What is methadone?
Methadone is a drug commonly used to treat opiate addiction and relieve pain. Methadone is not intended to treat addictions to other drugs such as alcohol, cocaine marijuana or other non-opioid drugs. Methadone blocks the receptors in the brain that are affected by opiates such as heroin and prescription drugs, enabling users to gradually detox from opiates without experiencing painful withdrawal symptoms.
What is suboxone?
Suboxone contains a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. Buprenorphine is an opioid medication, sometimes called a narcotic. Naloxone blocks the effects of opioid medication, including pain relief or feelings of well-being that can lead to opioid abuse.
When used as prescribed, both methadone and suboxone can be safely taken while in treatment. Methadone and suboxone do not impair the ability to drive, work, or perform normal ordinary activities. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), methadone is medically safe even when used continually for 10 years or more. It can cause constipation because it influences the activity of the digestive tract, but it doesn’t slow metabolism.
While you are prescribed methadone, is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Choose nutritious foods, exercise regularly, and take a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement.
Methadone has been used for many decades as an effective way to treat opioid addiction. When methadone is taken as prescribed, methadone has been proven to relieve withdrawal symptoms. It also reduces the patients opiate craving. All of these things better the patients ability to function on a daily basis and improve the patients overall quality of life.
Remaining in treatment for an adequate period of time is critical. The appropriate duration for an individual depends on the type and degree of the patient’s problems and needs. Research indicates that most addicted individuals need at least 3 months in treatment to significantly reduce or stop their drug use and that the best outcomes occur with longer durations of treatment. Recovery from drug addiction is a long-term process and frequently requires multiple episodes of treatment. As with other chronic illnesses, relapses to drug abuse can occur and should signal a need for treatment to be reinstated or adjusted.
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