Heroin Treatment

Methadone has been used to facilitate opioid addiction (OUD) and drug addiction treatment for decades. According to Harvard Medical School/Harvard Health Publications, at least 100,000 people who previously struggled with heroin addictions regularly used methadone as a substitution therapy or replacement medication.

Methadone treatment helps to manage the patient’s withdrawal symptoms and reduces cravings by replacing a drug of choice with another opiate. It’s considered a safe patient therapy when supervised by medical professionals and in addition with other therapies.

Methadone treatment helps to manage the patient’s withdrawal symptoms and reduces cravings by replacing a drug of choice with another opiate. It’s considered a safe patient therapy when supervised by medical professionals and in addition with other therapies.

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Methadone Treatment Goals

The ultimate recovery goal of the patient using methadone treatment is a normal, sober life. As they start taking methadone under a physician’s care, the patient may benefit from a range of substance abuse treatments, educational assistance, vocational counseling, and personal/group therapy. As their health approves, they may search for other supportive social services to benefit themselves and their families.

According to researchers at Harvard Medical School, one-fourth of methadone treatment users completely abstain from methadone use over time. Another one-fourth of people in methadone treatments use it as maintenance therapy. The remaining half of patients studied ceased using methadone in maintenance but returned to its use after they entered a subsequent drug abuse treatment program.

Why Methadone Works

Heroin treatment is extremely challenging and frustrating to addicts in recovery. Opiate addicts, e.g. heroin addicts, crave the substance so much that, even if they understand the immediate and long-term consequences of drug use it is extremely challenging for them to stop using the drug. That’s one of the reasons that relapse is likely after heroin detox. Those who struggle with a heroin addiction often face multiple relapse episodes as they recover.

In some cases, methadone treatment helps patients to avoid this relapse cycle. Methadone is considered a long-acting opioid (remaining in the body for more than two full days), so it communicates with the brain’s opioid receptors in the same way that prescription pain medications and heroin do. It’s considered a good maintenance drug because the patient doesn’t require multiple dosages each day.

For that reason, patients who receive methadone in their supervised addiction recovery treatment experience fewer cravings and milder withdrawal symptoms common in heroin withdrawal. This fact may help the patient to better engage in therapy as it helps them to battle drug cravings and possible relapse.

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