Methadone Treatment for Heroin Addiction

Heroin is a dangerous, even deadly drug. People who use heroin experience a wide range of crushing side effects. An addict might notice any number of symptoms from persistent itching to insomnia to depression and other mental health issues. Quitting heroin, however, is far from easy. It’s an extremely addictive substance, and willpower alone is rarely, if ever, enough to get rid of the habit. That doesn’t mean that you should give up hope. It just means that a heroin user who wants to quit will need a lot of support and treatment throughout the process, especially during the detox phase.

Heroin Withdrawal Symptoms

When the body detoxes from opioids, especially heroin, it experiences difficult and overwhelming symptoms. These symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and physical pain. After exposure to heroin, the brain begins to crave the dopamine rush. These unpleasant physical symptoms are part of the brain’s reaction to the sudden lack of dopamine. The symptoms are intense – so intense that many people relapse during this stage just to get relief from the pain.

However, the detox stage of recovery doesn’t have to be this intense. You can seek medical treatment to provide relief from heroin withdrawal symptoms. The most common of these medications is called methadone.

If you’re seeking any type of heroin recovery treatment, contact today! We can help you find the right treatment program to give you the best chance of success.


Methadone is an opioid intended for pain relief, but it is often also prescribed for the reduction of heroin withdrawal symptoms. When a doctor prescribes a withdrawal reduction medication, that medication will fall into one of three categories:

  • Agonists, or medications that activate the brain’s opiate receptors and mimic the effects of heroin,
  • Partial Agonists, which are essentially a weaker form of agonists, or
  • Antagonists, which block the brain’s reaction to opioids.

The type of medication that is right for you will depend on a number of different factors. Methadone falls under the agonist umbrella, so it temporarily replaces heroin until the patient can safely leave the detox stage of recovery.

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Is Methadone the Right Choice?

It might be. The best way to find your ideal treatment option is to work closely with a doctor. Methadone may be the choice your doctor thinks is best for you. Any treatment will have its benefits and complications, and you and your doctor will have to navigate those together. Here are some of the pros and cons of methadone:

The Benefits of Methadone Treatment

Methadone can greatly reduce all of the painful symptoms of heroin withdrawal. Because it is an opioid, it essentially takes the place of heroin. Meanwhile, the heroin can leave the patient’s system. The doctor who prescribed the methadone can help the patient gradually taper off the dosage until the brain no longer requires the opioids. The gradual process creates an easier, smoother recovery than if the heroin user had tried to quit without treatment.

If you’re seeking any type of heroin recovery treatment, contact today! Our compassionate counselors can help you find the right treatment program to give you the best chance of success.
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