Methadone Maintenance

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Southwestern Assemblies of God University

School of Distance Education

Methadone Treatment Programs are Effective in Stopping Heroin Use

A Paper Presented to

Professor Loyd Uglow, Ph.D

In Partial Fulfillment of

The Requirements for the Course

THE 5113 Research Literature and Technology

Sharon Pete

November 28, 2012

THESIS STATEMENT: To investigate Methadone maintenance is found to be more effective in treating heroin addiction than 180 day detoxification. The objective is how methadone maintenance, a widely used but controversial method of weaning heroin addicts off the drug—with counseling has psychosocially enriched 180 day methadone assisted detoxification.

OUTLINE

I. INTRODUCTION

A. History of Heroin

B. History of withdrawals

II. How Methadone is used to treat Heroin?

III. Research Findings

IV. CONCLUSION

V. Work Cited

Methadone Treatment Programs are Effective in Stopping Heroin Use

Substitution treatment or maintenance pharmacotherapy programs using methadone are today the most sought after and effective form of treatment for opiate addiction and dependence. Because methadone is a long-acting opiate whose dosage can be stabilized, it is well suited for daily administration and has proven effective in the elimination of narcotic craving, a driving force behind continued heroin use. And, because it can be administered orally, methadone dramatically reduces heroin injecting frequency and, with it, associated risks for HIV and other blood-borne pathogens.

Methadone Treatment Effectiveness
The clinical effectiveness of methadone is most commonly measured by its retention of patients in care and by reductions in heroin use as well as improvements in social outcomes, for example, employment, family integration, and reduced arrests and incarceration for criminal offenses [00]. Both randomized trials and observational studies [5,48-59] have determined that methadone maintenance retains patients at levels two to four times that of other treatment modalities (in other words,75%, 12-month retention) [16], and the longer patients remain in treatment, the better the results. For example, for those in treatment more than 24 months, methadone reduces the use of heroin to levels below 15% of those in the period immediately before treatment [16]. Conversely, even among those who have greatly reduced their heroin use while in methadone treatment, over 80% relapse to heroin use when they leave treatment [13]. The most basic public-health benefit of methadone treatment can be seen in the reduction of mortality rates among Intravenous Drug Users, who remain in treatment, observed in randomized clinical trials [11], and later follow-up [18]. History of Heroin

Heroin has been around for a long time, and is currently grown around the world, with most of the largest supply coming from the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America. The drug had been a problem in the United States for decades, causing the Nixon administration to actively tried to diminish supplies of heroin, when he declared a war on drugs in the 1970s. It was during this time that methadone maintenance treatments came to light, and experiments were done to measure its effectiveness. However, incomplete data recording, complex situations of treatment, and inconclusive evidence have all aided in the difference of opinions that some studies have today. Heroin Withdrawal

What we do know is that heroin is a hard drug to beat. The addict’s body quickly becomes so dependent on the substance that to go without it would mean a severe withdrawal. The withdrawals can start as soon as the next day without any heroin use. Nausea, vomiting, pain, sweating, fatigue, depression and insomnia are what an addict goes through when trying to quit. But, if a patient is put on methadone when stopping the heroin, the symptoms are not nearly as bad. The patient will need to work to withdraw from...
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