Methadone is a long-acting, FDA-approved medication used in the treatment of opiate dependence. While methadone is prescribed to treat the abuse of both synthetic and naturally-derived opioids, it’s primarily used in the treatment of heroin addiction.

Methadone benefits society in a variety of ways, including diminishing or eliminating illicit opiate use, reducing the transmission of HIV and hepatitis, and decreasing criminal activity. Methadone treatment also significantly reduces the cost of caring for the opiate dependent. Most importantly perhaps, methadone permits the patient an opportunity to return to a structured and orderly life.

Methadone was first introduced to America in 1947 and it’s been used to treat opioid dependency since the 1950s. That makes methadone the first among advanced Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) methods. In fact, addiction treatment professionals still consider Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) to be the “gold standard” in treating opioid addiction. And the World Health Organization says methadone remains the “most effective” opioid addiction treatment option, “even after 40 years.”

Has substance abuse become a problem with you or your loved one? Has your family been harmed by addiction? Are you one of the many thousands who are suffering through America’s opioid epidemic? Well, then let ALEF help.

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Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT)

Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) is a long-term treatment program for people who are addicted to opiates, primarily heroin. MMT has been used to fight opiate addiction since the 1950s, and it remains at the forefront of advanced Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) program options. In fact, methadone set the parameters for evidence-based MAT to begin with. And it’s still one of the most advanced evidence-based medications available to fight opiate addiction.

Methadone comes in pill, liquid or wafer forms and is administered once a day by a licensed medical practitioner in an office-based or clinical setting. As with all MAT medicines, methadone can only be dispensed by a SAMHSA-certified Opioid Treatment Provider (OTP). Once a patient’s MMT program has stabilized however, they may be issued “take home” doses for use between clinic visits.
The tremendous amount of worldwide research on MMT has concluded that:
  • MMT significantly reduces drug injecting and consequently the transmission of HIV and hepatitis
  • MMT significantly reduces the risk of opioid overdose, as well as the death rate associated with opioid dependence
  • MMT significantly reduces criminal activity by opioid users, and allows them the stability to pursue and undertake work, education and familial opportunities and obligations.
MMT is especially helpful for longer-addicted patients and/or those who’ve found little or no success in abstinence-based treatment programs. That’s largely because methadone not only eliminates the adverse effects of opiate withdrawal, but it also curbs the cravings associated with prolonged opioid addiction.

MMT is most effective when it includes comprehensive education, counseling and/or therapy (one-and-one and/or group), as well as significant social support. In other words, MMT is best applied as part of a full service Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) program.

In 2004, MMT was endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). The three agencies concurred that MMT sparked substantial reductions in illicit use of heroin and other opiates. The global trio also found MMT significantly reduced criminal activity, overdose deaths and HIV/AIDS transmission in all opioid dependent subjects.

Furthermore, a brief filed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) strongly advocated for states across America to increase the availability of evidence-based MAT programs, especially in criminal justice settings. Why? Because including the criminal justice system as a path to recovery would increase treatment access and retention, as well as lower the rates of overdoses and recidivism.

ALEF and Methadone

ALEF is proud to be a fully licensed and certified Opioid Treatment Provider (OTP). And we’re at once honored and eager to comply with all Medication- Assisted Treatment (MAT) organizational guidelines and requirements, whether they’re from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) or otherwise. We believe providing methadone treatment is a privilege, and with that privilege comes tremendous responsibility. And we’re grateful to SAMHSA and all the other local, state and federal stakeholders who’ve entrusted us with that responsibility.

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If you or someone you know is experiencing problems with heroin, OxyContin or other opioids, please give us a call. We’d very much like to help.

Methadone - Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Centers