CALVERT 9: On road to recovery, addicts turn to methadone for help

CALVERT 9: On road to recovery, addicts turn to methadone for help. (John Gonzalez/ABC7)

Many drug addicts are now turning to methadone, a powerful synthetic and controversial drug, to combat other narcotics.

The definition of methadone is a synthetic analgesic drug that is similar to morphine with longer effects.

It is often used as a substitute drug in the treatment of heroin addiction, but not without controversy. It has been widely criticized as trading one addition for another and increasing the risk of overdose that will hinder true recovery.

Justine Maas, a state certified substance abuse counselor disagrees and believe this less expensive treatment is the most effective method.

“The public thinks that you can come in and take this medicine and be on your way. There’s no accountability there and it’s a component of treatment,” Maas said.

Ted Allen, a methadone treatment patient, says without it he would be six feet under.

“We would be dead, absolutely, because we wouldn’t have came out and got the help, we would have kept on using,” Allen said.

Most patients are prescribed 120 mg and some stay on it for months, while others for years.

Officials warn that taking this drug illegally can be lethal. The CDC says, more than six times as many people die of methadone overdoses compared to 20 years ago.

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