Methadone Addiction is No Longer a Necessary Treatment for Heroin Addiction

In the 1960's, methadone, previously used for pain relief, started being used as treatment for the escalating problem of heroin addiction. At that time it was considered a viable solution - but that was in the days when effective drug detox and drug rehab technologies were almost unknown. Today, methadone treatment is antiquated, and it's creating methadone addiction - an addiction even more dangerous than addiction to heroin.

Why is methadone treatment antiquated?

"It is important to remember that a methadone user is still physically dependent on the drug - they will experience horrible withdrawal symptoms if they can't get a dose in time - and will almost always become an addict. In fact, methadone has proven to be even more addictive than heroin," said Steven Hayes, director of Novus Medical Detox Center, an inpatient detox facility in Florida that helps people through withdrawal from heroin, methadone and other drugs or alcohol.

"We now get people off heroin with relative ease," Hayes said. "Still, instead of sending people to a good medical detox and then rehab, millions of people around the world are advised to use methadone treatment. Unfortunately, this treatment more often than not results in methadone addiction."

But isn't methadone addiction or dependency better than heroin addiction?

"Absolutely not," says Hayes. "There are twice as many methadone-related deaths as heroin-related deaths every year. Also, because the opioid receptors that were being stimulated by heroin and now by methadone will become less sensitive, most methadone users will keep requesting and obtaining larger and larger doses of methadone. When they try to get off it they're in trouble. It's more difficult to kick than heroin."

So, why is methadone addiction still used as a treatment option for heroin addiction?

Many people have been told that their use of heroin or other opiates has inhibited their body's ability to produce endorphins - a natural hormone the body uses to block pain signals from the nervous system so as to provide pain relief and, in some cases, increase the feeling of pleasure. Methadone users have been duped into thinking their body will not be able to produce endorphins without methadone or that they have to take methadone for months or years before their body starts producing the amount of endorphins they need.

However, there is no science to prove this endorphin theory. Although it may take a while for a heroin addict to get their body back to normal when they stop using heroin, being unable to produce endorphins in adequate quantity is very rare, if it happens at all.

In fact, endorphin production is usually remedied through a good heroin detox and rehab program.

Nevertheless, many heroin addicts are told they need methadone and, consequently, simply trade heroin addiction for methadone addiction. They are never given the opportunity to do the drug detox or rehab that could have handled their heroin addiction in the first place and they are now saddled with methadone addiction for years and, in some cases, for life.

What can you do if you're dependent on or addicted to methadone?

Though the victims of the methadone clinics may have been convinced they need methadone, in fact, they've been misled. Fortunately, a few medical detox centers are able to do a methadone detox and the person can truly be drug free and no longer dependent on getting their dose.

If you or someone you care about has been addicted to heroin or another opiate or opioid and has become part of a methadone treatment program, contact a medical drug detox center to determine if they could end their methadone addiction with a methadone detox.

Gloria is a freelance writer who contributes articles on health contact:info@novusdetox.com

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