We don’t give alcohol to alcoholics, why give drugs like methadone to someone with an addiction? | Opioid Addiction Treatment Services

If a person has an addiction to drugs, his or her body has become chemically conditioned to expect those drugs. When the body is suddenly deprived of the drugs it is expecting, unconscious physical withdrawal occurs. The physical and emotional effects of withdrawal are typically very severe. During this time, a person has little ability to handle daily life, much less the behavioral counseling that must also occur to achieve and sustain recovery. Thus, methadone medication is used to reduce these symptoms and physically stabilize the body. Once stabilized, we are able to begin working with the patient to treat the behavioral factors that contributed to the addiction in the first place.


Methadone is a highly regulated, prescription medicine used to help temporarily replace the body's craving for opioids. It is very similar to prescribing insulin as a replacement or “substitution” therapy for diabetes patients. Methadone treatment has been used this way for more than 45 years and has helped millions of people on their path to recovery. A stable maintenance dose of methadone does not make our patients feel “high” or drowsy. As a result, our patients can socialize, go to work or school, and otherwise carry on a normal life. Vincent Dole, MD, a pioneer in medication substitution therapy said, “There is absolutely nothing wrong with using crutches if it helps the person get back on his feet and move forward in addiction recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions:


Q: We already have suboxone clinics in this area – why do we need methadone? Is methadone better than suboxone for treating opioid addiction?

For many individuals, suboxone (buprenorphine plus naloxone) is an effective first-option for opioid addiction treatment, but it does not work for all patients. This treatment modality is very similar to methadone treatment in that it involves the administration of a legal opioid (buprenorphine) to stabilize the biochemistry of the opioid-dependent person. The active ingredient, buprenorphine, […]


Words From Our Patients:

I am very thankful I had the clinic to come to. If I had not had the clinic to come to, I would probably not be here today. I was taking thirty plus pills a day. I went to [my local hospital] and they told me if I didn’t do something I would be dead […]