Isn’t it true that if you are in methadone treatment, you are just trading your heroin/opioid addiction for another addiction?
Absolutely not. Methadone is a synthetic opiate which does create physiological dependence. Addiction is comprised of physiological and psychological behaviors when repeated over time have significant physical and sociological consequences. Addiction leads to breakdown of health, engagement of criminal activity, erosion of family and social ties. Also, addiction behaviors are not under the supervision of medical and mental health treatment. Methadone Maintenance Therapy is under the care of a physician, nursing staff, as well as mental health practitioners. Methadone is prescribed and carefully monitored by medical staff. Methadone is a legal scheduled pharmaceutical drug that acts as a replacement therapy. This allows the person’s brain to recover from years of substance abuse. This also allows the person to recover their lives by reconnecting with family, friends, gaining employment, getting out of the criminal justice system, and creating an overall improved sense of well-being.
Isn’t 12 Step Treatment much better than Opioid Medically Assisted Treatment (Suboxone and Methadone)?
The answer is no. In fact, through the evidence-based research on addiction medicine, we are beginning to learn that a 12 Step approach alone, is far inferior in terms of effective treatment of addiction. The research is beginning to show us that a person who is engaged in 12 Step work alone has a much higher recidivism rate compared to Opioid Medically Assisted Treatment (OMAT). Success rates amongst involved 12 Step members are roughly 5%, whereas evidence-based treatment such as OMAT has success rates as high as 35%, as well as a lower recidivism rate.