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Why is Methadone still used to treat opioid dependency when Naloxone is available?

Discussion in 'Opiate Withdrawal Treatment' started by princenyc, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. princenyc

    princenyc Member

    From my observation, Naloxone seems less abusable than methadone. Ag I missing something?
  2. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    The thing is, you're really comparing apples to oranges, they are not the same drug, and don't really do the same things fully. Suboxone contains an opioid antagonist. Suboxone will not be helpful to all patients because it no longer functions beyond a 32mg dose, due to its inherent agonist/antagonist ceiling. Suboxone is an excellent medication for opiate/opioid abuse for those who have no problems at up to 32 mg. Recent studies have shown that Suboxone is not very effective for patients who require more than 60mg of methadone. Since the average methadone patient requires 80-120mg of methadone, you could see how this could be a problem.

    I imagine that for higher dose patients, the ideal scenario would be to meter Methadone down to levels that are effective with Suboxone use, and the switch from one to the other.
    angel_lou and Jen S. like this.
  3. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    Yep. There is much less potential for Suboxone to be abused vs Methadone because of that opioid antagonist Teens in Crisis is referring to. I've been treated with both (plus Subutex) so I'll try to break them down even more.

    Methadone produces the same high you get from heroin, only a little less intense because you get it in a controlled environment in liquid form. Think cough syrup. You can't inject it. If you could, it'd be pretty close to heroin. Methadone is the undefeated champion of destroying withdrawal symptoms because it's basically the same drug. It affects your brain in the same way. That's why it's administered dose by dose. For addicts with a high level of daily abuse, it may be what your doctor recommends. I'm not a medical professional, but I did need Methadone at one time. I would recommend considering it as a last resort if the other options do not work for you.

    Subutex contains a drug called buprenorphine. It's not as strong as Methadone, but it's an opiate just like any other opiate. It can be abused - it can be injected. It's a miracle detox drug for people with low to moderate levels of abuse under medical supervision, though.

    Suboxone contains buprenorphine but it also has a second drug in it called Naloxone. Naloxone is used for overdose because it blocks the effects of opiates. So Suboxone is a combination of the opiate your body needs to feel "normal" during withdrawal (buprenorphine) with Naloxone doing its best to make sure your brain is not affected in that same super-intense euphoric-high kind of way. If you try to inject it, you'll be thrown straight into withdrawal. Suboxone can definitely be abused, but it is the least dangerous of the three in my opinion.
    Nick W. likes this.
  4. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    We used to keep Narcan on the ambulance, and it was one of the most stolen drugs we had worked with, more than morphine. Often they would steal it to come completely out of the high, in order to get the full effects again when they use.
  5. Jen S.

    Jen S. Guest

    That's really sad.
  6. Nick W.

    Nick W. Community Listener Community Listener

    Jen,
    It got so bad, that we limited the number of ambulances who could carry it, and we often used secured lock boxes in order to store it. Which of course made it take longer to get it out when it was truly needed.
  7. SamClemensMT

    SamClemensMT Member

    I'm just curious about the cost of the two versus each other. Does that have anything to do with the decision to make Naloxone more or less readily available. I mean, from your experience, of course.
  8. sillylucy

    sillylucy Community Champion

    I second Sam's comment and wonder if cost has anything to do with it. Most of the time it's due to funding and lack of funding. You can also think about production too and how many pharma companies are making it.
  9. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    There is a lot of "why" in drug detox. I had read about passion flower for opiate withdrawal. I don't have this issue, but I was interested in the passionflower and came across the info. The detox effect of passion flower is very strong. I could not believe how well it works. It was impressive.
    It says it will help you recover faster from opiate addiction. There is tons of documentation about it.
  10. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    I think cost is a massive factor. Here in the UK, we have free healthcare but this invariably means that you are treated with the cheapest option, not necessarily the best.
  11. ThatKidWithTheFace

    ThatKidWithTheFace Active Contributor

    I've never fully understood treating Opioid addiction with more Opiates. That was the original purpose of Heroin, right? It's 2015, why haven't we come up with a better way yet?
  12. angel_lou

    angel_lou Active Contributor

    This is exactly what I plan to do this time.
  13. angel_lou

    angel_lou Active Contributor

    They treat herion addiction with methadone as here, its free and it stops the user going out stealing to fund his habit. It stablises your life and gives you a bit of bresthing space to make a plan of action. We really dont need a better way because if you follow the programme without messing about with it, it 100% works. Believe me, I know from experience.
  14. ThatKidWithTheFace

    ThatKidWithTheFace Active Contributor

    Thanks for sharing! I've never thought about it from that perspective. The only people I know who've gone abused the system, so I've never really heard anything positive about it before.
  15. angel_lou

    angel_lou Active Contributor

    Haven't heard of this before, so I will definaty be looking into it. Anything that helps with opiate addiction is a good thing.
  16. RobertNick

    RobertNick Member

    Me neither, it's like punching your face to distract you from another pain you feel.
  17. angel_lou

    angel_lou Active Contributor

    Thats so not the case. Have you had any personal experience with methadone, because i'm telling you, use it correctly and stay true to the plan and it 110% works. I'd go as far as to say it saved my life. But then diferent things work for different people, but I stand by methadone as a way to get off heroin all day long.
  18. RobertNick

    RobertNick Member

    I'm not entirely sure, but I guess it depends on the type of metabolism too. In my country using this method is banned and hasn't been practiced in a long time, but I guess it depends on who practices this too.
  19. angel_lou

    angel_lou Active Contributor

    Just wondered where you're from where Methadone is banned? We can only get it from designated centeres that are quite tightly controlled these days due to the amount of street sales that were gong on a couple of years ago.