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?

The Foundation

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 for Opiate Addiction

Those on methadone maintenance are able to work and live normal lives.

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.

How Our Helpline Works

For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the helpline is a private and convenient solution.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by American Addiction Centers (AAC).

We are standing by 24/7 to discuss your treatment options. Our representatives work solely for AAC and will discuss whether an AAC facility may be an option for you. Our helpline is offered at no cost to you and with no obligation to enter into treatment. Neither nor AAC receives any commission or other fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a visitor may ultimately choose.

For more information on AAC’s commitment to ethical marketing and treatment practices, or to learn more about how to select a treatment provider, visit our About AAC page. If you wish to explore additional treatment options or connect with a specific rehab center, you can browse top-rated listings or visit SAMHSA.