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Treatment of Heroin with Methadone vs. without Drugs

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beerThere has been much talk in the past about the best way to help addicts come clean from heroin, with some people arguing for the use of drugs like methadone to treat patients, and other people holding firm to the idea that you can’t successfully treat a drug addiction with a drug.

Unfortunately, there is not enough evidence to conclude that either way is better.  Numbers do show that the use of methadone is successful in getting patients to give up heroin, but then the patient does not really end up being drug-free because they are addicted to the methadone.

History of Heroin
Heroin has been around for a long time, and is currently grown around the world, with large supplies in the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America.  The drug had been a problem in the United States for decades, but the Nixon administration actively tried to diminish supplies of heroin when he declared a war on drugs in the 1970′s.  It was during this time that methadone maintenance treatments came to light, and experiments were done to measure its effectiveness.  However, incomplete data recording, complex situations of treatment, and inconclusive evidence have all aided in the differing of opinions that we have today.

Heroin Withdrawal
What we do know is that heroin is a hard drug to beat.  The addict’s body quickly becomes so dependent on the substance that to go without it would mean a severe withdrawal.  Nausea, vomiting, pain, sweating, fatigue, depression and insomnia are what an addict goes through when trying to quit.  But, if a patient is put on methadone when stopping the heroin, the symptoms are not nearly as bad.  The patient will need to work to withdraw from the methadone, but that can often happen over weeks or months.

Another thing we know is that addicts that are required to quit heroin without the use of medication are less likely to stay in treatment than those that are assisted by drugs such as methadone.  Perhaps it gets to be too big of a task before them to be rid of drugs completely, but whatever the reason, more heroin users will stay in treatment if it involves using methadone or another medication.

Methadone Treatment Facilities
Many drug treatment facilities have built their programs around these pieces of information.  By using medications such as methadone, physicians are able to ease the withdrawal symptoms and to keep the addict in treatment.  Facilities may not be able to come up with statistics that say their patients have completed their program and are clean and drug-free, but that they are heroin-free.  According to many, this is a better alternative.  Many facilities work to help their patients become responsible members of society, by keeping a job or taking care of their family, something heroin addicts find almost impossible.  For those patients that require the use of methadone to achieve those goals, the benefit of living a normal life is worth it.

Schneider, Eric The War on Drugs Redux 1-12-09

Mooney, Bette From Yale to Jail

Mattick, RP Methadone maintenance therapy versus no opioid replacement therapy for opioid dependence

http://wwwdasis.samhsa.gov/teds05/TEDSD2k5Hi.htm

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jaredm

This article was written by Jared More

As the Director of Interactive Marketing for American Addiction Centers I am a forward thinking and big picture focused Online Marketing Specialist. Online marketing must be an organizational objective and cannot be compartmentalized into a specific field of pursuit. My objective is to build integrated teams of advertising, technical and marketing professionals that can inspire and influence entire organizations. Successful online marketing requires a group of talented professionals that truly enjoy and are very good at what they do, working together toward common goals. Often companies have disconnected teams of paid advertisers, technical folks, content development and organic marketers. A team that works together on paid, organic, social and traditional channels that also has the technical ability to make changes on the fly is a team that will quickly generate more exposure and revenue for their company. This cohesive approach allows for exponential growth in the rapidly changing digital space. I currently have the pleasure of working exclusively for American Addiction Centers, a rapidly growing leader in the addiction treatment space. American Addiction Centers has a fast paced, challenging and innovative marketing team that is an exciting place to be a part of.

2 comments:

VALNovember 16, 2009 at 9:48 amReply

MY ONLY CHILD, KEVIN, DIED 29TH NOVEMBER,2008 AGED 23 YEARS. HE CONFESSED TO ME ON THE WEDNESDAY NIGHT BEFORE HE DIED, HE HAD SMOKED HEROIN TWICE THAT WEEK.
I WAS SHOCKED AND HORRIFIED. I HAD BROUGHT KEVIN UP ON MY OWN, AND I THOUGHT WE WERE TURNING A CORNER IN OUR LIVES. I HAD GOT A NEW JOB TWO WEEKS PRIOR, AND ON 5TH NOVEMBER, 2008 KEVIN HAD WON AN APPRENTICESHIP. HE WAS ONE OF TWO CHOSEN FOR AN AMES TAPER (CONSTRUCTION WORK) OUT OF 30 PEOPLE. THAT IS WHY I WAS SHOCKED HE HAD SMOKED HEROIN. HE WORKED SO HARD TO GET THIS APPRENTICESHIP. I KNEW HE HAD SMOKED CANNABIS SINCE 17 WITH HIS MATES AT WEEKENDS. I HATED HIM DOING THAT, BUT PEOPLE SAID IT WAS HARMLESS, SO I KINDA TURNED A BLIND EYE. UNKNOWN TO ME, HE STARTED HANGING OUT WITH A GIRL 2-3 WEEKS BEFORE HIS DEATH, WHO WAS KNOWN FOR HER HEROIN ADDICTION AND DEALING. ON FRIDAY 28TH NOV 2008, SHE INJECTED HEROIN INTO KEVIN’S ARM. SHE ADMITS IT, SHE HAS TO BECAUSE HE WAS RIGHT HANDED AND THE INJECTION WAS IN HIS RIGHT ARM. SHE ALSO SUPPLIED HIM WITH 5 GABAPATIN TABLETS. SHE SAID HE BEGGED HER TO INJECT HIM. I’LL NEVER ACCEPT OR UNDERSTAND KEVIN’S DEATH. I AM SO HEARTBROKEN AND DEVASTED. WHEN HE DIED, I DIED TOO. I GO INTO MY LOCAL CHEMIST EVERY WEEK NOW FOR MY AMITRIPTYLINE ANTI DEPRESSIVES, MY DIAZAPAM AND A DRUG TO STOP MY HALLUCINATIONS DURING THE NIGHT,QUETIAPINE. KEVIN DIED IN MY BEDROOM IN MY BED!!!! WHEN I GO IN MY LOCAL CHEMIST THERE IS ALWAYS SOMEONE THERE TO GET THEIR SUPPLY OF MORPHINE. I USED TO THINK WHAT A SHAME FOR THESE PEOPLE, DEPENDING ON DRUGS TO LIVE. BUT NOW I ENVY THEM, AS I WOULD GIVE ANYTHING FOR KEVIN TO BE IN THERE GETTING MORPHINE THAN 6 FEET UNDER. AND MY LIFE HAS NOW TURNED INTO DRUGS, BENEFITS AND COURT TRIALS. I WAS LUCKY TO HAVE A FULL TIME JOB FOR 34 YEARS, AND OWN MY FLAT. EVERYTHING I DID WAS FOR KEVIN. I WANTED TO LEAVE HIM WITH MONEY AND A HOME WHEN I DIED. BUT WHATS THE POINT NOW !!! IN ONE NIGHT HE CROSSED THE THRESHOLD AND NEVER CAME BACK …….. I FEEL LIKE A TOTAL FAILURE AS A MOTHER, AND INTEND GOING WITH KEVIN ONCE HIS TRIAL IS OVER. SHE IS CHARGED WITH CULPABLE HOMICIDE. I KNOW KEVIN MUST TAKE SOME RESPONSIBILITY FOR HIS DEATH, BUT SHE NEVER INJECTS HERSELF AND SHOULD NEVER HAVE DONE IT TO KEVIN. SHE GOT THE KIT. AND SHE LEFT HIM TO DIE FOR AN HOUR OR SO BEFORE SHE CALLED 999. NOTHING WILL EVER BRING KEVIN BACK TO ME. IF SHE DOES GET A SENTENCE, MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, IT WILL SAVE A LIFE BECAUSE OTHER WILL KNOW TO STEER CLEAR OF HER. WHILE AT A BEREAVEMENT COUNSILLOR, I SAW THIS POEM, AND THOUGH I’D COPY IT, BECAUSE SOMEONE MIGHT BENEFIT FROM IT :

~~~~~~~~~~ A MESSAGE FROM LADY HAROIN ~~~~~~~~~

SO NOW, YOUNG MAN, YOU’VE GROWN TIRED OF GRASS,
COCAINE, DOWNERS, ACID AND HASH.
SOMEONE YOU THOUGHT WAS A FRIEND TOOK YOU IN
INTRODUCING YOU TO ME, LADY HEROIN.

WELL HONEY, BEFORE YOU START FOOLING WITH ME,
JUST LET ME INFORM YOU OF HOW IT WILL BE.
I WILL SEDUCE YOU AND MAKE YOU MY SLAVE,
I’VE SENT STRONGER MEN THAN YOU TO THEIR GRAVE.

YOU THINK YOU COULD NEVER BE A DISGRACE,
AND END UP AN ADDICT TO POPPY SEED WASTE.
YOU’LL SWINDLE YOUR MOTHER, JUST FOR A BUCK,
AND TURN INTO SOMETHING VILE AND CORRUPT.
YOU’LL ROB AND YOU’LL STEAL FOR MY NARCOTIC CHARMS,
AND ONLY FIND PEACE WHILE I’M THERE IN YOUR ARMS.
AND WHEN YOU REALISE THE MONSTER YOU’VE GROWN,
YOU’LL SOLEMNLY PLEDGE TO LEAVE ME ALONE.

YOU MAY THINK YOU’VE GOT THE MYSTICAL KNACK,
BUT, HONEY, TRY GETTING ME OFF YOUR BACK.
THE VOMITS, THE CRAMPS, YOUR GUTS TIED IN KNOTS,
NERVES SCREAMING OUT FOR THOSE MUCH NEEDED SHOTS.
THE HOT SWEATS, THE COLD CHILLS, THE WITHDRAWAL PAINS,
CAN ONLY BE CURED BY MY LITTLE BROWN GRAINS.
YOU GAVE ME YOUR CONSCIENCE, YOUR MORALS, YOUR HEART,
YOU’RE MINE NOW FOREVER, TILL DEATH DO US PART.

annajacksonMay 30, 2012 at 9:46 amReply

Very informative post. I really like it because I get to know many thing and information about Treatment of Heroin with Methadone. Use of any chemical substance comes in the category of drug addiction. These drug addicts problems can only be cured by taking good drug rehabilitation center.

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