who were recommended to use methadone as replacement therapy by doctors used to illegally sell their reserve of methadone for earning money. However, this practice was controlled by the introduction of Drug Addiction Treatment Act in the year 2000. According to this law, replacement therapy using methadone can only be carried out in medical units like hospitals, doctor’s offices and licensed clinics.