Despite drawbacks, many consider methadone the best treatment for opiate addiction
Published September 17, 2012, 06:30 AM
It might not be perfect, but it’s the best solution we’ve got.
That sums up why proponents of methadone say that despite the risks, it’s the best treatment for opiate addiction.
“It has been recognized by the most authoritative, objective voices nationally and internationally for decades as being the most effective form of treatment for narcotic addiction,” said Dr. Robert Newman, director of the Baron Edmond de Rothschild Chemical Dependency Institute of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York.
Treatments for most drug addictions involve a combination of medications and behavioral therapy, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse.
Methadone, itself an opiate, is used to treat addiction to heroin and other opiates because its effect is gradual and sustained, reducing the desire for other opioid drugs while preventing withdrawal symptoms, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse. Administered properly, it is neither intoxicating nor sedating, and its effects do not interfere with ordinary daily activities.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a 2002 fact sheet, said when methadone is used to treat opiate addiction, it produces a 30 percent lower death rate than among opiate addicts who are not treated with methadone. It also results in reduced criminal activity, improved family stability and employment potential and improved pregnancy outcomes, the CDC said. Read More…