Methadone Treatment: Good or Bad?

Information about Methadone program

Methadone: Good or Bad?

Methadone, as a drug addiction treatment method, has been around now for quite some time. Originally developed in Germany before WW II and kept on a shelf until after the war, morphine and heroin rose in popularity. This increase epidemic of illicit drugs became more and more common amongst social gatherings. The addictive nature was such that it required many doses daily to maintain one’s ability to function. The drug heroin became so widespread in the Americas in the late ’70s and ’80s that young adults were getting high on every street corner. This drug epidemic’s most dangerous side effect was hypodermic needles’ use to introduce the dose for their “high.” Many abusers would pass on their needle to the next persons and repeatedly use the same needle or found in the back alleys. This action alone created a huge concern in the medical field, spreading Hepatitis C, Aids, and other serious diseases.

The solutions brought forth by governments and health researchers were twofold; one was the “needle exchange program.” This permitted those addicted and could not or would not go to rehab get clean hypodermic needles to inject, thus cutting down on the spread of disease like Aids. It did not, however, do any significant change in the continued use of drugs or the selling of illegal drugs, yet it did have some effect on the health issues regarding the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C.

The other solution again brought forth by the health authorities, governments and pharmaceutical companies, was the Methadone Maintenance program. The concept behind this is that the heroin addict needs to use heroin because of the withdrawal symptoms. These withdrawal symptoms can be quite radical and very uncomfortable. Their solution was to find a drug that would curb the “need” for the heroin by controlling the withdrawal symptoms. Methadone partially did this; one of the drawbacks is that it is a “maintenance” program. It means that one had to maintain the doses given once determined what the treatment for any particular person was and keep them there, in some cases, for years and years. There are reports that people have been on the methadone program for over a decade, sometimes taking over 200mg of methadone daily.

There are reports of people attempting to stop their methadone treatment and found that this drug’s withdrawal was often worse than the original drug they were abusing. And if one can get through the first days of excruciating discomfort throughout their body, there is a chance to get off the drug. In most cases, to quit methadone, one must be followed by a medical physician and be weaned off the methadone at a languid pace over a very extended period of time. In other instances, it was found that despite the methadone program, the person was still using heroin.

The facts remain that if heroin were not introduced, there would be no addiction or disease to address, but that is not reality. The truth is that heroin addicts and people suffer every day, taking a daily dose of methadone. It can be overcome; there is a treatment for both conditions. If you know someone with this situation call us for assistance in resolving their addiction