Methadone replacement therapy is becoming more common as a treatment for heroin addiction and other forms of opioid abuse, but does this method actually work and lead to a full and permanent recovery? There are medical professionals who believe in this type of treatment, but there are also those who believe that methadone replacement therapy for heroin addiction simply switches one form of substance abuse for another. Methadone is an opiate drug just like many prescription pain medications and heroin, and this therapy replaces the opioid drug of choice with methadone. This is usually performed on an outpatient basis, and the ideal dose is calculated during the initial intake procedures. The goal is to flood the opiate receptors in the brain of the user so that they do not have the cravings associated with heroin addiction or frequent prescription pain medication abuse.
Methadone replacement therapy can be beneficial in dealing with heroin addiction for many reasons. These programs have medical oversight so the chance of the user overdosing and dying is eliminated as long as other drugs are not used. The individual with the heroin addiction can start to live a somewhat normal life, but they must continue to take the methadone replacement therapy each day or they will start to crave heroin or other desired opiate drugs again. Without counseling and other forms of treatment that actually address the causes of the heroin addiction any methadone replacement therapy is simply a temporary measure though, and the heroin addiction will not be resolved.