Methadone is classified as an opioid analgesic and schedule II controlled substance. It is fully synthetic and long-acting, which makes it different from short-acting opioids like heroin.
Opioid analgesics are a class of strong painkillers that can be physically and psychologically addicting, particularly with chronic use or misuse.
Methadone is a long-acting opioid agonist. This means its effects last longer, and it stays in the system longer than short-acting drugs like heroin.
What To Know About Methadone
Methadone is a drug that is prescribed to treat around-the-clock pain. It is also used as a medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder.
For over 40 years, methadone has been used to treat heroin addiction. It is one of the oldest and most effective treatments for opioid dependence and addiction.
What Does Methadone Do?
Methadone can effectively curb opioid cravings and eliminate opioid withdrawal symptoms in people with opioid use disorder.
Uses for methadone include:
- relieving pain
- treating opioid use disorder in pregnant patients
- opioid replacement therapy
- medication-assisted treatment (MAT)
Methadone is often taken long-term as a maintenance medication. Its use is recommended as one component of a full opioid addiction treatment program.
Is Methadone Safer Than Other Opioids?
Taking methadone isn’t risk-free, but it is safe to take when taken as directed by a doctor. Its use is also closely monitored.
For many, methadone can be life-changing. It can help people who have struggled with opioid addiction regain balance and normalcy in their life.
Call Today To Find Methadone Treatment Today
Methadone is one of the leading treatments for opioid addiction alongside behavioral therapy, substance abuse counseling, and other support services.
If you’re looking for addiction treatment for yourself or a loved one, call our helpline today to find opioid addiction treatment options near you.
Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.
These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) — Methadone
- U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) — Medications To Treat Opioid Use Disorder Research Report
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus — Methadone