Methadone is a synthetic narcotic substance which is used authorized legally to treat addiction to narcotics and to relieve severe pain, often in individuals who have cancer or terminal illnesses. Methadone had first been synthesized by German chemists before World War II. Although methadone has been legally available in the United States since 1947, more recently it has emerged as a drug of abuse. This trend may be driven in part by the ready availability of the drug as it increasingly is used in the treatment of narcotic addiction and to relieve chronic pain.
What is Methadone? Methadone is an opiate that was first introduced after World War II as an alternative to morphine. Methadone was originally thought to be less addictive because of its extremely long half life. Today, methadone is used as an analgesic for pain management and more popularly as replacement therapy for heroin and other opiate addictions. Methadone is a cheap alternative to other opiate based medications which outweighs it potency when prescribing.
Methadone has become more widely available in recent years, due in part to the increased number of clinics using Methadone to treat heroin and OxyContin addictions. This makes it difficult to determine whether the drug is friend or foe. Ryan Curry, a 21 year-old Maine resident, began taking OxyContin to get high with his friends several years ago. Like many people who use OxyContin recreationally and for medical purposes, his body became dependent. Ryan decided he wanted to break his dependency so he sought treatment at a local Methadone clinic. Ryan was put on a low dose of Methadone to replace the OxyContin he had been abusing.
FDA pregnancy category C. Methadone may be harmful to an unborn baby. It could ... cause addiction or Withdrawal symptoms in a newborn if the mother takes methadone during pregnancy. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Methadone can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use methadone without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Methadone, a long-acting synthetic narcotic analgesic, was first used in the maintenance treatment of drug addiction in the mid-1960s by Drs. Vincent Dole and Marie Nyswander of Rockefeller University. There are now 115,000 methadone maintenance patients in the United States, 40,000 of who are in New York State and about half that many are in California. Methadone is widely employed throughout the world, and is the most effective known treatment for heroin addiction.
Methadone was introduced into the United States in 1947 by Eli Lilly and Company as an analgesic (They gave it the trade name Dolphin, which is now registered to Roxane Laboratories). Since then, it has been best known for its use in treating narcotic addiction. A great deal of anecdotal evidence was available "on the street" that methadone might prove effective in treating heroin Withdrawal and it had even been used in some hospitals. It was not until studies performed at the Rockefeller University in New York City by Professor Vincent Dole, along with Marie Nyswander and Mary Jeanne Kreek, that methadone was systematically studied as a potential substitution therapy. Their studies introduced a sweeping change in the notion that drug addiction was more than a simple character flaw, but rather a disorder to be treated in the same way as other diseases. To date, methadone maintenance therapy has been the most systematically studied and most successful, and most politically polarizing, of any pharmacotherapy for the treatment of drug addicts.