Methadone for MAT - More Harm than Help?



For over a decade, methadone has been an accepted prescription for those suffering from opiate addiction. This medication is a powerful opiate all its own, but the structure of the MAT programs which utilize this particular drug are designed to hold addicts accountable for their actions, regularly drug testing before administering their daily dosage and not hesitating to withhold their medication if they test positive for an illicit substance. At first glance this seems like an effective means to keep addicts sober, but upon closer inspection methadone is far more harmful than it is helpful, rendering it a less than ideal solution as part of a MAT program.


Methadone is just as addictive as any other opiate, and the physical dependence formed on this substance is actually stronger than that of fentanyl or oxycodone. Withdrawal from methadone is a nightmarish experience, especially without medication assistance. It would seem then that methadone only serves as a replacement for street drugs, with all the same addiction problems still in place. Even if you were to attempt to work a program of recovery while on methadone, the mind altering nature and physical dependence of this substance would dramatically inhibit your ability to thoroughly work the steps.

The other issue with methadone as part of a MAT program is the nature of the medication administration. In order to prevent abuse of the drug, most programs require participants to come to the office every day in order to receive their dose. Without this daily dose, withdrawal sets in quickly and is incapacitating and miserable as most opiate withdrawals are. What this means for a person participating in such a program is that any sort of travel is not a viable option, and your day must be structured around this necessary appointment to receive your daily dose. The only way to free yourself from the short leash that comes with a methadone MAT program is by ending your dependence on this powerful opiate, and this usually requires admittance to a medical detox facility. If the road traveled by those in a methadone MAT program ends with medical detox, why not skip the whole ordeal and enroll in a MAT program which does not come with a dependence on such a powerful opiate?


Methadone is one of the oldest MAT program medications utilized to help those suffering from an opiate addiction refrain from using street drugs. While this is a positive and productive endeavour, methadone is far from an ideal medication to achieve this goal. It merely replaces a person’s dependence on street drugs with a dependence on a medication administered by medical professionals, and while this is a preferable situation to street drug use it is a far cry from true recovery from a substance abuse disorder. If you are considering enrollment in a MAT program which utilizes methadone, you should strongly consider alternatives such as a stay in a substance abuse treatment facility. Substance abuse treatment seeks to heal the underlying causes of your addiction, and would provide you a much better chance at achieving a life free from the binds of addiction!



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