Methadone-Treatment

About Methadone Maintenance Treatment

Methadone maintenance treatment is one treatment option for substance use disorder for opioids. The treatment method is called opioid substitution therapy.

About Methadone Maintenance Treatment

Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT), helps to prevent opioid withdrawal and prevents or eliminates drug cravings. This treatment was first developed in the 1960′s. It involves the prescription of methadone as an alternative to the opiate which a person is addicted to. Central to MMT is the provision of counselling, case management and other medical services to help the patient change addictive behaviour and get back on their feet.

Methadone belongs to the opioid family of drugs. It is most commonly used to treat addiction to other opiates such as heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone (OxyContin), and hydromorphone (Dilaudid). It is a synthetic opioid meaning it is made with chemicals in a lab rather than being derived from plants like heroine. Methadone was first developed during the second world war in Germany to provide pain relief. Methadone is described as an "agonist" because it binds to neural receptors in the brain to help block the pain response - mimicking the body's natural euphoric response.

How the MMT Program Works

The program is based on an Outpatient Harm Reduction Model, and consists of 5 steps:

  • An initial intake interview and registration
  • A physician consultation, medical examination, and laboratory tests where appropriate
  • Creation of a personalized treatment plan
  • Dispensing a regular daily dose of methadone, which is generally taken under observation
  • Personal counselling and regular medical and drug testing follow-up throughout the course of treatment

How Methadone is Taken

Methadone is taken orally and is diluted with Tang. When you first start the program, you will be asked to drink your medication at the Respect pharmacy daily.
As you stabilize your dose, and progress in the treatment program, you may be eligible for some take-home doses.

Take-home doses of methadone should be refrigerated. It is your responsibility to store them safely to make sure the medication is not taken by anyone else, especially a child, or a non-opiate dependent person, for whom it may be lethal.

Benefits of Methadone Maintenance Treatment

Research indicates that Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT) is effective in:

  • Reducing the use of opioids and other substances (including some narcotics like cocaine)
  • Reducing the incidence and risk of criminal activity related to drug use
  • Reducing mortality and improving life-expectancy
  • Reducing risk related to injection
  • Reducing other risk behaviours for the transmission of HIV and other STDs
  • Reducing the risk of Hepatitis C and other blood-borne pathogens
  • Improving physical and mental health
  • Improving social functioning and quality of life
  • Improving pregnancy outcomes
Back to Opioid Addiction
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Call Us
Ottawa:
613-763-6882
Cornwall
613-703-0270
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