Methadone: Truth or Fiction

Methadone doesn't help people; it simply replaces one drug for another.

Truth: The use of methadone decreases the risk of contracting or spreading HIV, or Hepatitis.  It decreases the need for illegal activity to support heroin dependence and it allows people to work and establish a family life.

Methadone is valuable because it helps people change their lives to include: Parenting, Setting goals, Working, and Fixing legal problems.

Methadone is not a cure.  It is like using other medication to reduce blood pressure.  If you stop your medication the physical and often social problems return.

People on methadone keep using drugs and alcohol.

Truth: Methadone does not cure addiction; it reduces withdrawal symptoms.  Research shows people on methadone reduce their drug and alcohol use.

Methadone keeps you high for 24 hours.

Truth: A stable dose of methadone allows a person to function without sedation or intoxication.  Persons on methadone are able to stay stable and avoid a 4-hour cycle of being high and the withdrawal that goes along with the high.

Methadone is worse to kick than heroin.

Truth: Withdrawal from methadone does take longer than withdrawal from heroin because methadone stays in the body's system longer than heroin.  The stronger heroin withdrawal symptoms lasts 3 to 5 days.  Methadone withdrawal symptoms are less severe but last long (10 days to 2 weeks).  If a person wants to get off methadone, it can be done slowly with a doctor and additional prescribed medication that can help detoxification.