Methadone is a legal, synthetic opiate used in the treatment of heroin dependence. Methadone is either used as detoxification treatment, or as a long-term maintenance treatment. Evidence for its effectiveness is very high. It is also the most cost-effective treatment for heroin dependence. Methadone is widely available in many countries but the ways in which methadone programs are designed and delivered vary. Other drugs similar to methadone include buprenorphine (also used for detoxification or maintenance treatment for heroin dependence).

Treatment with Methadone

The rationale for methadone is that the provision of a legal, stable source of opiate enables the individual patient to cease heroin use and its associated behaviors, such as drug-seeking. During the period of maintenance on methadone, other lifestyle changes can be achieved, such as ...

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