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Why Isn't Methadone More Accessible When It's So Beneficial?

7/16/18

Chicago methadone clinic

Opioid use disorder is a complex and chronic medical condition that claims the lives of many Americans every day. Up to 52,404 people died of accidental drug overdose in just 2015. And the number rises each year.

Despite these numbers, the most effective treatment for opioid addiction (methadone) is out of reach for many people. And when those suffering from opioid and heroin addiction are unable to access methadone clinics, they're unable to receive treatment.

Why isn't methadone more accessible?

Methadone treatments programs have proven to be the most effective treatment for opiate addiction for over 50 years. Vincent Dole, M.D., of Rockefeller University first developed the modern methadone program in the 1970s.

By 1971, his program in New York City was treating up to 25,000 people suffering from heroin addiction. Public controversy over the medication in 1973 that claimed the medication was trading one addiction for another led to today's strict government control over the prescription of methadone.

Methadone is the only opioid treatment approved by the FDA to be under strict regulations. Federal law requires methadone to be dispensed from clinics apart from the general health care system.

Because methadone clinics are separate from medical locations such as doctor's offices and hospitals, it can be challenging for everyday Americans to easily access treatment for opioid addiction.

What are the benefits of methadone treatments?

Methadone is one of the most effective treatments for heroin addiction for a reason. Programs have a success rate between 60% to 90%. This is because methadone treatments have many benefits such as:

  • Reducing withdrawal symptoms. Methadone blocks the pain receptors of the brain, which helps to reduce the intensity of withdrawal symptoms.

  • Reducing urges to use opioids. Methadone blocks the opioid receptors of the brain, which helps to reduce urges to use substances such as opioids and heroin.

  • Improving responsiveness to addiction treatment. Because methadone reduces withdrawal symptoms and compulsions to use opioids, you're able to better respond to addiction treatment because you're not focused on or distressed by your symptoms.

If you're suffering from addiction, a Chicago methadone clinic may be your best option for treatment. To learn more about treatment for opioid addiction and how methadone treatment centers work, contact your local Chicago methadone clinic at Sundance Methadone Treatment Center today.


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