Are Methadone Clinics Helpful?

Are Methadone Clinics Helpful?


There are more than 10,000 methadone clinics in the United States. Not all states have one and some states have more than one clinic. They are treatment centers for opiate addicts. If you are considering your options in rehab and have decided on this substitute drug option, you should discuss your decision with your mental health provider and ask for help to find a center that will be right for you.

In making your decision to go into any rehab program, you might be concerned with cost, but with this particular type of treatment option you might have more than one way of getting into a program. Although some rehab programs require that you have the means to pay for your rehabilitation, these clinics may provide different means of paying for your rehabilitation if you qualify. While payment options and location are important considerations, knowing something about the type of treatment that you are interested in getting may also be just as important.  Some people, including doctors and substance abuse professionals, are dead set against Methadone drug maintenance as a means of staying “clean” from street drugs.

Creative Commons License photo credit: heather aitken

The drug methadone is known to be an alternative drug to drug addicts especially heroin addicts. It has a 30 year history of being considered a substitute to narcotics. Methadone is manufactured in the lab and is considered a synthetic narcotic. Methadone basically mimics heroin in the brain. While on methadone, the addict can try to change his behavior and to help stop the need for continuous use of heroin, since methadone is now occupying the place in the brain’s receptor that clamors for heroin and thereby causing the addiction.

Methadone is typically given by mouth once a day and thus allows for withdrawal from heroin. Each dose of methadone relieves withdrawal symptoms for 24 to 36 hours. Treatment by methadone is only good for heroin or opiate drug addiction and in not really useful in treatment of other types of drugs (such as alcohol or cocaine).

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How is methadone a better substitute as a drug than heroin or other opiates? It is a fair question with no definitive answer. Methadone must be taken on a regular daily basis. The patient is basically dependent on the methadone to keep from going into withdrawal symptoms from heroin or other opiate addiction. The good news is that methadone users are not subject to the same level of addictive, destructive behaviors of heroin and can function in a reasonably normal manner. Treatment must continue for a long time and in some cases for many years. There are relatively few side effects while undergoing maintenance treatment, and with care for other heath matters, a medical prescription of methadone can be a heroin addict’s best alternative to rehabilitation in some cases.

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