Are People Who Take Methadone for Opiate Addiction Addicted to Methadone?
A common myth that exists in methadone maintenance treatment is that an individual who takes methadone for the treatment of an opiate addiction has simply shifted their dependence from one drug to another. But are people who take methadone for an addiction actually now addicted to Methadone?
There is a very large difference between dependence and addiction: a person can be dependent on a drug without being addicted and still live a safe, normal life. People in methadone maintenance are dependent on their medication and require its administration daily, but they do not seek it uncontrollably, take it in increasingly higher doses, or continue to abuse it despite the consequences it causes in their life.
MMT is Not Addiction
Methadone maintenance is not addiction because the person maintained on the drug does not experience severe consequences from its use. Individuals in this program can hold jobs, take care of their families, and live their lives quite happily, and statistically, they do so in much greater numbers than those still abusing opioids.
Methadone Maintenance Works
Despite the surrounding myths that taking methadone does not lead to recovery, the medication DOES work. When Methadone is taken as part of a maintenance therapy in conjunction with counseling and support, the medication has the ability to:
- Reduce drug seeking behavior.
- Reduce relapse.
- Reduce overdose.
- Improve judgement.
- Improve function.
- Improve quality of life.
Taken correctly, and prescribed correctly, Methadone can help to restore balance for the user allowing him or her to regain a normal lifestyle. Individuals who regularly take methadone as part of their maintenance of an opiate addiction are able to work, attend school and properly care for their families without the consistent interruption or hazards associated with an addiction to heroin or prescription painkillers.
If you would like to learn more about the program or have questions about methadone maintenance, call 800-530-0431Who Answers?. We can also help you find treatment centers in your area. Our specialists are ready to help you decide whether Methadone is a good choice for your recovery.
Our free helpline is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to support your needs. Whether you’re ready for immediate placement into a Methadone treatment program, you have questions about methadone, or you just need someone to talk to—we can help.