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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.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

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Q: Are you just substituting one drug for another?

No. Methadone maintenance therapy is much like using “The Patch” or nicotine gum to quit smoking. Cigarette smokers are addicted to nicotine. It is exceedingly difficult to quit smoking by going “cold turkey.” So, instead, many people use “The Patch” or nicotine gum to regulate and control their nicotine cravings while they learn to live […]

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Words From Our Patients:

I am not sure what would have happened to me if not for the program. Sometimes decent people get in bad situations and need help. The program has helped me lead a somewhat normal life. I am not sure what could’ve happened if not for the existence of this methadone maintenance program.

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