Methadone Benefits - Drastically diminish drug cravings!
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Methadone Benefits

Methadone drastically diminishes the cravings you have for your drug of choice.

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  • Methadone Myths

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  • Methadone & Street Drugs

    Comparing Methadone to Street Drugs

When the general public hears the word “methadone” they are most likely unaware of the positive effects that it has had for many years, and continues to have on those who are going to treatment.
Methadone Benefits

What are the Benefits of Methadone?

“My reward has been the chance to enjoy my family, to find employment, to have good health in my mind and body, and to be in control, for once, of my own happiness. I've learned a lot about myself. I’m friendlier and more helpful to others. I love me now, and I love life!” — Margaret, 41, on methadone 11 years.

For people who are dependent on opioids, methadone has a number of benefits over other opioids. These are:

  1. The effects of methadone can last 24 to 36 hours. For most people, as long as you take your one dose a day at the same time every day, you won’t get sick with opioid withdrawal.
  2. You drink your dose of methadone, usually in a mixture with orange juice. Taking an oral dose is much safer than injecting, snorting or smoking.
  3. Drinking methadone won’t get you high, but it can help to keep away the physical drug cravings, or the feeling that you need to get high. Some people experience no cravings at all once they’re on methadone. Others may continue to struggle with the “conditioned” cravings, or those that are triggered by something or someone you associate with drug use. The counselling you can get with MMT can help make it easier to cope with cravings.
  4. When prescribed by a doctor and dispensed by a pharmacist, methadone is legal. The source is reliable and safe, and there’s no fear of arrest.
  5. Methadone is made using strict manufacturing guidelines. The exact potency is known, and it’s never cut with unknown substances. You know what you’re getting.
  6. The cost of methadone is less than $10 a day. If you have an Ontario Drug Benefit Card, or are covered by a prescription drug plan at your work, or through a member of your family, methadone costs you nothing. You may also qualify for financial assistance through the Trillium Drug Plan. (For more information on help with the cost.
  7. Some illicit-drug users participate in a lifestyle that involves crime and other risky activities to support their need for drugs. Methadone replaces this need with a substance that is legal and cheap. Methadone treatment can result in less crime, fewer people in jail and a safer community.
  8. People on methadone are less likely to use or share needles. If you’re not using needles, the risk of becoming infected with HIV or hepatitis C is reduced. And since methadone lets you think straight and use your head, you’ll be more likely to practice all you know about safe sex.
  9. Methadone blocks the euphoric effect of other opioid drugs. For example, if you take a hit of heroin when you’re on methadone, you may not feel it. Methadone’s opioid-blocking effect can be a benefit because it takes away the main reasons why you might continue to use other opioids. If you can’t get high, and you won’t get sick if you don’t use, why waste your money?
  10. Going on methadone treatment can put you in touch with people who understand where you’re at, and can help you get where you want to go.
  11. Once you’ve been on methadone for a while, you should feel more energetic and clear-headed. This lets you focus your life on things like work, school and family.
  12. Of all treatments for opioid dependence, MMT has the best record for keeping clients off other opioid drugs.

Is Methadone Maintenance for you?

Is methadone maintenance treatment or suboxone maintenance treatment for you?

If you’ve been using opioid drugs such as heroin, OxyContin, codeine, Dilaudid, Percocet and others, and you’ve come to a point where you know you can’t go on using, but you can’t seem to stop either, methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) may be right for you.

  1. If you’re pregnant, and you’re using heroin, seek MMT right away. Methadone prevents opioid withdrawal, which can threaten the life of your baby
  2. Users who are HIV or hepatitis C positive are strongly urged to begin methadone/suboxone treatment immediately.  Treatment helps to stabilize your health, and it lets you focus on getting the best possible care.
  3. You may be ready for MMT/SMT if you’ve been using for a year or more, and you’ve tried to stop. You’ve been through withdrawal, you’ve seen a counsellor, perhaps you’ve gone through a residential treatment program. If you can’t seem to stop using for more than a few hours, days, weeks or months at a time, and you know you want to stop, think about going on MMT/SMT.
  4. You’re ready for MMT/SMT when you’re still using and all it’s doing for you is keeping you “normal.” If there’s any high at all, it isn’t worth it anymore. You’re scared of being sick and all you want is to feel well and be free of the craving that nags you to keep on using. You want to be more in control of your life, your work, your home. You want to feel better about yourself; you want to be able to offer more to the people you care about.

“I wish I had kept a diary from just before I started methadone, then every time I am having a difficult time, I could re-read my thoughts and know that I do not want to return to that place.” — Adam, 20, on methadone three months.

Weighing your options

“Methadone is not a lifelong hell! And it’s not a ball and chain – unless you make it that way. If you get your shit together and it’s in your fridge, you can go about your life the same as anyone else. You wake up in the morning and you take it, just like you brush your teeth and you drink your coffee.” — Richard, 45, on methadone three years.

Methadone maintenance has the best record in terms of keeping clients in treatment and off opioid drugs for the longest period of time. On the other hand, it does carry some side-effects that may be unpleasant, and it does require a long-term commitment. If you have tried one or more of the other treatment options listed, and you are still using, and you know you want to stop, methadone may be your best choice.