Methadone treatment is becoming more popular, especially in larger cities with high rates of opiate abuse and heroin addiction. Does this treatment simply replace one drug with a different narcotic or is it actually effective? The answer depends on what additional treatments are being offered as well. Some methadone replacement clinics simply provide the correct dose of methadone in order to keep the user from feeling the worst of the withdrawals. Prescription opiates and heroin both cause a physical addiction in addition to the mental dependency, and the user may actually be physically sick when they start to come down. If the clinic offers therapy and counseling along with the replacement drug then they are more likely to help the user successfully beat the addiction.
Those addicted to heroin or prescription narcotics may feel a physical need to use the drug of choice when withdrawals start. This can lead to criminal acts such as robbery or home invasion when the drug of choice can not be located. Methadone replacement uses a carefully controlled dose that is based on the individual and their specific tolerance. The medication is intended to soften the worst of the physical withdrawal symptoms and keep the cravings from becoming overwhelming. As the addiction starts to subside the dose of methadone many be lowered and then stopped completely, or a maintenance dose may be provided in order to stop any further use of the illegal or prescription substances. When individual counseling sessions are added and the right therapy schedule is followed the results can be much better than no treatment at all.