Methadone maintenance treatment is a medically recognized pharmacotherapy that, when combined with counselling
and other psychosocial supports, was historically known as the gold standard treatment for opioid addiction.
Methadone is a long acting opioid (24 - 36 hours) that helps manage cravings and alleviates symptoms of
withdrawal. That means people on methadone are less inclined to resort to risky or criminal behaviour in
order to satisfy their addiction. Methadone maintenance treatment helps patients return to healthy and productive lives.
Methadone is an effective treatment for opioid addiction whether you smoke, swallow, inject or snort opioids.
While it has been proven to be an effective treatment for opioid addiction, it cannot be used to treat addictions
to cocaine, alcohol, benzodiazepines, methamphetamines etc.
Methadone doses are carefully prescribed to patients, and taking too much or too little methadone can be harmful to
a recovering opioid addict. Your body takes time to adjust to methadone and (unlike other narcotics) methadone builds up slowly in your bloodstream over several days. A dose that may feel like too little on a Monday could put you in hospital by Thursday.
This is why it is important to consult with a professional about a methadone maintenance
treatment plan, instead of obtaining methadone on the street.
Patients are typically prescribed a low dose of methadone to start, and are expected to feel normal (not high) with fewer opioid
cravings. If the patient attempts to use other opioids while on a methadone maintenance treatment plan, they will likely
experience sedation rather than euphoria. This aids in methadone's overall effectiveness, as the patient is less inclined
to use other opioids.
If you or a loved one are currently undergoing methadone maintenance treatment, watch for side effects such as euphoria (feeling high),
nausea or sedation. This could indicate that the patient is taking a higher methadone dose than necessary, and it is advised that
you alert your healthcare provider as soon as possible to readjust the methadone dosage.
Prevent methadone overdose by:
• Seeing your doctor twice a week for the first two weeks
• Do not take benzodiazepines, alcohol, or any potentially sedating drugs.
• Discuss your treatment plan with a loved one who can call a healthcare provider or an ambulance if they see you are drowsy.
If you have any further questions about methadone, please do not hesitate to contact us here.