German scientists Max Bockmühl and Gustav Ehrhart first synthesized methadone in 1937. The synthetic opioid analgesic was created while they were searching for a pain reliever that would be safe to use during surgeries and had a low potential for addiction. On September 11, 1941, they filed for a patent for what they called Hoechst 10820 or Polamidon. Eli Lilly and Company brought methadone to the United Stated in 1947. They gave it the trade name Dolophine, which came from the German Dolphium, which came from the Latin "dolor" for pain (Wikipedia).
Methadone is mainly used to treat addiction to narcotics, but may also be used to manage chronic pain. Methadone was not used to treat heroin addiction until the mid 1960s. Drs. Vincent Dole and Marie Nyswander's experiments showed that the craving for heroin was blocked by methadone. Methadone acts on the opioid receptors and creates some of the same effects as morphine or heroin. While the user does not get high, methadone keeps them from suffering the effects of withdrawal (Wikipedia). Methadone is usually taken orally, either by mixing liquid or powdered methadone with orange juice or Tang; or in pill form. Methadone can also be taken in an IV (Simpson 30). The human body metabolizes methadone slowly; it has a half-life of twenty-four to forty-eight hours. This means that methadone only has to be administered once a day to patients (Wikipedia). Heroin addicts can then have a normal life, because they are no longer high all the time and do not suffer from withdrawal. The only problem is that methadone is even more addictive than heroin. Users who abruptly stop using methadone will still suffer from withdrawal, but less severely (Simpson 13-15).
People have argued that methadone treatment does not help the drug problem. It only switches their addiction from one drug to another. Morphine does the exact same thing methadone does, but without the addicting properties. However, methadone only...
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