When To Start Taking Methadone

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D on December 29, 2021

Methadone is a medication that is FDA-approved for the treatment of opioid use disorder. People who are dependent on opioids can begin taking methadone under the clinical supervision of a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) practitioner.

When To Start Taking Methadone

Methadone is an opioid addiction medication that can be started before or after detoxification as a medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder.

People with opioid dependence do not need to detox before starting methadone. Methadone can be given to people with opioid dependency through an opioid treatment program (OTP).

Learn more about taking methadone for maintenance therapy

Where You Can Get Methadone

Under federal law, methadone can only be dispensed through an opioid treatment program that is certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

What this might look like:

  • a methadone clinic
  • an addiction treatment facility
  • other medication-assisted treatment (MAT) practitioner

Methadone can be started before a person has detoxed from their opioid of abuse and can be continued for as long as it benefits their addiction recovery.

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How To Know If You’re Eligible For Methadone Treatment

Methadone is prescribed for pain relief and as a medication-assisted treatment for severe dependence on opioid drugs such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, heroin, and fentanyl.

Signs of opioid dependence include:

  • continuing to take opioids despite negative health consequences
  • going to multiple doctors to get opioid prescriptions
  • experiencing withdrawal symptoms with a missed dose
  • constantly thinking about taking or getting more opioids
  • needing higher doses of opioids to feel the same effects
  • giving up activities previously enjoyed using opioids
  • being unable to stop taking opioids despite having a desire to

Finding Methadone Maintenance Treatment

Methadone is an effective treatment for opioid addiction. It is generally offered as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for drug addiction.

Methadone can effectively:

  • reduce opioid cravings
  • relieve opioid withdrawal symptoms
  • help prevent relapse to opioid drug use

Call us today to learn more about methadone maintenance treatment, and to find a treatment center that offers methadone treatment options near you.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D on December 29, 2021
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