methadone therapy facts

Just the Facts: Benefits and Risks of Methadone Therapy

Every day in the United States, over 130 people die from an opioid overdose. Opioid addiction in the United States also costs the American people more than $78.5 billion every year.

Clearly, opioid addiction is a serious issue in this country. If you’re struggling with addiction right now, there is good news. There are treatment options available that can help you overcome your addiction. One of the best treatment options is methadone therapy.

Read on to learn more about the benefits and risks of methadone therapy.

What Is Methadone Therapy?

Methadone therapy is a comprehensive treatment program. It involves the long-term prescription and use of the drug, methadone, by a licensed physician.

Methadone is an opioid agonist. It is often prescribed as a treatment tool for individuals who suffer from opioid addiction.

Methadone helps to suppress cravings for opioids and minimizes the withdrawal symptoms one experiences when they stop consuming opioid drugs.

When it’s consumed in the proper dose, methadone does not induce intoxication — it does not sedate the user or cause feelings of euphoria.

Benefits of Methadone Therapy

There are a number of benefits that come from using methadone to manage opioid addiction. Some of the greatest benefits of this therapy include:

Safety and Efficacy

As long as it’s taken in the proper dose and prescribed by a licensed physician, methadone is considered to be a safe drug for individuals attempting to overcome opioid addiction.

Methadone has also been shown to do a great job at keeping opiate addicts from returning to the use of heroin and other opioids.

Methadone does a great job of providing relief from withdrawal symptoms and makes it easier for addicts to get clean and move on with their lives.


Methadone treatment is certainly not the only treatment option out there available for people who suffer from opioid addiction. However, it is one of the most affordable options.

If you cannot afford an in-patient treatment center or another treatment program, methadone treatment can be a more cost-effective approach that will still help you experience the benefits you need.

Improved Health

Methadone treatment gives you an opportunity to improve your overall health. As you probably know, opioid abuse can wreak havoc on an individual’s physical health.

Some of the health risks associated with long-term opioid abuse include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Respiratory issues
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Seizures
  • Heart problems
  • Acid reflux and gastrointestinal disorders
  • Organ Damage

When you use methadone to help you stop using opioids, you can restore your health and will likely find that you feel a lot better than you did before.


Methadone is totally legal to use as long as you have a prescription from a licensed physician. You have every right to use methadone to control your symptoms and help yourself get clean.

Access to Other Resources

When you seek out treatment from a methadone clinic, you will also have access to other resources that will help you get clean and stay clean.

Employees at these clinics can help you to find affordable counseling, support groups, and a variety of other helpful resources.

Risks of Methadone Therapy

Of course, there are also some risks that come with methadone therapy. Some of the risks include:

Addiction Potential

Methadone does not have the same effects as opioid drugs.

It does not cause feelings of euphoria or sedate the user, as long as it’s being consumed in the proper dose. At the same time, though, because it is an opioid agonist, it can be habit-forming and it does have the potential to be abused.

It’s important to make sure you’re following your doctor’s guidelines carefully when you take methadone in order to avoid its habit-forming side effects.


Because methadone is habit-forming, you may experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop using it.

The withdrawal symptoms associated with methadone are not as severe as the withdrawal symptoms associated with heroin and other opioids. They can be serious, though, and negatively affect the quality of your life.

What to Expect from Methadone Therapy

If you are considering using methadone therapy to overcome opioid addiction, you might be wondering what the therapy will be like. It’s different for every person, but it usually goes something like this:

  • Methadone is administered by a team of medical professionals
  • Care is tailored to each individual’s unique needs
  • Every methadone treatment protocol lasts for a unique length of time depending on the severity of the individual’s addiction and other needs
  • Methadone therapy includes other treatment options, including help finding therapy and help to find a job
  • Your doctor will adjust your methadone prescription on a regular basis to help you taper off of it safely

While you are undergoing methadone therapy, it’s important to avoid consuming alcohol. You should also use caution when you are driving or operating heavy machinery.

Choosing a Methadone Clinic

If you’re interested in using methadone to help you overcome your opioid addiction, these tips can help you find the right one:

  • Get recommendations from friends or family members
  • Read online reviews for clinics in your area
  • Talk to your insurance provider to see if they will help cover the cost of your treatment
  • Find a facility that you feel comfortable visiting
  • Make sure you feel comfortable interacting with the staff members
  • Look for a facility that is clean and appears to be well-maintained

You may also be able to find a clinic that specializes in catering to addicts who are part of a specific demographic. Some clinics cater to specific genders or those who belong to a certain religion.

Find a Methadone Program Today

Now that you know more about the benefits and risks of methadone therapy, are you interested in giving it a try?

Methadone therapy can be a very powerful tool for individuals struggling with an addiction to opioids.

In order to experience the benefits, though, you need to make sure you choose the right program. Keep these guidelines in mind so you can find the best program for your needs.

If you need help finding a methadone program, we have lots of resources available to you on our website. No matter where you live, we can help you find a program in your state.

Check out our other methadone treatment articles, too. You’ll find lots of other helpful information here that you can use to find the best treatment for your needs.


Methadone Stigma – Hurting & Shaming Those Who Are Trying to Recover

Overcoming a drug addiction is certainly a difficult task. There are many addicts who attempt to detox from an addiction to heroin or other opiates and fail because they cannot handle the withdrawal symptoms that they experience. Methadone is a treatment option that has been used for many years to make overcoming addiction easier. Methadone blocks pain receptors in the brain to not only minimize the detox symptoms one experiences when they detox, but also to help with any physical pain they may be feeling from an accident or injury. Methadone also helps to keep someone from feeling high when they do take heroin or opiates so that they lose the desire to use.

Methadone is available at many rehab facilities through outpatient treatment. It can be taken as a pill, in liquid form or as a powder. The exact amount that you take is determined by a medical professional – and then your treatment is closely monitored. Methadone can either be used for a short period of time, or sometimes for a longer period of time depending  to help you overcome your addictions and help you get your life back on track.

What Is the Stigma Surrounding Methadone Users?

It’s important to know that just because you get clean and sober, it doesn’t mean that everyone in the world will look at you as a productive member of society. There is a lot of stigmas that surround methadone users, unfortunately. People who have never suffered from addiction before don’t realize how strong of a hold the drugs can have on you. They often view people who use methadone to overcome their addiction as being weak. They assume that if they had enough willpower, any addict should have been able to get over their addiction on their own. This isn’t the case for everyone though. The hold of drugs can often be both physical and mental. Being able to overcome addiction often takes more than just sheer force and willpower.

Some people also assume that methadone users are lazy, unreliable and untrustworthy. They assume that the people using methadone have no moral compass because they started using drugs in the first place. This isn’t the case, though. There are many people who become addicted to opiates after an injury or accident that left them in massive amounts of pain that needed some form of pain management.

Since the average person doesn’t understand what methadone is or what it does, they assume that methadone users are always high, as well. People think that methadone gets you high the same way that heroin or opiates do, but that isn’t the case at all.

How Does It Affect Methadone Users?

The stigma that is attached with methadone can often squelch someone’s desire to better themselves. Many users become very depressed when their loved ones or people in society look down on them because they are trying their best and feel like they will never be able to get ahead. Some methadone users end up relapsing because they cannot handle the stresses that come from the constant belittling they experience from those around them.

No Matter What They Say, Methadone Is Effective

Regardless of what ill-informed people say about methadone, it does work and has helped numerous people get clean from an addiction and rebuild their lives so that they can become productive members of society. Methadone, when taken properly, helps people to regain control of their life, to realize their value and the many great things they have to offer to the world. Methadone doesn’t hamper someone’s ability to thrive or succeed in life and can be a great tool to use to get clean and live the life any addict was destined to live.

Methadone isn’t a form of treatment that needs to be broadcast to the world. You should never feel like you have to hide the fact that you are taking methadone or feel ashamed that you are taking it. It is a form of treatment that allows you to function seamlessly in your daily life so that you don’t have to divulge that you are taking it unless you want to. There are no laws in place that state you have to let your employer know you are on methadone. You can take it anywhere, at any time so that you can get the treatment you need when you need it.

What to Do if You Are Experiencing Stigma

Experiencing stigma when you are trying to better yourself can be hard. It’s important to lift yourself up and do whatever you need to do to stay on the right path and stay clean from drugs. Many people find that going to addiction support groups helps them to be able to surround themselves with uplifting people who want nothing but the best for them and are willing to stand by them through thick and thin. It provides addicts with the ability to talk to other people who understand what they are going through and who can offer advice that has helped others to succeed in the past.

It’s also important to learn how to take what others say with a grain of salt. No one is perfect in the world. Everyone has their stumbles throughout life and trying to put others down often makes some people feel better about themselves. It’s best to address how you are feeling and let others know that you are proud of your success and are going to keep pushing forward regardless of what they think and feel.

When it comes to addiction, the only way to have true success is to figure out what makes you feel proud, confident and happy in life. You are the only person who can truly judge what you have done in life and you have to be happy with yourself at the end of the day. Methadone is a legal, helpful tool that you can use to reach your end goal of getting clean from a drug addiction and start living the life you really want to live.

Want to learn more about methadone treatment?

Give us a call today at (855) 976-2092 and let one of treatment locator specialists help you find a methadone treatment center near you.


[1] ‘Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover?: A Qualitative Study of Methadone Patients? Experiences of Stigma. (n.d.). Retrieved from

[2] Hadland, S. E., Park, T. W., & Bagley, S. M. (2018). Stigma associated with medication treatment for young adults with opioid use disorder: a case series. Addiction science & clinical practice13(1), 15. doi:10.1186/s13722-018-0116-2 Retrieved from

[3] NIDA International Program. (n.d.). Methadone Research Web Guide – 20 questions and answers regarding methadone maintenance treatment research. Retrieved from

opioid public health emergency

Is Overprescription of Opioids to Blame for the Opioid Epidemic?

The overprescription of opioids is a big problem in the USA. Drug overdoses killed 63,632 Americans in 2016 and around two-thirds of these deaths involved opiates.

So why are these drugs still being overprescribed to this day? This is a highly complex problem with a lot of different factors at play.

An Authoritative Source

One of the big factors in the prescription opioids problem is that people are prescribed these drugs from an authoritative source. People trust their doctors to make the right medical decisions. Therefore, they might not be aware of the risks of opiate medication.

Some people who abuse opiate medications might not even realize they have a problem. They might only become aware when something serious happens, such as an overdose or withdrawal.

Another big factor in the opiate epidemic is the fact that these drugs are so easy to consume. Unlike a lot of illicit street drugs, you simply consume these prescription opioids in pill form. This has led to many people assuming these drugs are safe.

Just because you’re not snorting or injecting these drugs doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous.

Why the Overprescription of Opioids?

There are a few factors that have influenced the overprescription of opioids in the United States.

For instance, many doctors were mistakenly taught that patients who were in pain could not get addicted to pain medication. It was believed that once their pain stopped, a patient would simply stop using the drugs.

Unfortunately, this was not true, and many patients would continue using opiates long after their pain had subsided. If their legitimate supply was cut off, many users would then start looking for opiates on the street. Many heroin users in the USA today started off with prescription painkillers.

Another factor in opioid dependence is the aggressive marketing from the pharmaceutical companies. In recent years, these companies have spent much more money promoting their opioid products.

This kind of “direct to the customer” marketing has only reinforced the belief that these drugs are good for you and won’t cause any problems. Thankfully, steps are now been taken to rein in advertising for prescription opioids.

Easy Drug Availability

Another factor in the epidemic is it’s just too easy to get a hold of these pills. Many users have learned how to fake symptoms in order to get a legitimate painkiller prescription. And other people might go to multiple doctors at once to get more pills.

Some might use these pills recreationally and others may sell them on the street. The wide availability of these pills and the perception amongst the public that they are “safe” has contributed heavily to the opiate problem in the United States.

All Opiates Lead to Heroin

One of the big problems with prescription painkillers is users will eventually switch to more dangerous alternatives, such as heroin. Heroin belongs to the same class of drugs as opiate painkillers and it becomes the drug of choice of most long-term users.

This is because heroin is cheaper and the high it provides is much more intense. It is also easier to get than prescription painkillers. Someone who’s had their prescription supply cut off is likely to turn to heroin.

Shockingly, there is evidence to suggest that heroin might be a safer alternative. In 2014, for instance, the overdose rates for prescription painkillers were twice as high as the overdoses on heroin.

What Can Be Done?

There are a few steps to take that could help combat the overprescription problem.

One of the main issues is patients need education. No one should be prescribed opiates without understanding exactly what they’re getting into. Patients should be aware of the addictive potential of these drugs.

Another factor is doctors themselves need to be aware of the addiction potential for these drugs. This is a difficult problem to address, as there is a fine line between pain management and addiction. Every case needs to be carefully considered.

Doctors need to consider pain management alternatives. Any patient who is prescribed opiates needs to have their usage levels monitored carefully.

A Complex Problem

When it comes to the overprescription problem, there are many factors at play.

For instance, those from a lower socioeconomic background are significantly more at risk. Level of education has also been shown to be a key factor. Those who’ve attained a higher level of education are significantly less likely to get a prescription for opioids.

It has also been shown that geography has an influence on prescription rates. The more rural areas of the United States, such as the Southeastern States and the Northwest, have much higher rates of prescription painkiller overdoses than other areas.

Non-Opiate Alternatives

So what are some alternatives to prescribing these kinds of pills?

There are many choices other than opioids. Medical marijuana, for instance, can be a less harmful alternative. Cannabis provides patients with effective pain relief but is significantly less addictive than opiates.

Medical marijuana is also a desirable alternative because it can’t be overdosed on. There is even evidence that CBD, a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis, is a good way to treat opiate addiction.

There needs to be a good support system in place for people who develop opiate addictions. If someone is seriously addicted to opioids, a methadone treatment program might be one of the only ways they can recover.

Methadone treatment allows an addict to safely withdraw from opiates. It also means the addict will not have to experience all of the debilitating withdrawal symptoms.

Avoid the Use of Opioids

There is no question that prescription opiates are being overused in the United States. Despite being legal, these drugs have huge potential for abuse and addiction.

Thankfully, steps are being taken against the overprescription of opioids epidemic. Both the public and healthcare professionals are becoming increasingly aware of the harm these drugs can cause.

Are you or a loved one suffering from opioid addiction and want to turn your lives around? Read about how methadone treatment can help or contact us at (855) 976-2092.


[1] U.S. drug overdose deaths continue to rise; increase fueled by synthetic opioids | CDC Online Newsroom | CDC. (2018, September 24). Retrieved from

[2] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019, January 29). Overdose Death Rates. Retrieved from

opiate taper

Going Easy: How to Taper Off Opiates Without Withdrawal

With hundreds of people overdosing every day, tapering off of opiates is one of the best decisions you could possibly make. While it’s hard to start weaning off of a drug without help, we’ve got the story on how to taper off opiates without withdrawal. If you manage your tapering carefully, you’ll be able to avoid painful symptoms.

Here is everything you need to know about tapering safely.

Tapering Off Safely

When you’re trying to safely taper off of opiates, you should do so with the help of a doctor. Every person is going to approach the situation differently and have a different set of needs. Your taper could take weeks or months, regardless of how anyone else’s taper took.

The focus is for you to minimize any health risks that you could be subjected to. There are physical, emotional, and social changes to consider when you’re getting off of a drug, so you should talk to any specialist you can about it.

Your doctor should be monitoring your vital signs during the course of your taper from opiates. Any spikes one way or the other in your pulse, temperature, or your blood pressure should signal that there’s something wrong. They’ll be able to check your blood and urine regularly to see that the amount of opiates in your system is steadily dropping.

Your doctor might want to get in touch with the other health care providers that you work with. Your pharmacist or even your family members might offer useful insight into what’s going on with you. They can be part of the team to help you taper off.

As you kick opiates, you might need other types of therapy to supplement the place that opiates played in your life. Other medications might not be a good idea, but they work for some people.

Symptoms of Withdrawal

When you’re tapering off of opiates, your aim is to avoid experiencing withdrawal. Withdrawal could result in serious physical issues and medical problems that send you to the hospital. If they start giving you medication without realizing what was going on, you could have to start the whole process all over again.

If you notice uncontrollable restlessness or anxiety, you might be suffering withdrawal. Your pain often increases to such a point that you have trouble sleeping. If insomnia occurs and you can’t seem to get back on track, you might need intervention from a doctor.

One of the common feelings is GI related, and it’s a little different for everyone. There could be nausea, inability to eat, or vomiting, even if you haven’t eaten. Watch for extreme constipation or diarrhea.

Sweating might lead to fevers or a weakened immune system. If you end up getting a common cold, you could end up in medical care. Take your tapering off period seriously so that you avoid any of the tremors, heart rate, or extreme blood pressure changes that occur.

Have people around to talk to and to call. You want to avoid the kind of confusion and hallucinations that come along with withdrawal. It could put you in a dangerous situation.

Take Action

One of the best ways to counter the potential for withdrawal and to stay on your taper schedule is to find healthier ways to live. Some simple tips can make a huge difference when it comes to getting healthy and getting off of opiates.

Drinking more water and liquids seems simple, but it makes a huge difference. Only a small percentage of people are drinking enough water every day, with most people making it only a small part of their day. Drinking more water ensures that your whole internal system works better and even makes your skin look good.

If you haven’t been eating nutritious meals on a regular basis, it’s time to start now. It’ll get you back on track and feeling much better about life. When you’re full of good food, it’s hard to be unhappy.

If you’ve never meditated, find a friend to meditate with. Use this time for moderate exercise. Even long walks can be good if you’ve been dealing with a troubled immune or metabolic system for a long time.

Find ways to distract yourself with events. Go to a comedy show, out to see your favorite band, or even just make a regular movie night with friends. Having something to do on a regular basis and filling your schedule up helps to keep you away from a relapse.

Use as much positive self-talk as you need to get through it.

Build a Social Network

There are a lot of physiological issues to worry about, but they’ll only be helped or hindered by your social life.

While social media offers you one kind of social network, the kind that you need right now is a real in-person connection with friends. If you’ve damaged your relationships with friends and loved ones because of an addiction, now’s the time to build it back up again.

If you have frayed relationships, you need to work on repairing them. Talking with a therapist is a great way to start. If there’s a Narcotics Anonymous group in your area or something like it, connect there. Talk to your doctor and see what they can recommend.

If you have a religious community that you belong to, they’ll be happy to connect with you. If you’ve lost touch, reconnect with them now that you’re on a good path. You’ll find people who are excited to help you out. Anyone who is in recovery from addiction needs community support.

Now You Know How To Taper Off Opiates Without Withdrawal

Withdrawal is one of the scariest aspects of getting off of opiates. Once you’ve learned how to taper off opiates without withdrawal, you’ll be on track to good health and a better future.

For inspiration, check out our guide to how celebrities have dealt with their addictions in the past.

You can also give us a call at (855) 976-2092 and we can help you find methadone treatment near you.


[1] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2019, January 22). Opioid Overdose Crisis. Retrieved from

[2] Plain Water, the Healthier Choice. (2019, February 4). Retrieved from

[3] Recovery and Recovery Support | SAMHSA – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2019, 30). Retrieved from


methadone detox

What to Expect: Symptoms of Methadone Withdrawal You’ll Encounter in Detox

Are you or a loved one thinking about quitting your methadone treatments cold turkey? Do you wonder about the symptoms of methadone withdrawal?

Methadone is a synthetic medication that is designed to help people withdraw from heroin. Doctors recommend that you stay on it for at least one year, and never try to quit suddenly.

If you need more information about methadone, this article’s for you. We’ll share the ins and outs of methadone detox and get you connected to a rehab center.

Is Methadone an Opioid?

Every year, more than 65,000 people overdose on drugs. Surprisingly, about two-thirds of all drug overdoses involve opioids.

Opioids are man-made chemicals that were over-prescribed starting in the late 1990s. Drug manufacturers promised doctors that their patients wouldn’t get addicted.

Flash forward 20 years and there are about 2 million Americans struggling with opioid addiction. Opioids include methadone, codeine, hydrocodone, and Demerol.

Opioids are also referred to as “narcotics.” They are strictly controlled by pharmacies and are never sold over the counter.

The scary thing about opioid addiction is how easy it is to get these drugs. Instead of having to find opioids on the street, patients can simply fill their prescriptions.

Methadone is an “opiate agonist,” which means that it combats the highs associated with opiates. It has the potential to be abused, however, and methadone withdrawal can be brutal.

Signs of Opioid Addiction

If you’re wondering how to tell if your loved one is taking methadone, there are some telltale signs.

The most important thing to keep an eye on is your loved one’s weight. Most drug addiction will cause weight loss, but how much is too much?

In general, you’re looking for rapid, unexplained weight loss. Your loved one may have lost the desire to eat, or they may only eat at certain times of day.

This could be an indication that they’re waiting to “come down” from their high.

Another sign of opioid addiction is increased blood flow to the face. Opioids make addicts appear to be blushing, though the redness could spread to the entire face.

Methadone users might also have dramatic personality changes. They could become overly sensitive to light and noise.

They might also become angry after a few days if they don’t have access to their drugs.

If you suspect that your loved one is addicted to prescription painkillers, you might want to look into rehab options. Often, insurance will cover the majority of the program.

Rehabilitation facilities allow your loved one to detox at their own pace. They can relax, get some sleep, and create a new future for themselves.

Common Symptoms of Methadone Withdrawal

Supervised rehab is much better than going through methadone withdrawal cold turkey. While the first week is the roughest, withdrawal symptoms can extend for weeks.

The first thing that happens during methadone detox is a feeling of restlessness and anxiety. These symptoms can last up to three days.

At first, your loved one might also perspire more than usual and be unable to sleep.

Once they make it past the three-day mark, their methadone symptoms may be more intense. They may have uncontrolled cravings for opioids, severe diarrhea, and extended periods of vomiting.

Those are the most common symptoms in the first week. Once your loved one has fully detoxed, they are much more vulnerable to an accidental overdose.

They might try to take a large dosage but not have that kind of tolerance built up.

Benefits of Supervised Rehabilitation

In general, it’s better to undergo supervised rehab instead of quitting on their own.

That way, your loved one is in a safe environment where they’re able to access therapy and the proper medication.

If the plan is to slowly decrease the methadone dosage, you should know that the tapering process takes about 12 weeks. Again, it’s best to consult a doctor.

If you’ve been prescribed an opioid for pain management, you might want to avoid taking it. There are other options for people with chronic pain, and the cost of addiction is too high.

Getting addicted to prescription medication can happen to anyone. If it’s your family member, you might be shocked at first.

It’s natural to be surprised at your loved one’s drug abuse, but don’t let them tell you they’ll quit on their own. They’re going to need a supportive environment to get better.

Risks of Long-Term Opioid Addiction

It’s never too late to get started on treatment for opioid addiction. Even if your loved one has been abusing prescription medication for years, it’s still possible to get treatment.

There are doctors and treatment facilities that would rather help patients remain on methadone. They may not discuss the option to detox from methadone.

If detoxing is the goal, make sure you speak with your doctor.

Overdosing in methadone is a very real possibility, and it’s a bad idea to mix the drug with alcohol. Pregnant women can cause damage to their fetuses by withdrawing from the drug, resulting in miscarriage or death.

If a woman uses methadone during her pregnancy, she also runs the risk of having a baby with an addiction.

More risks of long-term opioid abuse include learning disabilities, memory problems, and attention issues. Opioid abuse can also impact the lungs and heart.

How to Avoid Relapsing on Opioids

Once you get past all of the uncomfortable symptoms of methadone withdrawal, it’s time to plan the rest of your life. If you’ve been having a problem with prescription medication, let this article be your intervention.

Again, you might be surprised at the services your insurance will cover. Time is of the essence when you’re talking about opioids, especially since the next dose could be fatal.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, take a few minutes and have a look at our blog. We have comprehensive information about methadone and can help you find a rehab facility in your local area.

If you’ve got questions, send us a quick email online or cal us at 855-976-2092. We’re happy to help you in your journey to recovery.


[1] Understanding the Epidemic | Drug Overdose | CDC Injury Center. (2018, December 19). Retrieved from

[2] Genetics Home Reference. (2017, November). Opioid addiction. Retrieved from

[3] Possible Harmful Effects From Prolonged Use Of Methadone. (2011, March 24). Retrieved from

[4] What Is Methadone: Side Effects, Uses, Risks. (2017, August 30). Retrieved from