Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) has been used for decades in helping people overcome their opiate addictions. MMT has been proven to be effective and useful with helping to manage the drug epidemic of opiate abuse. Its history dates back to the mid-1900s and since then, this medication has continued to be used to help treat people addicted to opiates providing a means for successful recovery and healing to those in need.
The History of MMT
According to DrugPolicy.org, MMT has been researched and evaluated since its development in the 1960s. However, the findings of early studies have been consistent in regards to MMT. MMT has been shown to reduce the abuse of heroin, reduce the criminality and death rates associated with heroin use, and allow patients to improve their overall health and social productivity.
Methadone was developed in Germany, and was proven to help people deal with the withdrawal symptoms from heroin. In 1964 methadone was legally allowed to be administered to people through Rockefeller University as a research study to see if it helped with heroin withdrawal. Since heroin usage in New York at the time was taking many lives, this research was important. Through the research, which only consisted of 6 patients at the time. Methadone treatment was proven successful in helping people go through heroin withdrawal.
Since the research indicated that methadone treatment was effective, MMT began to become more popular. According to DrugPolicy.org in 1998 there were 44,000 people using MMT in New York and there was approximately 179,000 people using MMT nationwide. In addition, in 1998 there were approximately five hundred thousand to one million people addicted to heroin, which means that roughly 18% to 36 % of the heroin addicts were receiving MMT to help with their addiction.
How MMT Helps
MMT is proven to be the most effective way for people to overcome their heroin addiction since the withdrawals of heroin can be extremely difficult for a person to go through. MMT significantly helps a person get through the withdrawals while enabling them to receive the psychological help they need to overcome their drug addiction. Furthermore, MMT also helps the economy by helping people to stop using needles and contracting fatal diseases from their heroin use.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, when methadone is combined with behavioral therapies or counseling, it enables patients to stop using heroin and other opiates, and it helps them return to more stable and productive lives. Furthermore, methadone has also been proven to reduce addiction related fatalities, criminal tendency, and the spread of HIV.
MMT will provide a person with the medical and psychological resources they need to help them learn to live a life free from heroin, while they detox from heroin with as minimal pain as possible. MMT will also educate a person on the resources they can use once they leave the program to help them remain drug free once they are out on their own again.