Methadone Maintenance Treatment


opiate addiction

Methadone is an opiate addiction treatment that helps individuals avoid relapse by reducing drug cravings.

First administered in the early 19070s, methadone maintenance treatment has a solid track record as an effective treatment for opiate addiction. According to the National Library of Medicine, methadone maintenance treatment – a nationwide, publicly funded addiction treatment program – was the very first opiate addiction treatment approach ever developed.

Opiate effects in the brain and body warrant unique medication-based approaches for managing withdrawal symptoms. Methadone maintenance treatment works as a medication replacement therapy designed to help recovering opiate addicts manage the persistent withdrawal effects and drug cravings that occur when a person stops using.  Since the 1970s, other medication treatment approaches do exist, though methadone remains the standard against which most all new treatments are measured.

Methadone, as a medication therapy, can be used as both a detox treatment and long-term maintenance solution. As a maintenance treatment approach, methadone enables recovering addicts to resume normal everyday life while engaged in the drug treatment process.

As methadone maintenance treatment only address the physical aspects of opiate addiction, ongoing psychosocial treatment combined with methadone is necessary to ensure long-term abstinence and a successful recovery.

Medication Replacement Therapy

Medication replacement therapies in addiction treatment attempt to replace the effects of an addictive drug with those of a therapeutic agent. According to the National Institute of Justice, methadone – a long-acting synthetic opiate – works as a replacement therapy for the addictive effects of opiates.

As a synthetic opiate, methadone can mimic the effects of addictive opiates without posing a high risk for addiction. Since methadone occupies the same cell receptors as an opiate drug, it can greatly reduce the severity of withdrawal effects while at the same time curbing any existing drug cravings a person may have.

Administered under strict federal regulations, methadone maintenance treatment programs must be registered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and certified by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration. Methadone’s status as a synthetic opiate places it in the Schedule II narcotic drug category, which accounts for why these programs are so heavily monitored.

Opiate Effects in the Brain

Opiates, such as heroin, Demerol and Oxycontin, all have the same slowing effects on the body’s central nervous system. These effects originate at specific brain cell receptor sites. When activated, these sites secrete dopamine, a vital neurotransmitter chemical responsible for regulating pain and pleasure sensations throughout the body.

Opiates not only activate these receptor sites, but cause massive amounts of dopamine to be secreted. Over time, the brain stops secreting dopamine on its own as opiate effects gradually take over the job of regulating central nervous system functions. At this point, the brain and body require opiate effects in order to carry out normal bodily functions.

When a person starts taking methadone, the drug’s opiate-like effects pick up where addictive opiate drugs leave off. In this way, central nervous system functions can operate normally as the body adjusts to the absence of addictive opiates in the system.

Drug Cravings & Withdrawal Effects

For people with a long history of opiate abuse, drug cravings and withdrawal effects are the two biggest barriers that prevent a person from stopping drug use. These barriers also continue to be a problem for people who’ve been in recovery for years, oftentimes driving recovering addicts to relapse.

Methadone’s ability to address these problems accounts for why methadone maintenance treatment is an effective opiate addiction solution, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Without some form of medication replacement therapy, the brain continues to crave opiate effects. At the same time, the lack of opiates sets off a range of withdrawal symptoms that can make life unbearable without some form of necessary treatment.

Ultimately, methadone maintenance treatment makes recovery possible for many addicts who otherwise wouldn’t be able to stop using.

Dosing Procedures

Methadone comes in disk-shaped tablets that dissolve in liquid. Unlike the multiple “hits” an addict has to take throughout the day to function, methadone’s long-acting effects only require a single daily dosage amount. The therapeutic effects from one dose can last anywhere from 24 to 36 hours.

For detox purpose, initial doses of 20 to 30 milligrams work to keep uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, such as chills, nausea and irritability at bay. Methadone maintenance treatment doses work to prevent withdrawal effects and reduce drug cravings. These doses run anywhere from 80 to 120 milligrams.

Dosage amounts are based on the severity of a person’s addiction, medical status and his or her age. Since methadone occupies the same cell receptor sites as opiates, it can also block the effects of other opiates in the event a person tries to get “high” on other drugs.

Taper Period

Some people may only need to be on methadone maintenance treatment for a short period while other may require treatment for several years. Since the overall purpose for treatment is to enable recovering addicts to live drug-free lives, at some point a person will want to stop taking methadone.

As methadone produces opiate-like effects, a person cannot just stop taking the medication without experiencing intense withdrawal effects. Doing so places him or her at dangerous risk of relapsing back into old drug-using behaviors. For this reason, methadone maintenance treatment includes a tapering period where dosage amounts are gradually decreased over a period of time.

According to Canada’s Center for Addiction & Mental Health, tapering periods run a minimum of 12 months in length, however some people may require several years of tapering to avoid experiencing distressing withdrawal effects.


Methadone maintenance treatment meets a vital need in terms of treating the body’s physical dependency on opiates. While breaking the physical dependency is a mandatory first step, treating a person’s psychological dependency on opiates enables him or her to remain drug-free on a long-term basis.

An effective methadone maintenance treatment program will also provide psychosocial treatment services that help recovering addicts work through the psychological aspects of addiction. Psychosocial treatments include psychotherapy, group therapy, 12-Step support groups and drug education courses.

For people dealing with chronic opiate addictions, the need for psychosocial treatment may very well last considerably longer than the need for methadone maintenance treatment. Otherwise, overlooking a person’s psychosocial treatment needs places him or her at dangerous risk of relapse, overdose and an ever-worsening state of addiction.

Methadone Abuse Grows, Reasons are Complex

Methadone had its start as a synthetic substitute for heroin during World War II. German officials saw the war coming and knew that the country could possibly be cut off from supplies of pain killers made from opium and received from other parts of the world. They set their scientists the task of developing a synthetic opioid, and methadone was the result.

Although Germany lost its patent rights on the drug with its loss of the war, methadone went on to become popular throughout the world as a pain-killer. Its secondary use as a means to help addicts off their dependence on heroin soon became its biggest application. Today in the U.S. methadone is distributed in licensed clinics.

The medicine does not provide the euphoria of heroin or other addictive medicines at the same relatively low doses as the others. Instead a person has to take higher amounts of methadone to feel something akin to a high. This is one of the reasons more deaths from methadone overdose are reported today.

People seeking that high may take a dose of methadone and not notice much reaction. They take more and more until they reach the overdose level. Coma and death can result.

U.S. Government reports show that two types of users tend to abuse methadone. The first is the person fighting addiction to other substances. The second is someone who uses drugs recreationally and may be entirely new to methadone use.

In the first instance, addicts taking methadone as a substitute for illegal heroin may miss the old high and try larger self-dosing. Most people who have been addicted to street drugs for long periods of time just want to keep away the sickness of withdrawal. If they feel the twinges of anxiety that often signasl the lessening of drugs in the blood stream, they may resort to taking extra methadone to keep the “sick” away.

Methadone’s delayed narcotic effect plays a part in overdoses. People, whether addicts or recreational drug users, do not feel a buzz after first taking methadone. They might mix in other drugs such as alcohol and not realize the trouble they are getting themselves into until it is too late.

Naïve drug users who experiment with illegal medicines and street drugs now and then, might be offered methadone at a party, for example. They may already have had some beer or popped a couple pills of some kind. They decide to try the hit of methadone offered, do not feel substantially different at first, ask for more, and end up comatose or dead.

Some addicts fighting abuse through legitimate methadone treatment at clinics may not be able to hold down jobs until they are clean. If they can sell a dose or two of methadone on the streets, they may be earning money from the only source available to them. The problem of course is that they can wind up in prison and the people taking methadone without medical supervision can suffer serious harm.

Sometimes addicts undergoing methadone treatment against heroin addiction supply friends or family members with doses of their medicine. The addicts may be trying to help others who are addicted to street drugs. Whatever the reasons, sharing methadone prescribed for a particular person with anyone else is illegal and dangerous for everyone concerned.

Methadone’s overall effects are similar to, yet different, than those of heroin and other opioids. Someone who has taken a dose may not feel its effects until hours later. It works more as a sedative than a stimulant and someone seeking a buzz may be disappointed.

Since it does have a high ceiling for any feelings of euphoria, officials promoting its use as a legal substitute for heroin were at first surprised that the medicine was moving into the category of abuse. They had thought that its dissimilarities to heroin and other opioids would make it unpopular on the streets.

It is ironic but logical that heroin too went through the same cultural change not long after it was introduced to the public. By the 1800s, heroin was in widespread use in many nations as a medicine to treat pain. For as many people given the medicine by doctors for pain, there were growing numbers of people becoming addicted to heroin.

Advances in medical technology do not keep human nature from complicating the picture. Many people are in pain of one kind or another, either physical or psychological. They want to ease their pain by almost any means possible.

Government regulations can do only so much toward eradicating methadone abuse. Some believe that education is a better response to the problem rather than stricter laws. Whatever the case, methadone abuse is taking many people to the brink of death and beyond.

Anyone addicted to methadone can get help from one of the licensed clinics that dispenses the medicine. Medical professionals can oversee an addict’s gradual regaining of dignity and health. At a clinic used to treating addicts, methadone addiction does not cause surprise, just concern.

Some Drugs Help Addicts, But Bring New Problems of Their Own

Although methadone is a great tool for addicts struggling to escape the clutches of heroin, the powerful narcotic brings with it the danger of a new addiction to the methadone itself. The drug is administered by prescription in federally licensed clinics throughout the U.S. The government regulates it as a controlled substance.

In clinics patients receive specified amounts of the legal methadone so that they can leave behind their dependence on heroin and other illegal opiates. Methadone mimics the effects of heroin and when taken according to medical instructions, can help people leave behind their addictions to dangerous street drugs. Clinics work with their patients to ease them off the methadone gradually in order to avoid the long painful withdrawal from it if it is stopped too abruptly since methadone withdrawal can be even more difficult than withdrawal from heroin.

Methadone’s second major use for pain management means that general laws regarding controlled substances apply. When methadone is prescribed as a substitute for heroin and a way to wean addicts off illegal drugs, however, additional laws and regulations cover its use. Stringent laws are not enough to stem the growing tide of methadone addiction.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports a rise in the number of prescriptions for methadone as a pain-killer. It can be a godsend for those suffering from pain that cannot otherwise be controlled. Since more of the powerful opiate has found its way into the legal American market, its availability as a street drug has also increased.

People who take methadone on their own put their lives at risk. Government statistics show that since the late 1990s when methadone became popular as a prescription pain reliever, overdose deaths from the powerful medicine have increased. Medical professionals eager to help their patients manage their pain wrote some 531,000 methadone prescriptions in 1998.

This number grew to approximately 4.1 million by 2006. It is not unusual for a prescription medicine to move into the realm of street drug. Popularity of prescription pain medicines makes it much more likely that people will start to deal them on the illegal market.

Heroin in the 19th Century is a prime example. Doctors brought it into use for pain treatment. Extremely effective in its original use, its popularity increased dramatically and many people found themselves addicted to the opioid.

In the early 20th Century, morphine was used throughout the world for the treatment of pain and wounds. Raw opium is its main ingredient. Knowing that a major war was imminent and that Germany could be cut off from its opium imports, the German government encouraged its scientists to develop alternatives.

The German chemical company, I. G. Farben, created methadone in its laboratories in 1937 as a synthetic opiate, originally named Amidon. After Germany lost the war, all German patents were erased, and the United States made the drug available in 1947 as Dolophine. It gradually became known as methadone.

Today’s medical practitioners must be extremely cautious in the dosage amounts they give their patients. Its properties are different from other opioid drugs and ample research findings are available to help explain their significance. Most of the overdoses, however, come from patients who combine methadone with other drugs, or abuse the drug and take more than prescribed.

Street users who take methadone for non-therapeutic reasons run great risk of overdose. If they combine methadone with alcohol, for example, the combination in the blood stream can cause coma and death. Both substances affect the central nervous system, and when they enter the same body, they can alter breathing, overall metabolism and heart rate.

Methadone may be sold illegally in a blend with other illicit drugs such as tranquilizers. Dealers may mix in useless fillers or even dangerous substances. The unknown purity of the street version can led to medical crisis.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reports a huge increase in items related to methadone use that have been seized in drug raids and from individual users and dealers. In 2001 some 2,865 items were taken into forensic labs for analysis. By 2007 the number had grown to 10,361, an increase of 262 per cent.

The deaths attributed to methadone overdose have varying circumstances. Although the presence of methadone is detected by autopsy, there are sometimes other substances present that combine to kill the user. Methadone prescribed in clinics is closely monitored, but the powerful medicine bought and sold in the streets can wreak havoc for too many.

Understanding the nature of this powerhouse of a medicine is a first step toward successful recovery from addiction. Methadone remains a great tool for addicts wanting to leave behind their dependence and addiction on street drugs. If someone becomes addicted to methadone bought illegally, help is available at the same clinics that prescribe the drug.

Find a Suboxone Doctor Instead Of Methadone Doctor

Find a Suboxone Doctor with our Suboxone Physician Treatment Directory

suboxone doctor

suboxone doctor

If you are seeking a suboxone doctor or suboxone physician for opioid addiction, use our free suboxone physician directory to find in your area. A suboxone doctor or suboxone physician is trained to treat opioid dependence and addiction with the use of the medication suboxone.

When patients don’t want to use methadone for opiod dependence then Suboxone is an alternative medication that is very similar to methadone. Suboxone has been around for opioid treatment for the past ten years. It has proved to be a very successful treatment option. It has helped many individuals with opioid dependence, herion dependence, painkiller, oxycontin dependence, and any narcotic dependence either to detox slowly from those medications or to receive long-term treatment with suboxone.

What Is A Suboxone Physician or Suboxone Doctor ?

You can locate more information here about the requirements for a suboxone doctor. The good thing about a suboxone doctor is that treatment is usually done at a physician’s clinic rather than at a methadone clinic. Once a patient is doing well on suboxone, they are able to reduce their appointments to once per month rather than having to go to methadone treatment at a methadone maintenance center daily. Convenience and privacy are better with suboxone treatment than with methadone treatment.

Your physician may be a suboxone doctor and prescribe this medication. Thousands of physicians in the United States are now able to administer this drug. This means your own private family doctor may be a suboxone doctor or a suboxone physician. However, if your own family doctor doesn’t prescribe suboxone, you will easily be able to find a suboxone doctor in your city.

Suboxone Doctor or Suboxone Physician Why Bother With This Treatment ?

Suboxone treatment has many advantages on its own. You can find out more about what suboxone treatment can do for you by reading some of the posts on this site. Even pregnant mothers with opioid addiction have found suboxone helpful.

Heroin addicted individuals who inject drugs are not the only people seeking suboxone treatment. Addiction to painkillers has grown over the previous decade and this has become a major source of emergency room visits. Patients who started being treated for chronic pain find themselves addicted to their medication. Suboxone can help these individuals break the addiction too.

There are some people who many not do as well with this type of treatment. Patients with particularly severe opioid addiction may need a higher level of care like a methadone maintenance facility. They might not do as well with a suboxone doctor as some others. Having a frank discussion with a suboxone doctor is needed to decide whether this treatment will work for you. To find out the level of care you need and how bad your addiction is, get an addiction assessment from a suboxone doctor.

Methadone Treatment Center Directory and Suboxone Doctor Directory

Dr. Rich is a Board Certified Psychiatrist with licenses in Texas and Hawaii. He specializes in the treatment of opioid addiction with buprenorphine and runs a FREE locator service to find Methadone Treatment including Suboxone treatment for opioid addiction. Find a Suboxone Doctor in your area.
Dr. Rich has written more articles on the cost of oxycontin, buprenorphine (Suboxone) including frequently asked questions and a recent post : Signs of Painkiller Addiction

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Welcome To The Methadone Clinic Directory

Welcome To The Methadone Clinic and Methadone Treatment Clinics Directory

Methadone Clinicc Directory

Methadone Clinicc Directory

If you are looking for a methadone clinic or methadone treatment clinics, feel free to use our free directory to find help by your location. A methadone clinic doctor is a doctor who is trained to treat opioid addiction with the use of methadone. Methadone Treatment Clinics are highly regulated. Although methadone clinics are found in most major cities, they are not in every smaller town.

Methadone is a treatment for opioid addiction in patients that don’t want or have failed suboxone treatment. Methadone has been used in the United States for opioid addiction since the 1960’s. In comparison, suboxone treatment has only been use for this purpose over the last ten years. Methadone Treatment Clinics can help those with painkiller addiction problems, oxycontin addiciton, heroin addiction, and other types of narcotic addictions.

What Is A Methadone Clinic ?

You can find out more here about the Methadone treatment clinics. Methadone is not for everyone. Methadone treatment clinics can be inconvenient to reach since they are not in every town. A methadone clinic has many restrictions on how many times per week one must attend what is involved with the treatment. As a result, not everyone is able or not wanting to attend a methadone clinic.

The alternative of going to a methadone clinic is getting suboxone treatment. This is a newer treatment that can be done from your regular doctors office. Thousands of doctors in the United States now prescribe suboxone for opioid addiction. This has allowed many patients to no longer have to attend a methadone clinic. You would need to discuss with a suboxone doctor if you are right for this type of treatment. You can also use our suboxone doctor directory to find one near you.

Methadone Treatment Clinics : Why Should You Go To A Methadone Clinic?

There are many advantages to methadone treatment. You can find out more about the benefits of methadone treatment clinics by looking at some of the articles on this site. Methadone treatment clinics have been proven to reduce crime, improve employment, and help families heal. Methadone has also been used during pregnancy of opioid addicts. Any methadone clinic should have experience with most any situation and questions you have since they have been around for many decades.

A methadone clinic is not just used for the person who injects opioids. Methadone treatment clinics can be a place to go for those who have become addicted to oxycontin, vicodin, and other pain relievers. Many individuals being treated for chronic pain have an addiction to their medication and are unable to stop the medication when they are instructed by their doctor to do so. If suboxone treatment is not a good alternative for you, going to a methadone clinic for an evaluation may be helpful.

Methadone Treatment Center Directory and Suboxone Doctor Directory

Dr. Rich is a Board Certified Psychiatrist with licenses in Texas and Hawaii. He specializes in the treatment of opioid addiction with buprenorphine and runs a FREE locator service to find Methadone Treatment including Suboxone treatment for opioid addiction. Find a Suboxone Doctor in your area.
Dr. Rich has written more articles on the cost of oxycontin, buprenorphine (Suboxone) including frequently asked questions and a recent post : Signs of Painkiller Addiction

Methadone Clinic and Methadone Treatment Clinics Article Resources

What Is Methadone : Methadone Drug Information

What is Methadone Treatment ? Facts On This Opioid Addiction Treatment

Methadone Side Effects

Methadone Overdose : Signs, Symptoms, and What To Do

Effects of Methadone : More Than For Methadone Treatment

How to Get Methadone : What You Need To Do Legally

Opioid Addiction : 10 Questions For You

Suboxone Detox Instead of Methadone Treatment ?

Methadone : What Are People Searching For On The Web

Suboxone Treatment Methadone Alternative : What is it?

Find A Suboxone Doctor in Your State

Methadone Treatment Cost For Opioid Addiction




What Is Methadone : Methadone Drug Information

What Is Methadone

What Is Methadone

What Is Methadone?

What is Methadone ? Methadone is a an opioid medication (a narcotic). It is used for the treatment of pain and for the treatment of opioid addiction.  German scientists produced this medication during the second world war. Some think this was in response to a shortage of morphine.

Methadone came to the United States in 1947.  It was initially used for the treatment of pain. It was particularly helpful because of it’s long length of action.  It was studied in the 1960’s for the use in opioid addiction.

What is methadone being used for today? Methadone now has the dual role of pain management and opioid addiction treatment, among other uses. Methadone is a safe and effective medication according to the FDA and is classified as a Schedule II medication by the DEA. Because of its high addictive effects, methadone is closely regulated. There have been emerging problems with methadone regarding use and deaths.

 What is Methadone ?  The Side Effects

If you are looking for what is methadone side effects, I have previously covered methadone side effects in another post. If you know the side effects of methadone, you will know the side effects of all the opioid drugs because the symptoms are the same.  Other popular opioid medications include: Morphine, Oxycontin, Codeine, Suboxone, Opana, hydrocodone and many other formulations.

The main concern for all opioid medications is the risk of respiratory depression during an overdose.  A person can suddenly stop breathing.  An overdose of methadone can also cause heart arrhythmia (irregular hear beat) and death.  The next major risk of methadone is becoming addicted to is, although this should not be as much of a concern for legitimate users of this medication.

 What is Methadone ?  Drug Interactions

First there are the medications that should not be taken at all with methadone.  These include the opioid agonist-antagonist medications such a suboxone, buprenex, subutex, talwin, nubain, pentazocine, dalgan, and stadol.  These medications can place people who are already on an opioid into sudden opioid withdrawal.  Even stronger drugs similar to this but are direct opioid blockers and will start opioid withdrawal include: naltrexone, naloxone, nalmefine, Revia.  Old antidepressions, the MAI inhibitors such as Nardil or Parnate, can have critical interactions. Finally, Ultram can cause withdrawal.

There is a ridiculously long list of medications from the Physician’s Clinical Support System that can interfere with methadone.  You can open the PDF and look up any medications you may be taking: Methadone Drug Interactions.

Here are some other topics for what is methadone :

Methadone Dosing :

History of Methadone: This is a nice PDF summary

Suboxone Treatment Directory And Methadone Treatment Directory

Dr. Rich is a Board Certified Psychiatrist with licenses in Texas and Hawaii. He specializes in the treatment of opioid addiction with buprenorphine and runs a FREE locator service to find Methadone Treatment including Suboxone treatment of oxycontin addiction. Suboxone Treatment Clinic in your area.
Dr. Rich has written more articles on the cost of oxycontin, buprenorphine (Suboxone) including frequently asked questions and a recent post : How Do I Find A Suboxone Physician?

Resources for ” what is methadone “

Methadone : Wikipedia

Food an Drug Administration (FDA): Methadone

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) : Diversion Control

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

List of narcotic drugs under international control

Methadone Drug Interactions Sheet

Oral Methadone Dosing for Chronic Pain: A Practitioner’s Guide

How to Get Methadone : What You Need To Do Legally

How To Get Methadone : For Chronic Pain or Opioid Addiction

How To  Get Methadone

How To Get Methadone

If you are looking how to get methadone , there are two main, legal reasons for its use today.  The first is for the treatment of chronic pain. The other reason is for opioid treatment at a methadone treatment center.

Some patients are looking for how to get methadone for their pain because they have found it more effective and longer lasting than other opioid medications. If this is the case, you can go to any physician and get it prescribed to them for this reason. As long as the methadone is not being prescribed for opioid addiction treatment, any doctor can prescribe the medication.

Some doctors, however,  are uncomfortable with giving methadone this way.  They may prescribe is for only a short period, or they may not want to use it at all.  Much has to do with a particular doctor’s comfort level. They may refer you to a pain specialist who has more experience with methadone because methadone requires special monitoring.

How To Get Methadone : For Opioid Addiction

For centuries, it has been known that opioid medications are addictive.  Methadone was invented in Germany during the Second World War.    Between about 1910 and 1960 opioids were used illegally by doctors and others to treat opioid addiction.  It was not until the 1960’s that it’s use for opioid addiction began to be used legally. The first studies indicated the many benefits of methadone treatment.  Then the use of methadone clinics was born.

Finding how to get methadone for opioid addiction starts with finding a methadone clinic near you.  They are located in most cities. There are methadone support groups online you can access. Other than hospitals and addiction detox centers, methadone treatment centers are to only place to go for addicts.

Methadone is highly regulated.  There is a risk of theft and misuse (diversion) of this medication. This, along with the public’s fear of the idea of giving the opioid addicted individual a narcotic for treatment, led to these restrictions.  Here is more information on methadone treatment.

How To Get Methadone : What About Suboxone

While everyone is worrying about how to get methadone, people forget there is a newer medication for the treatment of opioid addiction. This medication is called Suboxone.  This medication is safer and less addictive than methadone, although suboxone does have its risk.  Find out more about suboxone treatment.

Methadone Treatment Directory and Suboxone Treatment Directory

Dr. Rich is a Board Certified Psychiatrist with licenses in Texas and Hawaii. He treats opioid addiction with buprenorphine and runs a FREE locator service to find Methadone Treatment including Suboxone treatment for those wanting oxycontin help. Find a Suboxone Treatment Clinic in your area. Dr. Rich has written more articles on methadone, buprenorphine (Suboxone) including d a recent post : Opioid Addiction : 10 Questions For You

More Resources Related on How To Get Methadone

National Library of Medicine Abstract: Methadone maintenance treatment: a review of historical and clinical issues

Certification for Opioid Treatment Program: SAMHSA

National Institute On Drug Abuse



Effects of Methadone : More Than For Methadone Treatment

What Are The Effects of Methadone ?

Effects of Methadone

Effects of Methadone

There are mainly two groups of people who need to know the effects of methadone.  The person who is being treated for pain with methadone is one.  The other is the opioid addicted individual who wants information on methadone treatment. It is important to realize that the opioid dependent person is not longer limited to the stereotypical heroin addict.

Over the last decade, there has been a rise in the use of oxycontin in addition to methadone for the treatment of various forms of pain.  Many people who never had an addiction started these medications through their primary care doctor for a legitimate reason such as a broken leg or perhaps severe back pain. Some are more susceptible to the addictive effects of methadone.

Although getting an addictive disorder is on of the effects of methadone, when use as directed under the care of a physician, the risk of addiction to pain medications is low (4-5%). There are estimated to be about 30 million patients in the United States so even this small percentage of abusers is a large number. There has been a more recent article indicating up to 1/3 of people being treatment for non-cancer pain on a chronic basis get addicted to opioid medications.  Apparently, this was in the July 2011 issue of the Journal for Addictive Diseases and I have not reviewed the actual article. Here is one link.

There are, however, a much larger number of individuals who are abusing the medication through non-medical sources. Most people abusing opioids are getting the medication through family or friends rather through “drug dealers.” They may be using is for recreational use.  There are many others who are at higher risk to having an one of the addictive effects of methadone: especially those who are  mentally ill and those with an existing addiction,

Effects of Methadone

  • Treatment of Pain : Excellent for acute (sudden) pain. Can work well for chronic (long-term) pain, however, the effectiveness for long-term pain is being questioned as compared to other pain relieving medication.  The exception is cancer pain.
  • Increase in energy: Patient report to me lower doses give them energy
  • Euphoria: People describe a “better than sex” feeling.  A feeling of falling backward, being half dead and alive and sleepy.
  • Reduce or stop coughing
  • Reduce or stop diarrhea
  • Treatment of Opioid Addiction (such as methadone maintenance)

Side Effects of Methadone : Go to my article or See Below

Methadone Side Effects List :

  • nausea
  • decreased libido
  • urination problems
  • decreased appetite
  • sedation
  • weight gain
  • flushing
  • abdominal pain
  • constipation
  • vision changes
  • mood swings
  • swelling of limbs
  • weakness
  • difficulty with sleep
  • vomiting
  • missed menstrual periods

Serious Side Effects of Methadone : Call Your Doctor Immediately:

  • rash
  • seizures
  • itching


  • irregular heartbeat and death

Summary of Effects of Methadone

Methadone is a very good pain reliever and has some other medical uses such as for cough, diarrhea, and the treatment of opioid addiction. Although it can be safely used under proper medical supervision, there is a real risk of addiction. The risk of addiction is more for those with mental illness, a genetic predisposition, and current addicts. Patients taking methadone should be aware of the side effects of methadone to know what to discuss with their doctor.

Other Resourses Related to the Effects of Methadone :

National Pain Foundation FAQ on Opioids

US Department Of Health and Human Services : Research on Prescription Drug Abuse

History of Methadone

Methadone Treatment Center Directory and Suboxone Doctor Directory

Dr. Rich is a Board Certified Psychiatrist with licenses in Texas and Hawaii. He specializes in the treatment of opioid addiction with buprenorphine and runs a FREE locator service to find Methadone Treatment including Suboxone treatment for opioid addiction. Find a Suboxone Doctor in your area.
Dr. Rich has written more articles on the cost of oxycontin, buprenorphine (Suboxone) including frequently asked questions and a recent post : Signs of Painkiller Addiction

Methadone : What Are People Searching For On The Web

Searching for Methadone on the Web : Google Keyword

Skip and Go Here If You Just Want information On Methadone Treatment

Also, see bottom of post for alternatives to methadone

Methadone : What Are People Searching For On The Web

Methadone : What Are People Searching For On The Web

We just past Google’s 13th birthday and it got me thinking about the Google search volume for methadone.  I got a bit curious at the idea of looking at how many times the word has been used in search over the last month.

The search results indicate that people are first looking for information on simply methadone. The next most popular item is treatment and clinics. The appears to be about 3 million searches per year for people interested in treatment.

Following the first two most popular term, we see interest in withdrawal, and use.  Later, we see searches for related  methadone and suboxone. Then we get into pain treatment, pregnancy, specific doses of methadone, and then other medications.  For more information, see the list below.

Term  Methadone with:                         Monthy Searches

methadone                                            550000
what is                                                   550000
about                                                     550000
methadone methadone                       550000
clinic                                                         74000
clinics                                                       60500
treatment                                               60500
treatment for                                         60500
centers                                                    22200
effects of                                                 18100
effects                                                     18100
effects                                                     18100
withdrawal                                             14800
withdrawal from                                   14800
withdrawal                                             14800
side effects                                             12100
side effects                                             12100
side effect                                               12100
side affects                                             12100
treatment centers                                  9900
withdrawals                                            9900
withdrawals from                                   9900
mg                                                            9900
dose                                                         9900
use                                                           9900
use of                                                       9900
for pain                                                    8100
pain                                                          8100
pain                                                          8100
maintenance                                           8100
dosage                                                     6600
dosage                                                     6600
to suboxone                                            6600
and suboxone                                         6600
suboxone                                                 6600
suboxone                                                 6600
suboxone and                                         6600
suboxone to                                            6600
or suboxone                                            6600
suboxone or                                            6600
addiction                                                  6600
in system                                                 5400
test                                                           5400
program                                                   5400
buy                                                            5400
buy                                                           5400
overdose                                                  5400
overdose on                                             5400
overdose                                                  5400
symptoms                                               4400
symptoms of                                           4400
high                                                          4400
dosing                                                      4400
addicts                                                     4400
online                                                       4400
therapy                                                   4400
10                                                             4400
programs                                                 4400
and pregnancy                                        3600
pregnancy                                                3600
pregnancy and                                        3600
in pregnancy                                           3600
taking                                                      3600
10mg                                                       3600
opiate                                                      3600
liquid                                                       2900
pregnant on                                           2900
urine                                                       2900
testing                                                    2900
doctor                                                      2900
and opiates                                             2900
and morphine                                        2900
morphine                                               2900
dosages                                                   2900
buprenorphine                                      2900
and oxycodone                                      2900
treatment center                                  2900
forum                                                      2900
methadone abuse                                 2900
street methadone                                 2900
doctors                                                   2900
withdrawal symptoms                         2400
maintenance treatment                      2400
and xanax                                              2400
price                                                       2400
interactions                                           2400
withdrawl                                              2400
withdrawl from                                     2400
baby                                                       2400
and alcohol                                            2400
alcohol                                                   2400
alcohol and                                           2400
wikipedia                                              2400
getting of                                              2400
purchase                                              2400

Other Searches Related to Methadone

When people are looking for more information on opioid addicton treatment, they also are wanting other options.  One of the best options is suboxone treatment.  I really like this treatment alternative because is has less risk of abuse and less risk of a lethal overdose.  People can now get suboxone at their own doctor’s office if they are a suboxone prescriber.

Another alternative is the use of Vivitrol. It is an injection of naltrexone, which completely block opioids.  Taking a narcotic for pain for to get high will not work at all while on this mediction.  If a person is on opioids, it will start immediate withdrawals.  This treatment is usually for those already clean or detoxed who need a bit incentive to not use.

Suboxone Treatment Directory And Methadone Treatment Directory

Dr. Rich is a Board Certified Psychiatrist with licenses in Texas and Hawaii. He specializes in the treatment of opioid addiction with buprenorphine and runs a FREE locator service to find Methadone Treatment including Suboxone treatment for oxycontin addiction. Suboxone Clinic in your area.
Dr. Rich has written more articles on the cost of oxycontin, buprenorphine (Suboxone) including frequently asked questions and a recent post : Painkiller Addiction : Top 10 Signs You May Have It

Methadone Treatment Cost For Opioid Addiction

Methadone Treatment Cost For Opioid Addiction : For You and Society

Methadone Treatment Cost

Methadone Treatment Cost

According to the NIDA Methadone Research Web Guide, the money spent on methadone treatment cost is easily returned.  For every one dollar invested in treatment, four dollars are returned. Methadone treatment easily pays for itself.  Even if a person continues to use drugs while in methadone treatment, there is a cost savings as well and other benefits that last for years.

In 2002, the cost for methadone treatment was between $10,000 and $17,000 per year. Just taking methadone during treatment was not as cost effective as taking methadone combined with other services.  These other services include vocational counseling, individual therapy, marital and family counseling, relapse prevention counseling, and psychiatric treatment. The more treatment a patient received, the more money that was saved. The actual cost to provide services in a methadone treatment clinic is about $4,100 per year.

So how much is the methadone treatment cost for you going to be?  This will vary from clinic to clinic along with your income.  If you are paying entirely cash and out of pocket, you could be responsible for all you treatment. This could be $5000 to $10,000.  This is so unusual that it is almost not worth mentioning.  Most people I’ve seen on the web are talking about paying between $50 and $300 out of pocket with the average being around $150.

Getting Help With The Methadone Treatment Cost

Most people should be able to get the help with the cost for methadone treatment.  The first place to start is to find a call a methadone treatment center by you. Look one up in a methadone treatment center directory. The social worker and administrative staff at your local methadone maintenance treatment facility should be quite good at helping you find help with finances.  Many facilities will work on a sliding scale.

If you have no money at all, your State Medicaid offices may be able to supply you with health insurance.  If you have private insurance, make sure to call them too.

Methadone Treatment Cost and the Benefits of Methadone Treatment

There are many benefits of methadone maintenance treatment. Methadone clinics provide a place for the addict to talk to someone.  Most addicted individuals have other psychiatric issues that need to be addressed including depression, bipolar, and schizophrenia.  Methadone clinics are able to provide psychiatric treatment.

The number of people in 2002 addicted to opiates and heron in the United States was about 1 million. About 20% receive treatment through methadone maintenance.  Despite the out of pocket cost to patients and the cost to run the clinics, this treatment has been very valuable to many.  Here are some benefits of treatment:

  • Reduced crime
  • More productive
  • Reduced (or stopped) drug use
  • Less chance of suicide
  • Improved employment
  • Better health
  • Decrease in chance of premature death
  • Pregnancies go better
  • Family becomes stable

Other Methadone Treatment Cost Resources

National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery

The Cost of Methadone Treatment: Results from a National Sample of Treatment Programs : Abstract

Suboxone Treatment Directory And Methadone Treatment Directory

Dr. Rich is a Board Certified Psychiatrist with licenses in Texas and Hawaii. He specializes in the treatment of opioid addiction with buprenorphine and runs a FREE locator service to find Methadone Treatment including Suboxone treatment for oxycontin addiction. Suboxone Treatment Clinic in your area.
Dr. Rich has written more articles on the cost of oxycontin, buprenorphine (Suboxone) including frequently asked questions and a recent post : Suboxone Treatment : What To Expect With Narcotic Treatment