By Addiction Treatment Magazine
For years state governments have been treating heroin addicts with Methadone, a drug that uses the same receptors in our brains that heroin would use and has some of the same effects (without the same level of euphoria), thus eliminating painful heroin withdrawal symptoms. Because Methadone blocks the “high” of any heroin ingested while Methadone is present, it effectively eliminates a user’s desire to take heroin. Methadone maintenance programs are big business in the United States, run by for-profit corporations and supplied by leading pharmaceutical companies.
Although methadone programs claim that heroin users will eventually be able to also stop taking Methadone, this has not been the experience of the majority of patients. In fact, many addiction professionals consider Methadone to be just as addictive as heroin, meaning those on Methadone maintenance programs simply switch from being addicted to heroin to being addicted to Methadone. Because Methadone still produces a “high”, users will try to abuse it on order to get the same effect as heroin. It is considered to be a “full agonist”. This is great for the companies that run Methadone clinics – this is a serious drug subject to overdose and abuse and cannot be prescribed in a doctor’s office.