Methadone Detox Research


Methadone treatment provides the patient who is opioid dependent with medication, health, social and rehabilitation services that relieve withdrawal symptoms, reduce physiological cravings and allow normalization of the body’s functions. Methadone treatment has been available for over 30 years and has been confirmed effective for opioid dependence in numerous scientific studies.

Moreover, in 1997, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Institutes of Health (NIH) Consensus Panel found the following concerning methadone treatment: “Of various treatments available, methadone maintenance treatment, combined with attention to medical, psychiatric and socio-economic issues, as well as drug counseling, has the highest probability of being effective.”

Methadone treatment programs are staffed by professionals with medical, clinical and administrative expertise. Patients receive medication from a health professional. Patients routinely meet with a primary counselor (social worker, caseworker or certified substance abuse counselor), attend clinic groups and access medical and social services.

Methadone is not a Substitution of One Drug for Another

Methadone is not a substitute for opioids or any other short-acting opioid, and does not affect individuals in the same way. Methadone does not create a pleasurable or euphoric feeling; rather it relieves physiological opioid craving and is generally chosen by Opioid-dependent individuals. Methadone normalizes the body’s metabolic and hormonal functioning that was impaired by the use of heroin or other opioids. It is a corrective, not curative, treatment. Unlike the disruptive nature of short-acting chemicals on the brain, methadone has long-acting properties that provide metabolic stability. For example, methadone creates the physical stability that allows female menses to return to normal cycle after its disruption from heroin use. Methadone allows embryos and fetuses to develop a safe and stable metabolic environment instead of experiencing withdrawal from heroin every six hours due to mother’s use.

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