Both Methadone and Suboxone are used in the treatment for opioid (narcotic) addictions as a way to keep addicts in treatment, avoid withdrawal symptoms, and also reduce the risk of sharing needles. Use of opiate drugs can lead to exposure to diseases such as HIV and hepatitis.
Suboxone is not a drug that is taken on an ‘as needed’ basis. It’s prescribed by a doctor and because of its effects it can be considered ‘addictive,’ or the person can become physically dependent, but only if the he or she stops taking the medicine too quickly. Withdrawal symptoms will occur in that situation. Therefore speaking with a doctor regarding gradually reducing the dosage to avoid or even minimize the withdrawal is highly suggested.
Methadone, however, is a drug that a majority of addicts stay on indefinitely. Oftentimes, depending on the patient, and this seems to be a growing trend, doctors will recommend daily visits to a licensed clinic or pharmacy every day to receive a dosage. The reason they might do this is to prevent Methadone to be sold on the streets. Methadone withdrawal overall is also harder to get through than Suboxone withdrawal.
The overall cost is different as well. Methadone is very inexpensive and is a better, if not more viable option for those without insurance, and many methadone clinics also offer financial assistance. Suboxone, on the other hand, is much more expensive, so having insurance or a means to pay for it is helpful. Suboxone last longer and it can be taken home and used on an outpatient basis. There isn’t a need to head to a clinic daily.
As with all drug interactions, it is also important to let family members know about Suboxone and Methadone usage. In case of an emergency, the staff in an emergency room will be better equipped to handle a patient. Death could occur if a tranquilizer is administered.
These options are only part of a recovery program. Recovery is a life-long process and should be only part of a treatment plan. Support groups, counseling, and making life changes are necessary to remain drug free.