Questions About Methadone Maintenance Treatment (MMT)

1. Is methadone is the most effective treatment for heroin addiction?
Yes. Compared to the other major drug treatment modalities methadone is the most rigorously studied and has yielded the best results.
2. How often do patients take a dose of methadone?
Once a day oral doses of, methadone suppress narcotic withdrawal for 24 to 36 hours.
3. Does methadone maintenance treatment prevent HIV/AIDS?
Methadone maintenance treatment reduces the frequency of injecting and needle sharing which can reduce the risk among once IV drug users. Methadone treatment centers also provide an opportunity to learn about preventing HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and other health problems that endanger drug users.
4. How does methadone maintenance treatment cost compare to alternatives?
MMT is a cost-effective alternative to incarceration. On average a patient will spend about $4,000 each year, or approximately $13 per day. Incarceration costs $20,000 to $40,000 per year. Residential drug treatment programs can range from $13,000 to $20,000 per year, but only 5 to 10 percent of that cost is for methadone maintenance treatment.
5. How does methadone work?
The proper dose of methadone staves off withdrawal and reduces cravings by stabilizing blood levels. Methadone occupies a brain receptor taking the place of the opiate and creates a stabilizing effect giving an addict an opportunity to discontinue opiate use. Methadone reduces the cravings and blocks the high so that patients don’t experience extreme highs and lows.
6. Does methadone make patients "high" or interfere with normal day-to-day functions?
No. The proper doses of methadone do not create a "rush" or "high." Nor does methadone have an adverse effect on motor skills, mental capacity, or employability.
7. Does methadone maintenance treatment last a lifetime?
The length of treatment time varies depending on the person. Some patients remain in treatment for several years and others for the rest of their lives. The latter only equals about 5 to 20 percent of patients.
8. How long should treatment last?
The length of treatment should positively relate to the individual’s needs. The patient and the doctor should have open conversations and be in agreement. In addition, federal and often state regulations require an annual evaluation to determine if a patient should continue in methadone maintenance treatment.
9. Is it safe to take methadone in pregnancy?
Yes. Methadone maintenance treatment during pregnancy does not impair a child's developmental and cognitive functioning. In fact, methadone maintenance treatment is the medically recommended course of treatment for opiate-dependent pregnant women.
10. Is methadone maintenance treatment appropriate for all drug users?
No. Methadone is a treatment only for opiate dependency. It is not an effective treatment for other drugs of abuse.
11. How do patients continue regular doses when traveling without take home medications?
Treatment centers around the nation are available for guest dosing. We can help you with guest dosing in (or near) the town you plan to visit.

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