Q&A: resources for Methadone/ Opiate Replacement Therapy debate?

Question by sweetpotato: resources for Methadone/ Opiate Replacement Therapy debate?
Hello. I am writing a research paper about the debate about opiate replacement therapy vs. abstinence of drugs to treat addiction. Basically, the question is whether or not someone is really clean if they are receiving medication to help them ease of illegal drugs. I am having trouble finding scholarly journals or articles about this subject. I am trying to find a very reliable, well-researched source, possibly with studies included. Any help in finding one would be appreciated.


Best answer:

Answer by gelenachka
No they just get high off of the replacement instead. Not Clean

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One Comment on "Q&A: resources for Methadone/ Opiate Replacement Therapy debate?"

  1. J Miller
    10/03/2014 at 12:18 am Permalink

    Here is an article that is pretty much about the topic you are looking for (I think): http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02791072.2011.605706
    Unfortunately you have to pay to read the full thing but if you want to you can send a message to the author through this site: http://atwatchdog.lefora.com/members/hwy_dave/ . He’s a PhD student and has done a lot of research about methadone maintenance issues. He may be able to direct you to other studies as well. You have to sign up for the site to message him.
    You may want to look for some of the old studies done by Dr Vincent Dole and Dr Nyswander.

    I don’t think that any studies can answer your question though. It’s so subjective. Some people consider taking any medication not being clean while others thinks that you are clean as long as you are not abusing drugs that caused problems for you. It depends on how you define “clean”. In my opinion being clean is not abusing drugs. Taking a medication as prescribed does not mean that you are not clean. Addiction is a neurobiological disorder and methadone is a medication that treats that disorder. It’s no different than taking Lithium of you’re bi-polar or insulin of you’re diabetic.
    Methadone does not make a maintained patient “high” as the other, clearly ignorant, poster claimed. It simply stabilizes the brain while attacking to the opiate receptors which removes any cravings or desire to use opiates if it’s used at a proper dose. Dose it very important. If the dose is too low it will not work. But at a proper dose the patient will stop using illicit opiates and start feeling and functioning normally.
    The common argument against methadone maintenance is that it doesn’t make sense to give an opioid to an opioid addict but that just shows a lack of understanding of how methadone works in the body and what addiction really is.

    The theory of abstinence is fine. The problem is that it doesn’t work. AA/NA has a success rate of about 5% which is about the same as the rate of spontaneous recovery. Addiction is a brain disorder and that has to be treated in order to achieve lasting results. Sure, any addict can stay away from drugs for a while but since the intense cravings, obsession and compulsion that is addiction remains the addict will eventually relapse. But methadone “satisfies the hunger”, as I like to put it, removing the need or desire to use. If a person is not using illicit drugs and just take one prescribed dose of a medication once a day I think it’s rather obvious that that person is clean. Just like a cancer patient taking morphine for pain is clean.

    I’ve been clean with the help of methadone for eight years and I feel and live like anyone else, completely normal. To me methadone is just a medication like any other medication.

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