Heroin Drug Treatment and Maintenance Therapy Options

Heroin Drug Treatment and Maintenance Therapy Options


What are the options for heroin drug treatment?  Basically there are 2 main options you can go with if you are interested in taking a drug every day to help you stay off of heroin.  One is to take methadone.  The other option is to take Suboxone.  These are two completely different medications that are both used for the same thing in some cases: to help a person remain free from street drugs by medicating them with an alternative opiate drug.

Now there are some advantages and disadvantages to both of these drugs.  Neither one is necessarily better than the other, but you will have to decide which one works better for you in your particular situation.  Of course your doctor can probably help you decide on this too, or if a drug heroin treatment is even right for you at all.

Methadone is a powerful opiate drug that is what we call a full opiate. It is a strong pain medication that hits a person quite hard and produces a big dose of pain relief.  It is also used to treat serious pain in some patients.  When a person takes a strong dose of Methadone they may even nod off from being so heavily medicated.  It is not a “light” drug by any means.  It is a heavy medication that hits people hard.

the orange pill
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Methadone is also very sticky.  It stays in the body for a long time and it has a very long half life. On the other hand, the half life of heroin is quite short in comparison.  If you are taking methadone every day and then stop suddenly you are going to go through a serious withdrawal.  In fact your withdrawal will be more drawn out and possibly worse in some ways than if you were detoxing from heroin.  If you work in a detox center then you will see this difference first hand.  Methadone is a more challenging detox, generally speaking.

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Methadone is generally pretty cheap.  In contrast to this, Suboxone is very expensive.  For the most part, a month of Suboxone costs a couple of hundred dollars, pretty close to 500 actually.  It is much more expensive than methadone.

Suboxone is a partial opiate.  That means it is not as powerful and heavy a drug as methadone.  People do not nod out after taking Suboxone.  Also, it has a much lower abuse potential than methadone does.  So there are definite advantages to taking Suboxone if it will work for you.  But it is expensive and many will not be able to afford it.

Discuss these options with your doctor and hopefully you can find a solution that works for you.

The key is that you do not rely on a drug maintenance therapy in order to “cure” your addiction for you.  If you attempt to rely on that as a solution, you will fail.

That does not mean that maintenance therapies cannot be helpful.  They can be, in some cases.  But the key is that you not rely on them.

Your recovery solution has to come from within, not from taking a pill.

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