What is Methadone? | Opioid Addiction Treatment Services
Methadone is a synthetic opioid that was initially invented in the 1930s. It was originally designed as a substitute for morphine and diamorphine, which were the primary painkillers at that time. It was introduced in the United States in 1947, and has been primarily used as a treatment for narcotic addiction since the 1960s. Methadone has the same pain-relieving effects as morphine and other opioids, but its chemical structure is different in many important ways.
Methadone maintenance treatment is considered the “gold-standard” for opioid addiction treatment. It acts as a bandage for the brain and allows it to heal. By stabilizing the opioid receptors in the nervous system, methadone eliminates the patient’s craving without providing a euphoric or “high” effect. Because methadone neutralizes the euphoric effects of all opioids, patients also lose the desire to abuse illicit street drugs.