Is Methadone Treatment in Rehab Obsolete?

For opiate addicts, such as those addicted to heroin, opium or synthetic opiates such as hydrocodone, methadone has allowed them to cease use of the addictive substance without painful withdrawal symptoms while they are in rehab. Once a person in rehab has been on methadone for awhile, treatment protocols vary. Some rehabs taper a person off methadone and some will keep a person on maintenance treatment, meaning that the person may be on methadone for the rest of their lives.

In recent years, some opiate addiction rehabs are campaigning for a change in methadone treatment guidelines, stating that this indefinite maintenance with methadone is the best idea. One study from 2000 found that 80% of those who quit methadone treatment relapse within three years. Some practitioners may consider this a reason to keep opiate addicts on methadone indefinitely but some see a different logic.

“If a person’s only choice is addiction to an opiate or taking methadone prescribed by a doctor, then methadone might be a logical form of treatment,” stated Derry Hallmark, Director of Admissions and a at Narconon Arrowhead. Narconon is one of the country’s leading drug and alcohol rehab centers, located in Canadian, Oklahoma. “What many people don’t know is that they have the choice of the tolerable withdrawal process that is offered at the Narconon Arrowhead rehab.” At Narconon, the withdrawal phase of rehab is followed by a precise, proven method of detoxification that for many, results in greatly lowered or even eliminated cravings.

Mr. Hallmark went on to read from the statements of people who had used the Narconon program to overcome addiction. “One person who recently went through the withdrawal step had this to say when he was done: ‘I have withdrawn from heroin many times. I would definitely say that I had the quickest and easiest detox ever here at Narconon. I feel extremely good considering it has been less than a week since I last used drugs.’ And a person who completed our detoxification stated, “I will not and do not crave the drugs that controlled me for two years. My life and future are up to me now.’ These people did not require methadone or other drugs as part of their rehab to help them overcome their opiate addiction. What they did was learn to live a live completely free from drugs. Seven out of ten of our graduates maintain a drug-free life after graduation, using this program.”