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Methadone is a synthetic opioid used in the treatment of heroin addiction. Patients are prescribed an amount of methadone which they need to consume every day. Although chemically different to morphine and heroin, methadone also acts on the opioid receptors and so produces many of the same effects.


Methadone’s usefulness in the treatment of opioid dependence is the result of several factors. It has cross-tolerance with other opioids including heroin and morphine and a long duration of effect, with the result that oral dosing with methadone will stabilize the patient by stopping the opioid withdrawal syndrome. Secondly, it also blocks the euphoric effects of heroin, morphine and similar drugs. As a result, properly dosed methadone patients can reduce or stop altogether their use of these substances. This will allow them to get more stability in their lives and can lead to them re-joining the workforce.

More extensive information about Methadone is available at Wikipedia