Methadone is a prescription drug used during opioid use disorder treatment to aid in the recovery process.
A form of medication-assisted treatment (MAT), methadone use helps to reduce opioid cravings, decrease withdrawal symptoms during opioid detox
, and blocks the effects of opioids. Methadone is prescribed, usually taken daily by patients, and is recommended for at least three months to see improvements in opioid use. In some cases, patients may stay on this medication for several years.1
It is proven to be an effective means of treatment when taken as directed, especially when combined with a comprehensive treatment plan that includes behavioral therapy. The downfall is that methadone is an opioid itself and can be addictive if misused.
Methadone in Florida
In Florida, opioid abuse continues to be a serious problem. In 2018, 68% of Florida drug overdose deaths involved an opioid.2
In response to these alarming numbers over the years, prescription methadone use in Florida for opioid abuse increased by 26% from 2008 to 2012 alone.3
Although methadone is shown to work, it is still controversial. By federal law, patients are required to show proof of enrollment of substance use disorder counseling in order to receive coverage for methadone use. In Florida, methadone is covered by Medicaid under Fee-For-Service plans, although it is not on the state’s preferred drug list under FFS plans.3
If methadone continues to be a successful means of combating the opioid epidemic, lawmakers could push to make it more accessible such as licensing more methadone clinics in Florida or allowing pharmacies to give out the drug. For now, methadone use in Florida is still limited.
Unfortunately, while this drug can be an effective and safe means of treatment for some, other people may also become addicted to it. This possibility of addiction and abuse is why the drug is so highly regulated. Not only is addiction to methadone possible but on rare occasions, so are some adverse effects. Used incorrectly, methadone may lead to respiratory depression, cardiac arrhythmia, and even overdose.4
If you are trying to overcome an addiction to opioids, you should consult with your doctor about the use of methadone during treatment. If you have used this medication in the past and are now addicted, at Banyan Boca, we offer a methadone detox program
to help you kick your opioid addiction once and for all.
If you or a loved one is ready to take that first step to lasting sobriety, reach out to us today at 888-280-4763.
- NIDA- Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition)
- NIH- Florida: Opioid-Involved Deaths and Related Harms
- ASAM- Medicaid Coverage of Medications for the Treatment of Opioid Use Disorder
- CDC- Methadone Prescribing and Overdose and the Association with Medicaid Preferred Drug List Policies — United States, 2007–2014