Ideally, in a perfect world, opioid addicts seeking treatment would simply go through detox and be free of drug addiction forever. However, this rarely happens. Addiction is increasingly being understood as a chronic brain disease that persists even when an addict is "clean." This is probably why relapses (or even complete failures at detoxification) are common.
Methadone presents a "real-world" solution. It provides significant benefits to people addicted to opioids as well as to society in general.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Methadone maintenance treatment (February 2002). CDC Web site. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/idu/facts/MethadoneFin.pdf. Accessed June 15, 2009.
Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Methadone (April 2000). ONDCP Web site. Available at: http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/publications/pdf/ncj175678.pdf. Accessed June 15, 2009.
The Division of Pharmacologic Therapies (DPT) of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). About the new SAMHSA regulations for methadone treatment. SAMHSA Web site. Available at: http://www.dpt.samhsa.gov/patients/pscep/Faq.htm#3. Accessed June 15, 2009.
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