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Are We Losing Faith in Methadone Programs?

The public is losing faith that methadone can treat heroin addiction.

The public is losing faith that methadone can treat heroin addiction.

Rehab Helps Thousands of Addicts Quit. It Can Help You, Too.

Though methadone has been used to treat heroin addiction for decades, a new study reveals the public has very little faith in its overall effectiveness. An extremely powerful opiate drug, methadone is dispensed out of licensed clinics that operate (and thrive) in states across the nation.

So, why the lack of faith?

A Quick History of Methadone

MethadoneThe majority of Americans support drug treatment as opposed to incarceration for non-violent drug offenders, but that doesn’t mean everyone agrees on the best method of treatment. A new study found that despite numerous research projects showing that methadone treatment is a largely successful option for heroin addicts, most Americans aren’t in support of it.

According to the latest YouGov/Huffington Post survey of 1,000 adults, only 19 percent believed heroin addicts should be on a medically supervised methadone or synthetic opiate program.

Additional recovery-related thoughts obtained from this survey are:

  • Half of the participants did not recommend methadone, but instead suggested a total detox and regular Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
  • The remaining 31 percent admitted that they’re not doctors and were unsure of the best method for treating addiction.
  • More than half of those polled also said they would be uneasy with having a methadone clinic in their neighborhood.

A Sobering Experience

When it comes to professional opinions, few have a resume as impressive as Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Dr. Volkow says that using a combination of behavioral therapy and a doctor-supervised medication regiment is the most effective form of treatment for heroin addiction.

…using a combination of behavioral therapy and a doctor-supervised medication regiment is the most effective form of treatment for heroin addiction. The symptoms of heroin withdrawal are severe and include vomiting, cold flashes and muscle/bone pain. Many of these symptoms can be dangerous to your health and overall wellbeing, so quitting “cold turkey” is never a good idea. Thanks to the potential dangers, heroin addicts are strongly urged to seek medical supervision when detoxing.

A Look at Behavioral Therapy

If you don’t have access to methadone or you simply prefer to avoid the drug altogether, alternative treatments are available. One of the most widely used alternative treatments comes in the form of behavioral therapy. Variations of this therapy include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy can increase the skills for dealing with – and overcoming – relapse triggers, as well as modifying counter-productive recovery behaviors.
  • Contingency management, which typically uses a voucher-based system where patients earn “points” for negative drug tests and can redeem them for items that encourage healthy living.

Alternative Treatment Options

Other drugs can be used to treat a heroin addiction. By far, one of the most commonly used medication treatments is buprenorphine. It blocks the symptoms of withdrawal and stifles heroin cravings, while also preventing your ability to get high off other forms of opiate drugs.

The most prevalent forms of buprenorphine are Suboxone and Subutex. Both were approved back in 2002 and, unlike methadone, there is no government agency in charge of tracking buprenorphine use.

For those who need an intensive inpatient setting to kick heroin, holistic rehabs are another option. Many of these recovery centers even specialize in the treatment of heroin addiction. In a holistic rehab, the focus is placed on natural, non-medicinal approaches to deal with heroin withdrawal. Treatment plans generally include the use of herbal remedies, meditation, animal therapy and gentle exercise.

Additional Reading: Are You Addicted to Heroin?

Image Source: pixabay.com, en.wikipedia.org

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What Are Your Thoughts on this Topic?

  • Nazma Akter Happy

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  • David Potter

    Before a methadone program became available in my area I struggled with opioid addiction for 6 years. I had tried outpatient, inpatient programs along with NA. Nothing lasted. I have been involved with a methadone program for 28 months now and I have been. Sober for 27 months. My daily dose got as high as 160mg. For the last 6 months I have been steadily decreasing my dose and today I am at 35mg. My plan that I have made with my counselor is to be done no later than August 4 months from today. Methadone along with groups and one on one counseling has SAVED MY LIFE!

    • Lisa Sweitzer Shay

      Congratulations! You have worked very hard for this and I wish you the best. Always remember that you deserve a better life and to be drug free.

  • Kat Benson

    Replacing one addiction with another is counterproductive.

    • Phil Moreau

      It’s all about improving your quality of life. I don’t care what you do. If your life is better on methadone than it is shooting dope great. If you can do it without a maintenance program good for you too. Whatever makes your life better is fine with me. And I’m not on methadone, I’m just another addict trying to get another day clean not judging someone else’s journey to find peace from the pits of heroin hell.

  • Christine

    People can look at it many different ways but methadone is the only thing that got me to keep a needle out of my arm long enough to get some help and learn how to live. I started out with methadone and intense behavior therapy 5 days a week and fixed my thinking where the problem all starts. I still go to counseling 2 times a week group therapy and one on one therapy. I had to learn how to live a life without drugs and the constant drug talk, actions, and mentality. I was surrounded by that life my whole life so it was not easy to learn another way at 30. It saved my life and I don’t care what people say about substituting .I’d rather be dependent on methadone then actively addicted to heroin any day for many death will be the other alternative I’ll stick with methadone

    • Jess Schrock

      I absolutely agree methadone is the only thing that helped me keep a needle out of my arm. I have been clean and sober for a little over 2 years and even though it was ultimately my decision to get the help it was methadone that got me clean and helped me get a life and a normal healthy life at that so I don’t care what anyone says unless you have been in a position like myself you have no idea what it’s like

  • Alex Penrod

    To each is own, I’d rather be completely free of chemical dependency. I think its hilarious how much thought goes into detoxing and maintenance programs but if you get caught with drugs the police lock you in a cell where you detox with no medical supervision. I detoxed in jail 7 times, finally I decided my problem was mental not physical, so I sought help with my mind. It worked, when I straightened out my messed up thinking, I didn’t need to medicate myself anymore. Detox is easy, its not picking up again that is the real riddle to be solved.

    • Chris Barboza

      So it took you 7 incarcerations to finally realize you were the problem and not the drugs.as opposed to someone who went on a maintenance plan with either methadone or suboxone who realized right away its the drug and not them because they stayed out of jail because they didn’t have to commit crimes because they were on a maintenance plan.

      • Alex Penrod

        Not sure what your point is, my incarceratations came after I tried a suboxone maintenance plan, I couldn’t stick to it and I my probation officer forced me to stop taking it. I was the problem, I had issues that drove me to use even after being clean, even when I was on suboxone I was miserable and had no coping skills, I drank alcoholiclly on it. That’s why I’m glad I finally was able to work through all my crap, I worked a strong 12 step program to change from the inside out. That’s just my story, to each is own, for me it wasn’t the drugs causing my problems, I was using them as a solution because I was messed up inside.

        • Chris Barboza

          I apologize I thought you were knocking maintenance plans. In my past I never did maintenance and went back to the needle now I take subs and work the program and so far so good , one day at a time..so good luck to you I hope neither of us goes back to our old life styles..keep going..I do..

          • Alex Penrod

            I believe suboxone should be offered for harm reduction. I often wonder what would of happened if my probation officer hadn’t of taken me off it abrubtly causing me to relapse. It can save you a lot of greif and a criminal record IF you are serious about recovery like it seems you are. As someone who is now completely clean for over 3 years now, I must tell you that life free of chemicals is worth the effort and I wish you the best in your pursuit of that.

  • Lindsay Topping

    1st methadone for couple years, taper or Soboxone, then…vivitrol, then LEGALIZE MARIJUANA FOR THE LONG TERM RECOVERY OF THE ADDICT, marijuana is not as addicting, soothes wthdrawl, easier to come off when addict feels brave!!! Just my opinion though. People you can disagree, argue, etc…but…anything to solve this problem is a good idea!!! And trust me, I DO know what I am talking about!

    • Alex Penrod

      Sounds expensive, working through all your bullshit excuses and flawed thinking that causes you to use is free and the state will even pay for it. The real question every addict must ask themselves is “why do I need to compulsively use something all the time to cope with life and other people don’t?” If you dig deep enough the real truth is there, buried under miles of rationalization for self destruction and numbing out.

      • Pedro Maldonado

        Agreed.. But weed can work too, lol

      • Stacy Fillmore

        Methadone is not only for herion addict’s. It is used for all opiate related addictions like pain killers and when people cannot afford pain killers then they graduate to heroin because it’s cheaper. I was in a terrible accident years ago. Was in a wheel chair for 4 years. My surgeon suggested methadone because its a great pain killer. Although I have to live with some pain, it works and saved me from being a victim of poping dangerous pain pills that I would build a tolerance to and kill my liver.I pay for my methadone $80 a week $320 a month!! It works if you use it right . for heroin addicts and pain pill addicts its supposed to be SHORT TERM TREATMENTS. Like a year or less. Some people abuse it yes. I’m just saying not everyone that chooses methadone maintenance is going one from another. Their there to get help. If doctors only were aware that the prescriptions they wrote for pain killers 1000 a day would be deadly to so many people we wouldn’t have this problem. They say alcoholics have a disease. That’sthe same with addiction. So people should educate themselves before saying and treating people on methadone like peices of shit.

  • Amie

    Methadone really works and anyone against it needs to be educated on it. It’s a LIFESAVER to those on heroin who can’t kick the habit on their own, which is close to impossible!!

    • Pedro Maldonado

      But the thing is, why the hell are people on heroin? That’s where the issue needs to be addressed as opposed to after their addicted to it. Programs like this are for government to make bank. This program shouldn’t exist because we should be focusing on tackling heroine before it goes this far, to the point where now populations all over RI “need” Methodone. It’s not right. There should be other types of programs. Of course all of you that did heroine are going to love this program, it’s feeding you another drug to replace one that government doesn’t benefit from.

  • Ana Cabana

    Opiates are opiates no matter the potency and/or form. Heroin addiction IS opiate addiction, perhaps more extreme but still, just the same. I was a slave to pills for 7 years of my life, occasionally H when I was desperate to stop withdrawal. Or methadone, because it’s an opiate too. I’ve never understood how treating an extreme addiction with the same addiction on a lesser scale has been of any real benefit to the addict..other than now the addict doesn’t feel as guilty because they are getting opiates from a doctor, convinced that they are recovering. I’m an opiate junkie, through and through. It was hard to go through withdrawal, it’s been hard to stay away, but Im doing it, somehow. If I were to take a methadone, I would consider it a relapse just the same as if I were to take an oxy, or heroin. Cause no matter what, methadone is an opiate. And, fighting problems with problems just doesn’t work.

    • assbagashit

      Taking a medically supervised cup of methadone every day is absolutely better than sticking needles of heroin cut with God knows what into my veins multiple times daily

    • Nicole Nicki McAleer

      ThMethadone maintenance for soneone with a true heroin habitis not a replacement..the methadone does not give you any sort of high,, therefore how are you replacing heroin which does get you high? Most people are just doing what they can to avoid being sick so they can be normal, live a normal life. For some that is all that is avaialable to them!! If you just taking opiates like vikes pills etc…and have used methadone to get high, yes methadone may not be the best choice. But if your a shooter and have over dosed and have a bad habit etc…methadone can and will save lives!!! Ive been through detox alone many times, been to medical detox about 6 rehab 8 times and 4 half way houses…did na and aa, and always wanted to be clean and stay clean but things kept creeping back in my life. Kicking and staying off heroin isnt as easy as it sounds. I hot on methadone last year and havent relapsed once since then!! Nor even thought about it!! I still do na and have a normal life. Work 2 jobs, counseling, classes and i couldnt be happier!! I HATE having to goto the clinic afew times a week, and i am not using it to replace heroin bc there is no addictive routines for me and i do not get high off it in any way.

  • assbagashit

    My methadone clinic saved my life. I was and addict for 15 years. When I joined the clinic I had been using heroin daily for 6 years straight. Going there and taking my methadone not only stopped my withdrawal but then allowed me to go on with my day without that worry, essentially like a “normal” person. Doing this long term has now allowed me to create healthy routines and patterns not self destructive ones… Had I not been able to do this I surely would have died. I had overdosed 4 times in the months before I went on methadone and once a while before that… A person only gets so many chances of being literally dead, and brought back before it just doesn’t happen 1 time. So think of that and the thousands of other lives that have and will be saved in a very similar manner to mine.

  • Tyler Kennedy

    Everyone has an opinion and everyone has an ass hole…how many of those 19% against methadone treatment had ever experienced opiate addition or addiction at all…minus the large amount that are probably alcoholics…but what I see is alot of people that have never lived the “needle life” saying what is best for those of us that have….I tried everything to stay clean…all that worked was methadone and regular meetings and SUPPORT from loved ones. I read all the comments and I see a lot of people who have greatly improved they’re life and possibly saved it by using methadone correctly. ..of course you will have people at the clinic that abuse the system and still use dope on top and jus use the clinic as a cheap high or alternative for days they can’t afford they’re fix…but most truly want to be clean or are clean. ..I’ve noticed it’s about in 3rds…ones that abuse it…ones that try but arnt strong enough YET and the third or more that are sober from the needle use methadone correctly, go to meetings have gotten jobs stayed out of trouble and probably saved they’re lives
    ..so I think they should re-do the questioning and not ask “normal” people what they think but ask methadone patients if it worked for them. I’m sure those numbers would be alot different….because when someone tells me I’m lying to myself and I’m still a junkie for using methadone correctly then it plants that seed..am i? Mabey I’m lying to myself? Mabey it’d just as bad as dope? Why not go use? Of course I never “watered” that seed to let it grow…but this article and people who think they know but don’t can cause a lot of harm to recovering addicts…I’m in s 100% support of supervised correctly used methadone maintenence and will give it along wit meetings god and myself the support it deserves and say it saved a lot of lives including mine…f- what those 19% say…it’s all about what works for you…and I’m very proud of all you that are clean today or on your way! From one addict to another…keep it up! You are all worth it!

    • Pedro Maldonado

      Blah, blah, blah… All I got from this was you attempting to justify why we should continue to feed legal narcotics into our communities.. Smh

      • Tyler Kennedy

        And all I got from you was a load of hot bullshit misinformed talk out your ass on a subject you know nothing about, I guess you never need a perscription either..I guess you think it would be better to have heroin flooding our cities and deaths piling up…if you have nothing positive to say then why say it? Only god can judge me, and if I’m wrong for going to methadone instead of a needle in my arm then I’ll pay when my day comes. ..but until then your blind uneducated judgement does not change my mind one bit…it saves some lives..that’s all the convincing I need. Thanks for your feedback…have a great day kid.

        • Tyler Kennedy

          If I lived in a pot friendly state ot may be different but im on probation my po worries more about me relapsing…Ive been going for a short time..and am already on my taper down to half of my top dose…Im almost out and done ..like I said it works if you take it serious…I do …some dont…but if it saves even 1 life from heroin it is a success…granted the percentage that use it as a crutch or replacement but not all do…but blindly judging all by that is unfair to the people it helped. ..I try to respect everyone’s opinion and beliefs until I feel disrespected or judged myself…but what do I know…I’m just a junkie I guess lol

    • Alex Penrod

      I’m a retired needle junkie, I’m not a judgmental normal person. I saw what methadone did to my friends who got locked up or had to stop abruptly, week after week of excruciating withdrawal. It made me so thankful I never let them get me on that stuff. I got locked up several times and kicked heroin in one week each time. The last time I went to jail, I decided after I kicked, I’d better just start working these steps people rave about before I pick up again. The problem I have with methadone is that it prolongs the inevitable kick and makes withdrawal worse. You spend your entire life dodging what could of been a week long kick. Just bite the bullet and get on with it, get into recovery and change yourself so you don’t have to relapse. Opiate addicts are some of the biggest babies when it comes to hiding behind that physical crutch. If I don’t have my prescription dope, I’ll relapse, give me a break, once your clean its your mind that takes you out, not your body. Get a hold of your mind with the steps or therapy and get your life back.

      • CAFranco

        Now a days clinics are “supposed” to take methadone to the person in jail. Some locations are still working out the kinks.

        The problem with methadone is that it most be lower gradually. And the last dose of five to 1 milogram should be kept for a month before stopping altogether.

        Withdrawal from methadone has less symptoms than withdrawing from heroin. The fatigue and some pain should last less than a week or two. Remember that methadone is a long acting medication
        So are the withdrawal symptoms.

      • Ralf

        Also some people (not judging you) have a good paying job being in heroin. I lost my dad with 15 started drugs while doing a diploma in engineering and have the money to afford drugs. I wanted to stop and methadone helped me to do it. This saved my life as I can not call in sick for withdrawing missing important deadlines. I am still struggling from time to time but if I had all the time of the world, I would already tried to stop it long ago.

  • Mother of 4

    Methadone is just another drug for those addicted to get dependent on. While I think it can help some, I believe it doesn’t for others. And for those who get pregnant while taking methadone, the effects on the babies are just as bad, if not worse, than meth or other drugs. I am the adopted mother of two methadone babies, whom I watched go through withdrawals and who will have life-long effects; and the person who birthed these children had been on methadone for 8 years. Maybe these individuals NEED to go through withdrawals instead of masking them with another drug. The babies didn’t have a choice BUT to go through the withdrawals. So why are we hand holding the ones who did it to them to begin with?

    • Renee Roy

      Actually, I have done extensive research and every article I’ve read has said methadone is completely safe to take while pregnant. If you become pregnant while on methadone the clinic will actually not allow you to detox because it puts so much stress on your body and cause so much anxiety detoxing, and therefore puts stress on the baby, and can lead to miscarriage. Doctors and nurses are very educated in weaning babies off of the methadone and when done properly the baby will not suffer. Not to mention if a pregnant addict comes off their methadone, the risk of relapse is extremely high. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather a pregnant woman to take methadone that has been studied for years and years and years and proven safe to be taken while pregnant, than the woman go back to shooting dope. I believe the effects of heroin, meth, crack, alcohol are by far much much worse to the unborn child. I have seen and know children that were born from mothers on methadone and every one of them is completely healthy, had no problems reaching milestone, and are very smart.

      • Pedro Maldonado

        If you’ve done “extensive” research you shouldn’t have any problem citing sources that way we can look into this so called “research” for ourselves. Because I don’t believe you for one second. Thanks.

        • Jiva Das

          Look up the MOTHER study on google scholar.

        • CAFranco

          The federal government has been doing tons of research. Every so often they do a review of the literature. The 1st one I know of is TIP #1 The State Methadone Treatment Guideline.

          Substance Abuse Mental Health Service Administration publish lots document they are call Treatment Improvement Protocol or Tips. The publications are free to both clinicians and the public. Google it, am sure you will find it. These documents are based on research and best practice. If you find them you will see a lot more references and you which you wouldn’t have asked.

          Just gave you enough information so you can do you own homework. When I did, I started from zero.

  • Frank

    Different strokes for different fokes im an addict I’m 29 been using anything since I was 15. After years of drinking cocaine getting kicked out the marines shooting dope losing every job 3 rehabs 5 detoxes the most I could stay clean was roughly six months I pouredmy heart and soul into recovery and failed it only took one bad situation. Well I take methadone now and it kills my pride but it hasn’t killed me and that’s the point. Maintence now methadone now recovery now I will use this program untill I am confident I can live life without relapse and destroying my life and anyone around me. Methadone helps so for those struggling and have to much pride to try methadone good for you I hope you find what works but if you want recovery to be just a little easier and you want to succeed not just feel good about yourself and care what others think try methadone. To be honest those addicts who fail recovery witch is 90 percent are still worried about how people see them well guess what lose that attitude take the medication and one day you won’t have to ever again.

  • Amanda

    I was a addict and suboxone saved my life!! Going on 2 years clean. No relapse!!

  • Jenanonymous

    As a recovering addict, once I got off opiates in a treatment center where I was supervised, I learned the difference between treatment and recovery. I have used methadone and it was harder to withdraw from than heroin. I have had many personal experiences and been a witness to other’s. I have had worse luck on drug replacement therapy because I was just prolonging the inevitable kick that kept me in fear of getting clean in the first place. Yes, people on the outside of the disease r ignorant to the importance and relevancy of ALL types of treatment options. And there is definitely more than one way to get and more importantly STAY clean. My story couldn’t include switching one opiate for another. I have chronic pain and have had a hard tine coming to terms that there have been and will continue to be events where I will require opiate medication for pain. I’ve had 3 spine surgeries since I first got clean in 2011, and after 27 months of being a member of a 12 step program (which means actually working the steps) unresolved emotional issues and a car accident to me to a place I CHOSE not to come out of clean. The only thing keeping the 12 step program from being effective was ME. My new recovery anniversary is 9/9/13, quit H again cold turkey. I had a spinal fusion in March of 2014 and once I left the hospital I KNEW I couldn’t take ANY opiates hinge wit me. So, I took Suboxone. It is a miracle drug! I had zero d/t’s, zero cravings, zero side affects. When I healed however, I was still in a lot of pain and will be in physical pain for the rest of my life. I kno I can NEVER use opiates unless in the hospital during an emergency or in the hospital from surgery. I take 4-8mgs Suboxone 0-3x/week now for chronic pain. I am CLEAN, I am a member of a12 step fellowship, I have a sponsor whom I work steps wit, am in service, and sponsor other women…My life is incredible! My opinion is that methadone can and is an effective form of drug replacement therapy for some. HOWEVER, the “plans” or duration of time that addicts get put and left on it is dangerous. it is a temporary solution to a disease that needs to be treated, not medicated wit the very same derivative that got me hooked to begin wit. WHATEVER KEEPS U CLEAN, HAPPY, JOYOUS AND FREE FROM THE GRIPS OF ADDICTION IS FANTASTIC IN MY BOOK! But if this addict doesn’t do the work from within, I will go “without”…

  • Pedro Maldonado

    I don’t get why people don’t just smoke weed and get laid. What’s all the extra for? Smh.. And Methodone may work as a placebo in the sense that people think or feel like they’re being cured but it’s replacing one drug with another. And the state funds this drug and makes big profit from it. Ultimately that’s the purpose of these kinds of programs. But like I said, smoke weed and get laid we’ll all be fine lol. ;)

  • johnctoliver

    Methadone treatment clinics definitely offer a safer and legal environment for drug use. You cannot deny that. Better than addicts buying heroin on the street and having no idea what’s in it. It’s a slow and controlled environment and helps bring former addicts back to full recovery, slowly over time. No way it will work for everyone but it has proven successful for many. http://www.greatoaksrecovery.com.

  • Bryan

    Hi! I have been using it since I was about 15 years old. I have been trying a lot to get clean, But I just just can’t withdraw from it. I tried to stay clean but it only lasted for 4 months, relapsed and started back to the place where I left off. I haven’t been able to breath right since I started it. I want to mention this in my appointment made at Edgewood Optimum health, Seattle on Wednesday. But I can’t stop using it. What do I do?

  • Mike

    The methadone clinic is not geared for a person with an average income because of how ridiculously expensive it is. For instance, if you make 10 per hour the clinic costs $440 a month and combine that with your rent, utilites and food and all other living expenses and it is not possible. I have heard of people losing there insurance and having to choose between paying rent or paying for there methadone and the thought of the tramatic sickness that comes they end up not paying rent and becoming homeless. These clinics are making an insane amount of money and the craziest part is the only insurace that is accecpted is medical assistance and some of the very top tier insurance pay a % after you pay you deductible. It really shows you that te methadone clinics are only there to line there own pockets and as soon as your unable to pay they have no compassion just kick you to the curb.

    • Ralf

      I am sorry that this is the case in the United States. I am from Germany currently living in Canada and I do have a decent/ good job. However, even without my private insurance and the OHIP (Canadian Insurance) it would cost you about 12 to 15 CAD a day. This is still a lot of less than heroine though. If somebody was truly addicted, he spent more than 40 Dollars a day and definitely can afford methadone. The problem with methadone is that the patient has to follow the program or it is totally useless. For me, it saved my life, my job, my relationship and lots of more.

  • Pablo

    I hear you and understand you completely mine but I was spending a lot more than 11 today on the street

  • Rhonda Schmeltz

    I agree with Mike.incredible expense with the treatment ,but methadone one the cheapest d drug on the market. More about the making the rich richer and the poor into homelessaddictive.I have a stroke my words are difficult to say.I say methadone works but so many against it the system. Parol offices,courts,job opportunist list on and on.

    • Ralf

      I just read this thread and you are more wrong than right. There are people who do not get better on this treatment. For me, I started drugs when my dad died (I was 15) and I still did a Diploma (Master) in Electrical Engineering and Data Processing Technology in Germany having a good payed job in Canada now. I can afford heroine at any time but wanted to stop for the sake of my health, future and my family/ friends. Yet, I could not take any time off work and Methadone helped me. I am not getting high off it and saved my life and future. I never relapsed and followed my doctors instructions. I pay for my treatment and every addict, spending so much to make dealers afford their lifestyle, can afford some money for methadone. Once you clean you slowly stop it and can go on submoxone, if wanted. This helped me a lot and if a patient does not abuse it, it will help to maintain your life preventing withdrawal. Then later when the time is right and the body/ mind recovered you can stop it slowly as well. There are more people who saved their life on it than people who screwed it up by continuing to chase the high. I do not and do fine. Also I payed 20000 $ on heroine a year, then I spent 500 $ a year on Methadone while I stopped it now. I think it is not up to you to decide rather it is good or not. It is up to the patient.

  • Chris Bush

    I was just recently released from prison after serving 3 years. I took the time and used it wisely to get clean. I was spending 2,000$ a week on herion at the time of my incarseration. However, now that I have been out for 8 months, I have started a business and have a serious relationship going on with a girlfriend and ended up relapsing and using 700$ worth of roxies over the past 2 weeks. I’m scared to death that things are already getting so out of control and I am shooting up again, which I hate. I am thinking of going on methadone this monday to save myself, because I know how things can go, and probably will. I never believed in methadone, but I don’t wanna lose everything I have going on in my life right now, and I seem to function so much better on opiates.

    • Amanda Jones

      I hope all is well with you. I am a methadone patient who’s life would be hell had I not started taking Methadone. BUT METHADONE ALONE ISN’T THE ANSWER! I did councling groups aa ( not a alchy but na wasn’t for me). Well I love to talk if you ever need a ear to listen and someone who knows what it’s like to be in that hellish grip of addiction.

  • Nomee

    I suppose the fear of and very real pain of withdrawal keep so many people away from getting better. It’s easy for me to tell you to just suffer through it and you’ll be happier for it, but when your brain knows all you need to feel better is some opiates-you’ll do whatever to get it. Methadone clinics get a bad rep because they do deal with addicts and not all addicts feel the same about where they are in recovery. Plus, as human beings we naturally resent anything that leaves us vulnerable and beholden to it. There are so many rules at methadone clinics, but that’s also a part of recovery because there are so many rules in life and part of getting better is learning to live life on life’s terms participating in society as a contributing member. There are lots of people who start methadone maintenance and work at getting better and quit using other substances. There are lots of people who start at methadone clinics and just keep using. Yes, I know from experience. I won’t go into to much detail but my husband and I started together and he has already tapered out of the program. I am taking longer because of pregnancy and the dangers of withdrawal during pregnancy. I am actively tapering and my suggestion to anyone looking into methadone maintenance is to be serious about it and work your way out. Get stable and start to taper once you are and be as physically active as possible while tapering because it helps your brain stabilize and your body naturally tire itself out.
    I know some states are different but for the most part, methadone clinics have high turn I’ve rates and if you are serious about your recovery and you see all of the people who aren’t and the shit the staff deals with because of them, you begin to understand why but it still sucks. A place that should be full of professional well seasoned adults who are well trained in their field often isn’t and the most successful patients probably have themselves to thank for that more then anyone.

  • mia culpa

    I witnessed the revolving door of detox while a family member (dead now) used detox (most others also) just to lower their tolerance level and be back down to affordable cost of their heroin every month or so. The state doesnt require them to go to rehab or set any requirements of getting clean but just sets up people with lifetime feeding of this illegal street drug by visiting clinics. Only people who have an addictive nature and who dare to commit a crime by buying illegal drugs on the street could get hooked on heroin that is an issue overlooked or overshadow. Now they are protected class as though they had NO choice same as chronic pain patient’s got no choice and no voice either.

    • Martine

      So? Using a drug is not an evil act. It certainly doesn’t hurt anyone. As for the ideas that “it funds terrorism” or that it “gives money to criminals” not only are those circular arguments ( using drugs is bad, because it encourages drug dealers, who deal drugs, which is bad because drugs are bad….) but you can say the same about using crude oil. Drug users have not done anything wrong. They have done something illegal, but then, being gay was illegal not too long ago.

  • Renie

    It seems like these clinics like to keep people sick. It’s called revenue generation. They lower the dose people get put in jail because they can’t work without nodding off that causes lack if child support. They get out of jail and then have to start over again. It’s a racket!

  • Casa Cole

    There are differences. Methadone doesn’t get you high if used properly. I do agree about the clinics, however. Methadone itself can save lives and work wonders, but you have to taper off at some point. There are too many people that just stay on it indefinitely, and that defeats the purpose. The clinics are profit motivated, and couldn’t care less about their patients. The comment about drug dealers treating their clients as equals was completely preposterous, btw. Most heroin dealers do not use heroin, and take advantage of feinding addicts that will pay any price. That is not respect

  • Ken Evans

    If you’ve been on methadone for 3 years you’ve simply swapped one addiction for another….particularly if you’re going to a methadone clinic. Those institutions are “cash cows” for the owners. They hope you stay on the drug.

    • Ja Carter

      Lame. So you’ve had or seen a poor experience at a crappy methadone center. Sure, there are many crappy clinics, but the 3 I’ve been to personally employed a score of compassionate nurses, counselors and administrators who took genuine interest in the recovery and general well being of their patients. They advocate dose reduction after stabilization, and to whoever is whining about them asking for drug tests? Mixing methadone with benzos, more opiates and even too much alcohol can be fatal. So yeah, they don’t want to kill their patients. How dehumanizing, huh? (“only because their ‘patients’ are their Cash Cows, man! They just want y’all alive so they can Take Your Money, Man!”–shut up. Anyone can make the argument that ANY behaviour of ANY human is ultimately self serving, and speaking in these broad stroke generalizations only demonstrates your limited perspective, and isn’t an educated or even informed indictment of the industry…)

      So go ahead and nurse your personal distaste for the methadone program, but I hope you can develop a functional alternative for effective re-establishment of personal control over an addicts life. Are the noble, respectful (are you fucking Kidding me?) drug dealers on the corner (content to hedge up their profits with fucking fentanyl, since only in the heroin biz is killing your customers an effective marketing strategy!) your idea of a good alternative to methadone?

      Or are you still on the stale and useless argument that everyone should just stop doing all drugs?
      With your claim that I’ve “swapped” addictions, would you make that claim for someone treating depression with SSRI’s? Firstly, and lastly, methadone works great for me. Keeping me off every other drug, keeping my depression under control better than SSRI’s ever have, and keeping me engaged in a productive life. And if I have to continue taking a drug to stay in the game, I am happy to do so. It works for me, and I don’t care what you call it. It ain’t your life, kid. You don’t like the shit? Don’t take it. But get off OUR case. You have NO business trying to take something away from someone that has NOTHING to do with you or your life.

  • Natassija Corral

    I had a 8 year problem with heroin and cocaine and Xanax all together every single day for 8years (well 6 years with the cocaine and Xanax but 8yrs for heroin) but ive had Suboxone and Subutex prscribed to me for years but never worked.. Finally I met the love of my life and went to a methadone clinic and I’ve been clean 582 days almost 2 years clean July 22! Methadone is THE ONLY THING THAT WORKED for me! YOU HAVE TO GET CLEAN FOR YOURSELF! YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE WANT! Methadone works. Only if you use it the right way!

    • http://mylifeas3d.blogspot.com/ DeanDD

      Good for you, Natassija! Congratulations on your 582 days of sobriety! There is no “one size fits all” for people struggling with addiction. So if something works for some people, it’s worth having around. So happy you found what works for you. Keep doing the next right thing!

      • Natassija Corral

        Thank You! Right… I like how you said that..”If something works for some people, it’s worth having around.”

    • Ghengis

      Congratulations. God bless you and keep up the great work.

  • nick blake

    Unfortunately the treatment of opiate addiction is based on hysteria and politics rather than science and medicine. Is methadone the best option? Right now, for some people who have heavy addictions to strong drugs like heroin and oxycodone absolutely. Buprenorphine is more suited to people with addictions to weaker opiates, mainly hydrocodone. Buprenorphine will not “stifle” any heroin cravings.

    Is methadone the best drug to use in opiate maintenance treatment? For the most part I would have to say no. You have to remember methadone maintenance treatment was made primarily in the 60’s, long before the advent of time released drugs. In other parts of the world, more focused on harm reduction and making addicts functioning members of society, they used a slow release morphine pill… Which has several advantages.

    The various odd side effects of methadone aren’t present for one. If the addict decides they no longer need maintenance treatment, they will not be faced with the month long (and that’s just the minimum) period of withdrawal. Last point worth making is that a time released morphine pill has a near zero street value. They gel up, preventing them from being crushed to insulfate or be injected.

    The most important thing people overlook is mind blowing. There is NO CURE for opiate addiction. Do you expect your glasses to fix your poor eye sight? Do you expect insulin to cure diabetes? Of course not! So why would you expect methadone, an opiate, to cure opiate addiction? Yes it does have a minor effect on the NMDA receptors, but not enough to rid you of addiction. Remember, there is no cure. Even Dr. Dole said maintenance therapy is a corrective one, NOT A CURATIVE ONE. For the sake of this country, I hope we don’t take another step backwards behind the rest of the world and get rid of methadone. It works wonders as a medication. The rest of it all depends on the individual.