Methadone for Opiate Addiction
Methadone has been used successfully in the United States for over 40 years as a primary treatment for opiate addiction. Many thousands of patients across the country are now stable and have restored their lives by utilizing methadone medication to manage opioid withdrawal.
SAMHSA (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) has identified methadone for opioid addiction as an industry standard best practice. This is based on many years of conclusive research proving that opioid replacement therapy is effective and saves lives.
We, as a community, have the good fortune of knowing that methadone and suboxone can make a positive, lasting difference in the life of someone who has suffered for years with opioid addiction. It is important to reiterate a few key points about methadone since it often comes under scrutiny and is frequently misunderstood.
- “Meth” (often referenced in the local news) is not methadone. “Meth” is slang for methamphetamine, which is a completely different class of drugs. “Meth labs” refer to places where methamphetamine is manufactured. This has nothing whatsoever to do with methadone.
- Methadone is safe when taken as prescribed.
- Methadone does not produce a drug high or interfere with one’s daily functioning for tolerant patients who have properly acclimated to it.
- Methadone is an FDA-approved medication, prescribed by a doctor, and commonly available throughout the U.S. for pain management and addiction treatment.
- Methadone is safe for a pregnant mother and unborn baby, and offers reduced risk of miscarriage and other in utero complications in comparison to pregnant mothers who use illicit opioids.
- Methadone has demonstrated consistent effectiveness in completely eliminating the opioid withdrawal sickness that drives continued drug use.
- Methadone is taken by mouth and reduces the dangers associated with injection drug use.
- Methadone is typically administered in a clinic setting where counseling is a required component of the overall treatment.
- Opioid program patients receiving methadone have access to social and medical services that can improve overall quality of life.
- Due to methadone’s success in eliminating opioid withdrawal and drug craving, patients are able to refocus their attention and energy on family, work, school, and other important responsibilities.
ADS provides a top quality opioid treatment program that has been in operation for several decades in the Guilford County community. The staff of ADS have rejoiced in the success of many thousands of lives changed for the better as a result of choosing treatment and recovery. While many can attest to the life saving benefits of opioid treatment and methadone, our community still faces a serious problem with the increase of opioid addiction among all age groups.
Please continue to support alcohol & drug treatment in your community. Please recognize as well that opioid programs utilizing opioid replacement therapy (like methadone and suboxone) are effective, best practice, and are State and FDA-approved.