Why is Methadone Used to Treat Addiction?

When faced with an opiate addiction, many people begin to realize that finding a solution would be in their best interest. This starts with settling on a treatment method that puts them in position to overcome their addiction and regain control of their life.

While some people are able to stop cold turkey, this is extremely difficult, especially for those who have been abusing opiates for an extended period of time. For this reason, it is often times necessary to consult with a reputable treatment facility and/or methadone doctor.

Methadone was first used in the 1930’s for the treatment of pain. However, during the 1960’s it was found that this drug could also be used to treat heroin addiction.

Dr. Vincent Dole and Dr. Marie Nyswander were the first doctors to research the treatment of opiate addiction with methadone. They soon found that a patient could substitute the abused drug, such as heroin or morphine, with methadone. Doing so would allow them to overcome their addiction without dealing with the many severe withdrawal symptoms and side effects. Soon enough, they opened a methadone maintenance program to help those in need.

Over the years, many people with an opiate addiction have turned to methadone treatment. Here are three of the reasons why this has become a treatment method of choice:

  1. Help the patient avoid withdrawal. This is one of the primary advantages associated with methadone treatment. Those who attempt to beat an addiction without the use of methadone are often times faced with a variety of withdrawal symptoms including but not limited to:
    • Tearing eyes
    • Lightheadedness
    • Excessive sweating
    • Nervousness
    • Body aches
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Strong drug cravings
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Uncontrollable shaking

    Note: the strongest withdrawal symptoms typically set in within 24 to 72 hours of last use of an opiate.

  2. Variety of benefits. While there are other ways to overcome an opiate addiction, the use of methadone is one of the most common. There are many benefits of this treatment when compared to other options, including the following:
    • Reduction of drug use
    • Reduced cravings
    • Reduction of high risk behavior and criminal activity associated with drug use

    Along with the above, methadone treatment can improve the following:

    • Physical and mental well being
    • Quality of life
    • Social functioning
    • Retention in treatment
  3. Availability of methadone. This is not to say that methadone is available over the counter and anybody can take it to beat their addiction. That being said, it is more widely available today than ever before. If you believe that methadone is the best way to treat your opiate addiction, you have two options:
    • Contact a licensed methadone doctor
    • Contact a treatment facility that uses methadone as a treatment method

    Either way, you can get started with methadone treatment while having somebody on your side who can follow your progress and ensure that you are staying on track.

    Final note: the primary reason why methadone is used to treat an addiction is the high rate of success. Anybody with an opiate addiction realizes the importance of overcoming their problem as soon as possible. This treatment method has been proven successful over the years.

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