Methadone Maintenance Therapy
Methadone is also used in the treatment of opioid dependence. Methadone is a synthetic opioid that was manufactured in the 1930’s as a pain reliever that would not have addictive effects like morphine. During a surge in heroin addiction in the 1960’s, methadone began to be used as a substitute maintenance therapy for heroin addiction, because it was discovered to be helpful in relieving drug cravings and withdrawal symptoms. If taken regularly under medical supervision, methadone can make it easier for the patient to function in daily activities, and some feel that the use of methadone can help patients reduce or stop their use of drugs. Unfortunately, for many, methadone becomes a substitute for the their original drug of choice and patients become addicted to the methadone. Methadone also is the cause of thousands of deaths from overdose each year. Patients on methadone are not detoxed or clean from drugs.