Opioid Maintenance Therapy encompasses a variety of pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment modalities, including the therapeutic use of methadone to psychopharmacologically occupy opiate receptors in the brain.
When methadone is taken daily in adequate doses:
– Opiate euphoria is absent and opiate withdrawal symptoms are eliminated
– Craving for opiates is effectively diminished.
– Methadone “blocks” the effects of heroin and other opiate drugs, rendering ineffective attempts to take them to achieve euphoria.
– The ability to focus on daily life activities and goals is restored.
– Methadone is metabolized over 24 to 26 hours, about six times longer than heroin or other short-acting opiates.