What is Methadone?
It’s an opioid medication used to treat addiction and withdrawal from other opioids such as heroin, morphine, and oxycodone. It works by reducing cravings for the drug of abuse while helping to prevent withdrawal symptoms.
Withdrawal symptoms can occur when someone attempts to quit using substances. Methadone is still one of the most effective medications for treating opioid addiction today. However, as with any treatment, there are often newer, better choices.
Scientists and chemists in Germany initially developed methadone during World War II as an alternative to morphine. Synthesized in 1937, its pain relief effects were recognized almost immediately, but it wasn’t until 1947 that humans used it for the first time. After initial trials for treating chronic pain proved successful, methadone quickly found widespread use during the 1950s. It was touted as a long-acting opioid analgesic with fewer side effects than other opioids.
Methadone: Its Uses
In addition to its effectiveness in managing pain, methadone soon emerged as one of the most effective treatments for opiate addiction and withdrawal. It blocked the euphoric effects of heroin and other opioids while relieving withdrawal symptoms like:
- muscle aches
- intense cravings
Methadone enabled addicts to slowly taper off their dependence over time instead of quitting cold turkey. This made it possible for many individuals who had previously been unable to break free from their addiction to finally do so successfully.
Since then, methadone use as an analgesic and an anti-addiction medication has continued. In fact, it remains the primary therapy used today for opioid addiction. Millions of people worldwide use it every year. Research has also demonstrated that when prescribed under medical supervision, methadone is generally safe and effective. Users report few adverse side effects and lower risks of overdose or abuse compared to other opioids.
New and Better Choices
Today, there are many other options for treating opioid addiction besides methadone.
- Naltrexone: An effective medication that blocks the effects of opioids on the brain, thus preventing relapse. It can be taken as a pill or as an injection.
- Buprenorphine: This is another option and works similarly to methadone. It uses lower doses with fewer side effects and less risk of abuse.
- Suboxone: Combines buprenorphine and naloxone for additional effectiveness.
- Vivitrol: This is an injectable form of naltrexone that blocks opioid receptors for one month. It reduces cravings and prevents relapse in those recovering from opioid addiction.
All these treatment options are available through a prescription from a doctor or medical professional specializing in addiction recovery.
In a Nutshell
In summary, methadone is still a practical option for treating opioid addiction today. However, many newer and better choices are now available to those seeking treatment. Research the different options and talk with your doctor about what will work best for you or your loved one.
A person’s journey to overcoming opioid addiction is often complicated and challenging. Remember — there is help out there, and with the right combination of treatment and ongoing support, recovery is possible. With new treatments emerging every day and more doctors becoming experienced in opioid addiction treatment, it’s never been easier to take control of your life and turn it around.
Take the first step today and contact Renew Health to start your journey towards a healthy and successful future.