Methadone is the most widely-used and studied treatment for opiate addiction. It has been identified as the most effective treatment. It is a long-lasting, synthetic narcotic that acts in a way similar to morphine or other narcotics.
When used in proper doses, methadone does not create euphoria, sedation or analgesic effects. It is used as a maintenance treatment to stop cravings. Methadone builds up and is stored in the body. This helps stabilize a patient so many do not feel the effect of being high.
Buprenorphine is a tablet form of medication which is taken under the tongue and is also used to treat addiction to opiates, such as heroin or prescriptions analgesics like OxyContin.
Buprenorphine can be used for both long-term maintenance and/or medically-supervised withdrawal from opioids. This FDA-approved drug has been proven safe and effective in suppressing withdrawal symptoms and in blocking the effects of illicit opioids.
Vivitrol (naltrexone) is a non-addictive, once-monthly injectable treatment that blocks opioid receptors in the brain. Because Vivitrol is an antagonist, it is right for patients who have already undergone withdrawal from heroin or opioid pain medicines. It can also be used to treat alcohol dependence.
As with all other medications at CHC Addiction Services, Vivitrol is to be used in conjunction with counseling.