In a speech by President Richard Nixon in 1971, he pointed to drug addiction as the public’s number one enemy. The problems then included an increase in drug use, the concern of returning soldiers who have become addicted to it, and the lack of effective treatments. As a solution, the President shifted the federal government policy regarding opiate addiction far from the punitive philosophy. He ordered the first federal program to be created for the treatment of opiate addictions with the use of methadone.
What effects are the most common amongst methadone users?
- Euphoric Feelings
Methadone has the ability to create heroin-like effects, but with lesser intensity and prolonged effectivity that often last for 24 hours. In comparison, the effects of heroin are extremely short-lived, the most occurring in only 2 hours.
Methadone was first synthesized by German scientists back in the World War II.
In history, morphine was supplied to German troops as a pain reliever. Post-dosage testing in high levels, the adverse effects of the drug were discovered. Following the negative effects amongst users, the German military completely abandoned methadone use; however, failed to realize the full potential of its availability.
Post-war, Americans began to take control of the prescription medication for treatment from addiction. In 1960, Vincent Dole M.D. from Rockefeller University had won the New York City Health Research Council Grant for the purpose of studying heroin addiction. Eventually, Dole developed a protocol for daily dose without reaching the ceiling “high” effects.
To this day, methadone is still controversial in a few circles.
Only around 500,000 individuals have participated in methadone maintenance program around the world. Critics of methadone use are still considering this treatment as just another way of legalizing addiction. As such, these people still favor opiate addiction treatments that are based on complete abstinence.
Methadone maintenance treatment has already become a billion-dollar industry not just in the U.S., but in many countries all over the world.
The practice is continuing to expand in the U.S., Europe, and Canada. In other places, this practice is expanding and is continuing to give profit to drug companies. Along the process, addicted individuals wanting to get off the drugs and make better changes in their lives are still using methadone. This is the reason why many still defend methadone use as a genuine treatment for opiate addiction.
In Russia for instance, methadone formulations continue to center social discussions. Treating with methadone to combat opiate addiction is not just illegal. The promotion of methadone use and talking about maintaining methadone drugs in favorable conditions remain to be prosecutable according to law. For this reason, narcotic addicts in Russia continue to enroll in narcotic detox and rehab programs.
The United States is a home to a number of methadone clinics. In a 2011 survey, approximately 245, 000 individuals have already been enrolled in opiate detoxification programs. Half of this population needed continued detoxification and maintenance services and around 20% were those that needed treatment against the use of opiates. Methadone is the first line of treatment for these programs.