Methadone was developed by the German’s during World War II.
Methadone is a synthetic opiate and its analgesic effects last relatively
longer than other opiates. Its origin stems from German doctors who
needed morphine for injured troops, but Allied forces blocked their
opium supply line, which in turn led to the processing of the drug Methadone.
Methadone entered the United States after the war by Eli Lilly and
Company. Its long half-life was its advantage in medical settings over
other natural or synthetic opiates. The analgesic effects of methadone
can last two to three times longer than other opiates.
The original purpose of methadone in the states was to curb withdrawal
symptoms and cravings of heroin addicts. During the 1960's, the government-sponsored
research studies to test methadone's benefits as a replacement for
heroin. From this research it was determined that methadone could be
used as a substitute for heroin. All of the states had the decision
whether or not to regulate methadone clinics as a means of drug treatment
for opiate addicts.
The downside to using methadone as an opiate substitute is that it
is more difficult to stop using it than other narcotics, including
heroin. Methadone's effects could last up to 24 hours before the addict
would experience any withdrawal symptoms. However, users should be
aware that it is much more difficult to recover from a methadone addiction
than a heroin addiction. Addiction specialists understand that while
simply changing the abused drug from one to another is unnecessary,
addiction can be cured. A limit of 200mgs/day of methadone is the maximum
that most states allow in clinics, despite a few exceptions that allow
more than that amount for specific addiction cases. The pharmaceutical
industry constantly lobbies for no limit in an effort to provide the
best care possible for patients.97% of methadone patients claim they
would quit using the drug if they could have the security that they
will not have to experience its painful withdrawal symptoms. Doctors
believe that this anxiety is the culprit that keeps methadone patients
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