Treating opioid addiction with other opioids?
Surprisingly, it works. Methadone is a FDA-approved opioid drug long used to treat opioid addiction. When used as part of a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) plan, methadone is safe and effective.
When used in a clinical setting, methadone helps reduce opioid withdrawal and cravings. It also blocks or reduces the euphoric effects of other opioid drugs, denying users the “high” which drives addictive behaviors.
Outside of a regulated environment, methadone abuse is a serious problem. A powerful opioid drug which is also addictive, methadone can still produce limited euphoric effects which drive addiction.
Methadone is also a painkiller, and like other prescription opioids it can be abused and act as a “gateway drug” to other opioids.
Methadone withdrawal can be unpleasant and difficult, like all other opioid drugs. Professional, clinically-monitored detox is a must when recovering from methadone abuse.