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From Heroin Addiction to Methadone Addiction

Pat Moore Foundation, an alcohol and drug “Recovery Community Since 1985,” specializes in addiction treatment programs for oxycodone and opiate addictions. We’ve created an insightful information guide for people seeking information on heroin and methadone addiction as well as opiate, alcohol and other drug addiction and abuse. We understand how powerfully addictive and destructive alcohol and other drugs can be, so we provide you with the most up to date recovery information when it is available. Our goal is to offer our services to family and friends of addicts as well as people suffering with an addiction. 

From Heroin Addiction to Methadone Addiction

One of the major criticisms of methadone treatment is that it takes patients from having a heroin addiction to having a methadone addiction. Critics argue that substituting one addiction for another does not promote sobriety. The argument in favor of methadone addiction asserts that methadone addiction is safer than heroin addiction because it can be obtained legally through methadone clinics rather than bought on the streets illegally. Additionally, the risk of contracting HIV or hepatitis by injecting heroin using dirty needles is neutralized by methadone treatment.

These arguments are all true and valid, but when it comes to heroin and methadone, it does not have to be an either-or proposition. There is a third option, and its called buprenorphine. Buprenorphine is an FDA-approved drug to treat opiate addiction including heroin, methadone and oxycodone addiction among others. It offers all of the same benefits of methadone rehabilitation without trading one addiction for another.

Suboxone, one of the brands whose active ingredient is buprenorphine, is similar to methadone in that it prevents cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It is available in a private office setting. The main difference between Suboxone and methadone, however, is that Suboxone is a partial agonist and methadone is a full agonist. That means that Suboxone does not produce the same addictive high as methadone and other full agonist opiates. Consequently, Suboxone does not present the same high risk for addiction as methadone.

Between 1999 and 2005, narcotic deaths where methadone was a contributor increased five-fold. Methadone is a much more dangerous drug than Suboxone because it can be easily abused. By incorporating naloxone into the formulation, Suboxone is designed to prevent abuse. Naloxone triggers withdrawal symptoms when injected or otherwise used inappropriately.


Click here for the next part in the series, “Heroin Detoxification Without Methadone.” Click here to return to the first part in the series, “Introduction to Methadone.”

Pat Moore Foundation’s drug & alcohol detox and alcohol & drug addiction treatment programs are licensed and certified by The State of California. We provide non-medical and medically managed detoxification (using Suboxone, Subutex, and Buprenorphine when appropriate) and primary residential treatment. Our individual homes are on a unique co-ed campus where we offer gender specific treatment. We are located in Costa Mesa, in Orange County, Southern California, close to Newport Beach and Huntington Beach, and only an hour’s drive from Los Angeles and San Diego. To speak with a counselor, please call us 24-hours at (888) 426-6086 or if you’d like us to contact you, send a confidential message online by filling out our online form.

Note: All medical services are administered by medical professionals, which are facilitated and operated solely under the jurisdiction of a separate medical corporation.