Methadone Treatment: Helpful or Harmful?

Methadone is a potent opioid drug which has been in use since roughly the 1960s as a treatment option for those addicted to heroin or other natural or synthetic opiate drugs (including morphine or codeine). Methadone itself has its own risks for dependency and addiction, hence why the substitute drug option has received considerable criticism over the years.

Former methadone addict Heather tells her experience of using methadone as a substitute method for her addiction to heroin, and helps us answer important concerns over whether methadone is helpful or harmful.

The Theory of Methadone Treatment

Methadone Treatment

Is heroin treatment using methadone helpful or harmful? Actor Russell Brand recently weighed in on the issue.

Recently, actor and former opiate addict Russell Brand was quoted in an interview, putting methadone treatment under fire and supporting abstinence-based rehab instead, citing his own success with the latter.

Methadone has come to be known as a “substitute drug treatment” option for those struggling with heroin addiction. The methadone treatment theory calls for the use of the powerful opioid medication for relief of withdrawal symptoms and post-detox maintenance.  for heroin addiction, reducing withdrawal symptoms with the eventual objective being that patients are weaned off of the methadone.

While undergoing methadone treatment, patients generally take a dose of the prescribed drug every 24 hours or so. Professionals admit that the sole use of methadone is not recommendable, but rather supplemental rehabilitative counseling is advised.

Heather’s Methadone Treatment Developed an Addiction

Unfortunately, this theory does not always match the outcome. Jill, now clean and sober, reveals her experience of using methadone as a substitute for her opiate addiction.

“I got on methadone to get off heroin and OxyContin, which was a huge mistake,” explains Heather, a former methadone addict and recent graduate of the Narconon program. “I stopped taking heroin but developed a dependency towards the methadone. For me, methadone was even more addictive than the OxyContin or Heroin I was using before.”

For more than 35 years methadone has been used to treat opiate/opioid addictions to drugs like heroin or OxyContin. More recently, concern and debate has been raised that methadone can be just as devastating of an addiction as the drugs it is intended to replace.

“I was on methadone for 9 years and it totally destroyed my body,” says Heather. “As a result of my prolonged use of methadone, I developed an underactive thyroid, requiring me to take medication for the rest of my life. I also developed a severe calcium and magnesium deficiency from the methadone, causing me to have body cramps almost a year and a half later. The withdrawals from methadone are far worse than those I experienced from heroin.”

Today, methadone has become more frequently encountered on the illicit market and has been associated with several overdose deaths. Emergency department and mortality data provided by the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) and reporting from law enforcement agencies indicate that methadone abuse is increasing.

“I wish I would have tried Narconon before using methadone for my heroin addiction,” says Heather. “Narconon offered me immediate help and truly cared about my well-being. They handled the full extent of my addiction, the physical and mental issues surrounding my drug problem, and did this with a method that was totally drug free.”

“Thanks to Narconon, I am no longer dependent on drugs or medication. I have found permanent sobriety,” says Heather. “I could not have done this on my own.”

For more information on successful methadone treatment for you or someone you know contact Narconon Arrowhead today by calling 1-800-468-6933.


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