what is Methadone/Suboxone Maintenance like?
For over 60 years Methadone maintenance has been the number one choice of treatment for individuals afflicted with opioid addiction or dependence. Intensive research studies have proven the effectiveness and safety of using Methadone in conjunction with medical supervision and therapy services.
How Does Methadone Work?
Methadone is an opioid, so it is able to stop the painful withdrawal symptoms and cravings by blocking receptors in the brain that are affected by the use of the following opioids:
- Oxycodone - OxyContin/ Roxicodone / Oxecta
- Oxycodone & Acetaminophen - Percocet / Roxicet
- Oxycodone & Aspirin - Percodan
- Hydrocodone & Acetaminophen - Vicodin / Lorcet / Norco / Lortab
- Hydromorphone - Dilaudid/ Exalgo
- Fentanyl - Actiq/ Fentora/ Duragesic
- Morphine - Kadian / Avinza / Astramorph
- Meperidine - Demerol
The effects of Methadone last between 24 and 36 hours. Drug cravings and harsh withdrawal symptoms are eliminated once a therapeutic dose of Methadone is reached. Under Dr. Adelman’s medical supervision, patients benefit from a single daily dose. However, dosage will be adjusted to the specific needs of each patient.
Suboxone, a combination of Buprenorphine and Naloxone, is a newer, effective and safe medication for opioid addiction. Like Methadone, Buprenorphine is an opioid; therefore, it will also eliminate cravings and withdrawal symptoms when a patient is taking an adequate dose level.
How Does Suboxone (Buprenorphine / Naloxone) Work?
Buprenorphine, the active opioid in Suboxone, is a “partial agonist,” which means that it does not activate the brain receptors to the same extent as Methadone, which is a full agonist.
Like all opioids, Buprenorphine can trigger euphoria and respiratory depression, but its maximal effects are less than those of full agonists. At a certain point, the increasing effects of partial agonists reach maximum levels,until they reach a plateau referred to as the “ceiling effect”. From an overdose perspective, the benefits of the “ceiling effect” with Buprenorphine establish the safety profile — less potential for abuse and lower risk of side effects than with full agonists.
Buprenorphine, like Methadone, creates a serious potential for dangerous drug-drug interactions. It must be used with extreme caution with other medications, in particular benzodiazepines and other sedatives. Therefore, it is of vital importance for patients to disclose to our medical staff any and all medications or drugs being used at the time treatment begins.
The choice between Methadone and Suboxone will vary, depending on each patient’s specific needs and circumstances. The first step in receiving Methadone maintenance or Suboxone treatment is to be assessed by our professional medical and counseling staff. Anyone struggling with an opioid addiction can receive an assessment for either type of intervention. Do not let fear stand in your way. At Add-Life Recovery Center our goal is to foster a caring and supportive environment as we assist those seeking help for their opioid addiction.