Methadone is a well-tested synthetic opiate medication that is safe and effective for the treatment of opiate withdrawal and dependence. When administered once a day, orally, in adequate doses, methadone can suppress opiate craving and withdrawal for 24-36 hours. Patients will become physically dependent on methadone but will be free from the uncontrollable, compulsive, and disruptive behavior seen in people who are addicted to heroin or other opiates.
Chicago Methadone Treatment
Use of illicit opiates creates a cycle of craving, drug use, and intoxication, which leads to withdrawal and continued use. This cycle, that repeats every 4 to 8 hours with the use of heroin or other opiate medication, is eliminated by methadone maintenance treatment. This is possible because methadone’s effects are realized more slowly and last much longer than is the case with most other opiates. Methadone works as an opiate agonist and occupies the brain receptor affected by opiates. After stabilization on the proper dose, methadone does not produce the rush or “high” associated with illicit opiate abuse. What is more important, an adequate methadone dose prevents all opiates from producing such effects.