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Heroin Detoxification Without Methadone

Pat Moore Foundation, an alcohol and drug treatment facility in Costa Mesa, California, has specialized in opiate, heroin, and other addiction treatment programs since 1985. We know first-hand the destructive results of alcohol and other drug addictions can have on the addict and their family and friends. That’s why we are offering a supportive informational guide on detox and treatment. This is provided as a service to anyone seeking helpful and insightful information on addiction and abuse.

Heroin Detoxification without Methadone

Cold turkey detoxification from heroin addiction is typically ineffective because heroin withdrawal symptoms are so severe. The intensity of these withdrawal symptoms typically causes users to relapse almost immediately. In some cases, cold turkey detox can even be dangerous to a patient’s health. That’s why methadone treatment has been such a popular method of treating heroin addiction.

Keeping patients in treatment has long been a top priority of addiction treatment, and one way to do that is to reduce or eliminate the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms of detoxification. Methadone does that job effectively. Unfortunately, methadone withdrawal treatment has some side effects of its own. The main drawback of using methadone to get off heroin is that methadone addiction is the result. Some recovering heroin users will need to stay on methadone indefinitely to prevent a relapse.

Patients can avoid this unfortunate consequence by choosing a drug treatment center that uses Suboxone (buprenorphine) instead of methadone to medically manage opiod detoxification. Suboxone also successfully eliminates withdrawal symptoms, but it is not as addictive as methadone. Consequently, users do not have to worry about trading one addiction for another when using Suboxone. Suboxone also has the added benefit of being available through private doctor’s offices. Methadone is only available through methadone treatment centers, and often each dose must be picked up on a daily basis.

Suboxone is not a magic bullet for opoid addiction, however. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) stresses the need for all medically managed drug detoxification to be accompanied by appropriate support services as well. Counseling on how to improve coping skills and modify behavior to prevent future substance abuse should be an integral part of any addiction treatment.


Click here for the next part in the series, “Methadone as Pain Medication.” 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.