Methadone is a medication used to help people with opioid addiction withdrawal from heroin and other painkillers. If you are considering methadone, you should know the risks, benefits, and side-effects associated with this drug.

What is Methadone?
Methadone was created as a safer alternative to street opiates in 1964 by Dr. Vincent Dole in order to fight the heroin epidemic that was sweeping across America at the time. It wasn’t until 1971 that methadone became widely used in medical practice for maintenance therapy of opioid dependence or chronic pain relief. In 1993 it was made available nationwide by way of a federal law passed by President Clinton.

How Does Methadone Work?
Methadone comes in two formats: long-acting (LA) and short-acting (SA). SA methadone is absorbed into the body through the gut and liver. LA methadone is absorbed through the skin and will not affect one’s ability to drive.

Methadone Long-Acting Form: Methadone LA, administered as a liquid, is slowly released into the blood during the first four hours after it is taken and then it lasts for 24 hours. It should never be taken with any other drug or alcohol as this can have a harmful effect on one’s cardiovascular system.