Addiction Resource


Used for the treatment of opiate addiction, methadone is highly restricted and must be taken in the presence of a medical professional when it’s prescribed for the treatment of addiction. Patients must go to a methadone clinic daily to get their dose. Over time, as long as they remain drug-free and come in daily, they can earn “take-homes” or doses of medication to take at home so they don’t have to come in every day. Advantages of methadone maintenance are that it:

  • Decreases drug cravings.
  • Alleviates withdrawal symptoms.
  • Has a long half-life, so its effects last anywhere from 24 to 36 hours.
  • Doesn’t elicit euphoric effects.

While methadone is an effective treatment for opiate addiction, it has some disadvantages as well. These include:

  • Its status as a Schedule 2 drug, which means it has a risk of diversion and abuse.
  • Side effects similar to that of other opioids, including vomiting, nausea, excessive sweating, constipation, sexual dysfunction, itchy skin, and respiratory depression.
  • Potential for physical and psychological dependence.

Methadone is the most commonly used medication for the treatment of opioid addiction. Up to one-fourth of opioid-addicted patients receive methadone maintenance.