Methadone is a prescription drug, and is part of a group of drugs known as Opioids. Opioids are depressant drugs, which means they slow down the messages travelling between the brain and the rest of the body. Methadone is taken as a replacement for heroin and other opioids as part of treatment for dependence on these drugs. Replacing a drug of dependence with a prescribed drug in this way is known as pharmacotherapy.

As well as improving wellbeing by preventing physical withdrawal, pharmacotherapy helps to stabilise the lives of people who are dependent on heroin and other opioids, and to reduce the harms related to drug use. Methadone is also used to relieve pain following heart attacks, trauma and surgery.

Advantages of using Methadone

  • Using methadone on its own is unlikely to result in an overdose.
  • Methadone maintenance keeps the person stable while they make positive changes in their life.
  • Health problems are reduced or avoided, especially those related to injecting, such as HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses, skin infections and vein problems.
  • Doses are required only once a day, sometimes even less often, because methadone’s effects are long lasting.
  • Methadone is much cheaper than heroin.

Side Effects of

There is no safe level of drug use. Use of any drug always carries risk – even medications can produce unwanted side effects.

The effects of taking Methadone with other drugs including over-the-counter or prescribed medications can be unpredictable and dangerous.