Can you recall those SAT analogy questions? You know, the “this is to that” questions that sent your mind into a tailspin. Well here’s one for you that will make perfect sense:
Methadone is to opioid addiction recovery as insulin is to diabetes… or hypertension medicine to high blood pressure… or antidepressants to depression.
Sure, patients with these conditions could grind it out and alter their physical health or mental thoughts, but habits are challenging to change. Most choose to take the medication to manage their disease. Similarly, people with opioid use disorder have a strong desire to get better, but need the support of medications, like methadone, to treat their condition.
Here are 10 quick facts about methadone that may surprise you:
1. Methadone is the medication with the longest history of use for opioid use disorder treatment, having been used since 1947.
2. The proper dose of methadone allows patients to lead a normal life without making them feel “high” or “drugged.”
3. Methadone has a gradual, long-lasting effect of 24-hours or more, which mitigates any craving for other opioid drugs.
4. Methadone is taken orally once per day, so there is no need for injection needles that carry the risk of diseases like hepatitis or HIV.
5. Methadone is not a cure for addiction by itself. It should be used as a component of a recovery program that includes counseling and life improvement services.
6. Methadone, like other treatment medications, should not be mixed with other drugs like alcohol, cocaine or marijuana that will increase health risks and lower the effectiveness of treatment.
7. Patients taking methadone for addiction receive their medication orders from specialized addiction doctors at accredited programs called Opioid Treatment Programs (OTP).
8. Some patients, in consultation with their doctor, decide to take methadone for years in order to significantly decrease their chances of relapse. Others prefer to become completely medication free after they get their life back on track, which takes time.
9. Patients should never alter their dose or completely stop taking methadone on their own as withdrawal symptoms and drug cravings may arise leading to relapse.
10. Methadone is as safe as any other medications prescribed by doctors. Methadone taken under a doctor’s orders does not cause harm to body organs nor does it alter someone’s ability to clearly think and function.
For an in-depth look at methadone treatment for opioid use disorder, visit https://newseason.com/treatment/methadone/.