Methadone: Therapeutic use, Treatment. Methadone rehab.
Last modified: Monday, 1. June 2009 - 6:01 am
Official names: Methadone, Dolophine
Street names: Fizzies, dollies, dolls
Drug classifications: Schedule II, opioid narcotic analgesic
Methadone is a synthetic opioid narcotic, discovered in Germany in 1939. Its original name was Ami-don, and it was used mainly as a pain reliever. After the conclusion of World War II, Eli Lilly and other American pharmaceutical companies began clinical trials of the medication, renamed methadone, and also began commercial production. Its original uses in the United States were for pain control and as a component of cough medicine.
While methadone works well as a pain control medication, its main use today is in the treatment of heroin addiction. Methadone itself is an addicting drug; its effects are much longer acting than heroin. Easier to administer on a once-daily basis, it is effective orally, which protects addicts from acquiring diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C, obtained when they use dirty needles. Tolerance and dependence on methadone may develop in long-term users, and withdrawal symptoms, while less severe than among heroin users, are generally longer lasting.