One of the most effective ways to treat opioid use disorder is through the use of methadone. Methadone is an opioid agonist, which offers long-lasting relief from cravings for opioids, reduces withdrawal symptoms, and also dulls the effects of opioids, reducing the likelihood that the individual will use heroin or other opioids as there is a limited response to use. When people ask what methadone is used for, the easiest answer is to help end opioid addiction without some of the challenges that occur with non-medication assisted treatment options.
Most of our clients have several questions when starting a methadone treatment program. At Sunlight Medical Services, we take the time to answer questions, so our clients are comfortable, informed, and reassured that a methadone program is the right option.
Basic Questions and Answers
Some of the most common questions we hear at Sunlight Medical Services include how does methadone work, is methadone an opiate, what is methadone treatment, and is methadone addictive? The answers are important to know to make an informed decision for treatment. Methadone replaces the use of opioids by assisting with pain management, eliminating cravings for opioids, and eliminating the significant withdrawal symptoms. Methadone is a synthetic (manufactured) analgesic that is similar in action to morphine. It changes the response of the nervous system and the brain to reduce pain.
There is a risk of methadone addiction if the treatment is not managed, which is why our methadone clinic is an important part of the treatment and recovery process. Our medical and behavioral health staff work together to ensure methadone abuse is not a concern and to monitor any possible methadone effects.
Two other common questions are what happens if you take methadone, and what does methadone do to your body?
When used under our program supervision, methadone works on the brain’s chemistry like opioids, but it does not produce the high. It is legal, affordable, and helps to reduce cravings for opioids. As a highly controlled substance, it must be administered by a medical professional.
There are some possible methadone effects that can occur at the beginning of the treatment. These include sleep problems, vomiting, nausea, dry mouth, weight gain, menstrual cycle changes, sexual dysfunction, and constipation. Talking to your doctor and therapist or counselor at Sunlight Medical Services about any of these issues allows us to manage the dosage, reduce any side effects, and monitor for any risk of methadone abuse or overuse.