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Methadone as Pain Medication

Pat Moore Foundation is an alcohol and drug addiction treatment facility in Costa Mesa, California. We’ve been specializing in oxycodone and other opiate addiction treatment programs for more than 25 years. We understand firsthand the power addictive and negative qualities oxycodone, prescription drugs, and methadone addiction. 

Methadone as Pain Medication – 7% of Prescriptions

Methadone is not only used in heroin addiction treatment. It is also used for pain management. In fact, prescriptions for methadone for pain management have increased in recent years as an alternative to OxyContin. According the Drug Enforcement Administration, between 1998 and 2005, prescriptions for methadone increased 700 percent. The reasons for this are two-fold. For one, methadone is less expensive than OxyContin so insurance companies are more willing to cover the cost for chronic pain sufferers. Secondly, OxyContin has gotten a bad reputation for addictiveness and methadone still enjoys a relatively positive reputation.

Unfortunately, methadone pain management has a dangerous risk. Because it was not always commonly prescribed for this purpose, many physicians are ignorant about the dosages required. Prescribing the right dosage of methadone is complex because different patients metabolize it differently. Additionally, some doctors do not provide the appropriate warnings about mixing methadone with other medications and alcohol. These issues have contributed to the rise in methadone-related narcotic deaths in the last decade.

Using methadone to treat pain also carries the risk of physical dependency and addiction. Methadone is just as addictive as heroin when used other than as directed. Like heroin, it produces a euphoric sensation that can be highly addictive. Additionally, methadone withdrawal symptoms are just as intense as heroin withdrawals symptoms, and they last longer. Many former users describe detoxing from methadone as more difficult than detoxing from heroin. The best way to detox from methadone is medically assisted by Suboxone (buprenorphine). Suboxone eliminates the physical withdrawal symptoms without creating its own physical dependency.


Click here for the next part in the series, “Decline of 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.